NC State Extension Publications

Description and Biology

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The cherry lace bug, Corythucha associata, is a common pest of black cherry in North Carolina. {Another very similar lace bug, Corythucha pruni, is also called the cherry lace bug. With Corythucha pruni, in side view the inflated hood that covers its head is about the same height as the hump on its back. The inflated hood that covers the head of Corythucha associata is noticably higher than the hump on its back.}. Corythucha associata is called the cherry lace bug because it feeds on wild cherry and because the thorax and wings are expanded and appear lacey. Adults are about 1/8 inch long. The side expansions of the thorax (paranota) have tiny spines on the outer edge. Each top wing has a large, C-shaped dark patch so that when the wings are folded, a dark band appears across the end and near the front of the wings (the end band has pale spots). The body is blackish and the legs and antennae are gray to tan. Females lay eggs close to the central vein on the underside of leaves. The eggs are dark brown, elongate, and taper toward each end. The top end has a circular cap with a central, pale protrusion. Cherry lace bug nymphs are small, black insects with very pale legs and antennae. They develop through five stages as they molt and grow. Older nymphs have spines around the edge of the abdomen and thorax. Like most lace bugs that infest deciduous plants, the cherry lace bug probably overwinters as adult bugs in sheltered places such as under leaves, stones, and bark. These bugs have been noticed in early May, and development takes at least seven weeks. We have at least one generation per year in North Carolina.

Cherry lace bugs often infest black cher

Cherry lace bugs often infest black cherry.

The hood covering the head

The hood covering the head is noticeably taller than the rest of the cherry lace bug.

Cherry lace bugs deposit their eggs along midribs.

Cherry lace bugs deposit their eggs along midribs.

Young cherry lace bug nymph

Young cherry lace bug nymphs are tiny and fragile.

Older cherry lace bug nymph

Older cherry lace bug nymphs have tiny spines around their sides.

Host Plants

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The cherry lace bug infests black cherry, Prunus serotina, (also called wild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry) as well as Chickasaw plum, Prunus angustifolia, (also called Cherokee plum, Florida sand plum, sandhill plum, or sand plum). The tops of infested leaves soon develop pale yellow to white spots especially toward the center. Beneath, the leaf is disfigured by the bugs, their eggs, nymphs, and fecal spots.

Cherry lace bugs leave abundant spots of excrement

Cherry lace bugs leave abundant spots of excrement as they feed.

Residential Recommendations

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If the infested plant is small enough, insecticides should be applied when damage is first noticed in spring. Make sure the undersides of the leaves are covered because cherry lace bugs feed there. Alternatively, a systemic product can be applied to the soil surface under the infested plant. Imidacloprid is systemic, is labeled for residential landscape use, and is available in most big box stores, nurseries, and plant centers.

Other Resources

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For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local Cooperative Extension Center

This Factsheet has not been peer reviewed.


Professor Emeritus
Entomology & Plant Pathology

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Publication date: Nov. 17, 2018
Revised: Sept. 11, 2019

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