Lace Bug Damage Becoming Evident in Southwest Ohio

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Lace bugs were very successful with overwintering in southwest Ohio and high populations are now producing noticeable symptoms.  The most obvious lace bugs include:  basswood lace bug (Gargaphia tiliae), hawthorn lace bug (Corythucha cydoniae), and oak lace bug (C. arcuata).  Sycamore lace bug (C. incurvata) is showing up on trees that were less affected by sycamore anthracnose this spring.

Hawthorn lace bug damage on amalanchier
Hawthorn Lace Bug Damage on Amalanchier


Sycamore lace bug damage
Sycamore Lace Bug Damage


These lace bug species live on the undersides of leaves where they use their piercing/sucking mouth parts to suck juices from their host plants.  As with all lace bugs (family Tingidae), their feeding produces tiny yellow or whitish leaf spots (stippling) that may coalesce to produce large, yellow-to-copper colored areas on leaves, and early leaf drop.  It is not unusual for early feeding symptoms of basswood, hawthorn, and oak lace bugs to appear as distinct 1/4 - 1/2" diameter spots on the upper leaf surface.  Lace bugs also deposit unsightly hard, tar-like spots of excrement onto the leaf surface as they feed.  Most lace bugs have multiple generations per season; their damage builds with each succeeding crop of new bugs. 

Basswood Lace Bugs
Basswood Lace Bugs

Basswood lace bugs may be found on all members of the Tilia genus in Ohio; however, they have a particularly affinity for silver linden (T. tomentosa).  Oak lace bugs may be found on both red and white oaks.  Hawthorn lace bugs feast on wide variety of rosaceous plants as well as a few plants outside of the rose family.  They are commonly observed on hawthorn as well as Cotoneaster sp. and Amelanchier sp.