Lace bug (Habrochila placida)
This bug is (adult is about 4 mm long) and has wings with a lace-like pattern, hence its common name. The nymphs have knob-like projections on the head of the body. Both adults and nymphs suck on the leaves. Nymphs always feed in groups on the underside of the leaf. Their feeding causes yellow patches on the leaves. The underside of affected leaves is covered with spots of black liquid excreta. In case of severe attack the leaves turn yellow and drop-off. This bug is a sporadically severe pest in Kenya and Tanzania, causing severe defoliation. The attack is often first confined to the lower leaves of a small group of coffee trees. They are most common in hot dry weather. Outbreaks have been associated with injudicious use of pesticides.
- A mirid bug, Stethoconus sp., is a voracious predator, it feeds on of the coffee lace bug nymphs and adults .
- Avoid use of broad-spectrum pesticides to protect natural enemies.