Lace Bug is fairly new to
the Pacific Northwest, first reported as being a real
problem in about 2008. I mistook it as a fertilizer
problem when I first saw it. Since then, Lace Bug has
become fairly wide spread in Western Oregon with many
large nurseries reporting problems. While those in the
nursery business are now aware of the problem and know
how to deal with it, the general public is not. Large
garden centers in the Portland area are misdiagnosing
the problem and giving out incorrect information. I was
very disappointed when I inquired of the Master
Gardeners as two large shows this month and no one knew
what I was talking about.
Oregon State University
Extension Service does have a somewhat out dated
publication for homeowners at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/nurspest/Azalea_lacebug_2012_owner_version.pdf.
OSU also has an 'Ask The Expert' site, http://extension.oregonstate.edu/question-of-the-week/azalea-lace-bug, where
the public can ask questions and receive what is
supposed to be good advice. However, when I looked at
their recommendation to one questioner, I was appalled.
The question was what to do about Lace Bug on some 500
Evergreen Azaleas in a large condominium project. The
reply was to remove the Azaleas and replace them with
something else. I questioned this logic and received a
lengthy reply sighting the economics of control verses
replacement. The entire conversations is attached.
Since many people on
these groups have been dealing with Lace Bug for a
number of years, what advice is your Extension Service
or other entities giving you? I think that we really
need to take this problem seriously and make a concerted
effort to get good advise out to the general public.
Suggestions will be
Dick 'Red' Cavender, Red's
Rhodies, Sherwood, Oregon, USA, Zone 8