Holy Heck Batman! What Happened to My Asters!!!!

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I haven't been in my perennial garden for a few days so when I went in last night to do some weeding, I was shocked by the damage to my asters caused by the chrysanthemum lacebug.  Holy heck is a toned-down version of what I really said.  These lacebugs had totally obliterated the three plants (two different cultivars) in my beds.  My only option at this time is to cut them to the ground and hope we get enough rain to push new growth so that they bloom this year sometime before Christmas!  

 

lacebug injury to asters
Symptoms of lacebug feeding injury on aster - stippling of the leaves

 

Feeding injury is caused by the lacebug piercing and sucking the juices from the leaf.  The resulting symptom is referred to as stippling.  You will also find the black frass spots that sort of look like little tiny specks of tar.  The lacebugs themselves are about 1/4" and a brown-tan color.  They are typically found feeding on asters, sunflowers and goldenrods.  The tend to be found on the underside of the leaf, but with these high populations, they were all over the leaf and very obvious to the naked eye. They are the light specks on the leaves in the top photo.   For information on managing lacebugs in general, go to UC Davis' IPM "How to Manage Pests."