Oak Lace Bug
Credit: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.Org
Credit: Jim Baker, North Carolina State University, Bugwood.Org
Credit: © Yurika Alexander
Pest or disease?
Oak and sometimes maple trees
Present in the UK?
Tree Alert required?
Oak lace bugs are native to North America but have been accidentally introduced to mainland Europe.
Lace bugs are sap feeders, feeding on sap within leaves. They are very small, up to 4mm long, making their identification very difficult. For this reason, Observatree volunteers conduct annual surveys for both oak and plane lace bugs by putting out traps in their local trees. These are then analysed under microscope by Forest Research entomologists. So far, no plane or oak lace bugs have been found.
Lace bug feeding damage can weaken the tree, leaving it more vulnerable to other attacks. Oaks in the UK are already suffering from several pests and diseases, such as acute oak decline and oak processionary moth, meaning this additional pest would pose a significant threat. Signs to look out for include small, yellow spots on the upper surface of leaves, leaf loss and black spots of frass on the underside of leaves. For more information on oak lace bug please see the resources below.