Lantana Lace Bug

Source(s): Willie O Chance

Lantanas can bloom from June through early October in Georgia. Lantana Lace bug can stop lantanas from blooming. The lace bugs feed on leaves and flower buds, leaving stunted green plants with no flowers.

Lantana lacebug injury, Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension,
Lantana lacebug injury, Chazz Hesselein, Alabama Cooperative Extension,
Why do these lantana have injured leaves and no blooms?
Lantana lacebug adult, Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,

Description and Damage

The lantana lace bug is a small brown insect up to 1/6 inch long. Adult lace bugs are long, oval insects with a midsection that is slightly wider than the ends. The rear of the lantana lace bug is blunt but rounded off. The young are dull-colored and spiny. Look for the lantana lace bug by shaking the branch over a piece of white paper or light-colored cloth.

Lace bugs feed on the bottom of the leaves and on young flower buds. They make the top of the leaves speckled with white, similar to mite injury. Underneath the leaf you may see brown, tarry spots that are the insect’s droppings. Since lace bugs feed on young flower buds, lantana bloom may be severely reduced or stopped completely.

Cultural Control

  • Lace bugs do have several natural enemies that help to control their numbers – spiders, lacewing larvae, assassin bugs and predaceous mites.
  • Planting resistant varieties may help reduce lace bug numbers.
  • Lantanas that are more resistant to lantana lace bug: Weeping White, White Lightning, Weeping Lavender, Imperial Purple, Patriot Rainbow, Denholm Dwarf White, Radiation, Dallas Red and Gold Mound.
  • Cultivars of Lantana montevidensis are also more resistant to lace bugs.
  • Small leafed varieties seem to be more resistant than large leafed varieties, although both types can be attacked by lantana lace bugs.
  • More susceptible: Patriot Desert Sunset, Pink Frolic and Patriot Sunburst.

Chemical Control

If cultural and natural controls do not limit the lacewing population, you may need to treat with chemicals.- You can treat plants with Orthene (acephate), imidacloprid, or other systemic insecticides. See the Pest Management Handbook for details.- Read and follow all label directions when using pesticides. Check the plants in two weeks or so and treat again if needed. The blooms should slowly return if temperatures are warm enough and other growing conditions are good.

Other problems affecting bloom: Blooming on lantana should slow down as temperatures drop in the fall. Lantanas like full sun, well-drained soils, deep watering once a week and light fertilization. If the plant is lacking one of these, correct the problem. Prune off old seed pods or berries left from prior flowers. Re-fertilize once lightly and water deeply once a week to encourage new blooms. Take care not to over fertilize since this may reduce flowering and increase disease susceptibility.

See these sources for much of this information:

For more information:

Center Publication Number: 268

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