NC State Extension Publications

Description and Biology

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Hawthorn lace bugs, Corythucha cydoniae, are about 1/8 inch long with lacy wings marked with large, brown spots. The antennae and legs are yellowish. The eggs are cone-shaped and fastened to the lower leaf surface. Females often secrete a hard brown "varnish" that covers the eggs. The nymphs are spiny and dirty brown. Older nymphs become oval and flat. Hawthorn lace bugs overwinter as adults in fallen leaves on the ground or other protected spots near their host species. Females lay their eggs in small groups on the leaves of pyracantha, cotoneaster, hawthorn and occasionally other ornamentals such as serviceberry, apple, pear and even oak. Tiny nymphs hatch and begin feeding. They develop through five stages before molting into new adults. At least four generations can occur each year in North Carolina.

Hawthorn lace bug and "bug specks" on pyracantha leaf

Adults are small, lacy. and about 1/8 inch long.

Hawthorn tree yellowed by hawthorn lace bugs

Hawthorn is also susceptible to lace bug damage.

Hawthorn lace bugs on pyracantha with numerous "bug specks"

Hawthorn lace bugs commonly damage pyracantha.


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Hawthorn lace bugs feed on pyracantha, cotoneaster, hawthorn and occasionally other ornamentals such as quince, serviceberry, apple, pear and even oak. These lace bugs feed on the lower leaf surface and cause yellow or pale spots to appear on the upper leaf surface. This damage is somewhat like thrips injury or spider mite injury, but lace bug injury is coarser. If much feeding occurs, the leaves may become almost bleached out. Lace bugs also leave noticeable bug specks or specks of excrement on the lower leaf surface (spider mites don't leave noticeable specks).

Residential Recommendation

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Hawthorn lace bugs should not be difficult to control. They are somewhat sluggish and do not tend to fly readily if the shrub at hand is suitable. Most insecticides labeled for landscape use should give adequate control.


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For assistance with a specific problem, contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension center.


Professor Emeritus
Entomology and Plant Pathology

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Publication date: July 6, 2013
Revised: Aug. 13, 2019

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