Beneficial Insect — Green Lacewing
Common Name: Green Lacewing
Controlling insects biologically is challenging because it requires certain detailed knowledge of the target pest, frequent monitoring
of the pest populations and anticipatory strategies. That sort of control usually means the application of agricultural chemicals. It
is often an instant cure whereas to rely on biological controls alone one must think ahead. One must recognize and anticipate a
threatening pest population buildup. Plants can tolerate some pests and the economic threshold should be a consideration. In
other words, the dollar gain should exceed the dollar cost.
While there are dozens of beneficial insect predators, most have limited applications, one really stands out as having a multitude
of applications – Green Lacewings.
Lacewings in this group are nearly always green in body and wing color. Adult lacewings have lacy
wings and they look transparent. Their wings have short hairs along the edges anv veins. They have long, filiform
antennae, and chewing mouthparts. Lacewing larvae have elongated, flattened bodies that resemble tiny
Lacewing larvae feed on other soft-bodied insects or arachnids, including aphids, mealybugs,
mites, and Lepidoptera eggs. As adults, lacewings may consume a more varied diet.
Lacewings undergo complete metamorphosis, with four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and
adult. The life cycle varies in length according to species and environmental conditions. Most adults will
live for 4-6 months. Generally, the larval stage may last several weeks, and usually requires three instars.
Pupae may develop into adults in the safety of a silken cocoon attached to the underside of a leaf or on
a stem, but some species pupate without a case. Common lacewings may overwinter as larvae, pupae,
or adults, depending on the species.
Huge appetite for aphids
Wide range of other pests attached
Several generations each season
Only the larva stage is a predator
Ants can interfere with their attacks on aphids
Lacewings are the best all-purpose predator for your garden or
greenhouse. Lacewings stay where the eggs are placed in the garden and the larvae are
voracious feeders. About 10 of these Chrysoperla rufilabris lacewing eggs per plant or
1,000 eggs per 200 sq. ft. will control a moderate aphid population. For best results,
use three successive releases.