Common Name: Lace Bug
Scientific Name: Order Heteroptera, family Tingidae, Corythucka spp.
Size: Adult--about 1/8"
Identification: Lace bug adults are flat and lacy-looking. The wings of most lace bugs are transparent. Wings are much wider than abdomen. The nymphs are flat and oval-shaped. Both have piercing-sucking mouthparts.
Biology and Life Cycle: Incomplete life cycle. Female lays tiny eggs on underside of leaves and then covers them with a little cone of dark, sticky excrement. Wingless nymphs often have long body spines. All stages are found in groups under leaves. Most species overwinter as adults. They hang out in plant bark and have several generations a year.
Habitat: Broadleafed evergreens such as azaleas, pyracanthas, and rhododendrons and some deciduous plants such as oaks, hawthorns, elms, walnuts, fruit trees, sycamores, and cotton plants.
Feeding Habits: Suck sap from underside of leaves using piercing-sucking mouthparts. Damage appears on leaf surfaces as pale brown or yellow specks.
Economic Importance: Damage to foliage can make nursery plants unmarketable. The mottling of the leaf surface can severely reduce photosynthesis.
Natural control: Provide proper irrigation and other care to maintain plant health. Encourage beneficial insects and microbial activity.
Organic control: Horticultural oil, citrus oil, and molasses. Neem and biological products containing beneficial fungi. Liquid Fire Ant Control formula.
Insight: Pesticides do not restore damaged foliage. Lace bugs are beautiful when viewed under a microscope, and it has been said that they look as if they were cut out of fine gauze.