Beneficial Insects: The Lacewing

At Green Grow Organics and Metroscapes Landscaping, we work to implement IPM. Integrated Pest Management.

One of our very favorite beneficial insects is the Lacewing, Chrysopidae. They are translucent and somewhat iridescent, pale green with coppery eyes.  Simply magical to see them rising out of my boxwood every year. They lay their eggs at night, singly or in small groups. Typically lacewing will lay their eggs on plants where aphids are prevalent.

Lacewing eggs on thin protective fibers

Lacewing eggs on thin protective fibers

Very voracious predators, the larva, are also called “aphid lions” or “aphid wolves”. They eat aphids, thrips, mealybugs, whiteflies, scale insects and other small flies. Unfortunately, they do eat some butterfly eggs and small beetles. But generally speaking, they do much more good than harm. They eat over 200 prey weekly.  The adult lacewing doesn’t eat predators, but they lay eggs that emerge in 7-10 days.  Cyclical release of beneficial insects is the way to stay on top of predator issues in the garden.

From tiny eggs, through the larval stage to adult.

From tiny eggs, through the larval stage to adult.

Encourage beneficial insects by discontinuing the use of broad-spectrum pesticides. Our 100% organic methods are designed to protect tiny creatures…….especially the magical ones that fight many of our battles for us in the garden. Each time we see them, we imagine a belly full of destructive aphids. And we thank them.

One of the prettiest beneficial insects in our gardens

One of the prettiest beneficial insects in our gardens

 

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