Green lacewings are common but little-known species of beneficial insects that can be found in many different environments, including your garden. Lacewings feed on nectar, pollen, and honeydew as adults and prey on pests and their eggs as larvae. Green lacewings have a wide temperature range tolerance and can live in harmony with other beneficial insects.
- Green lacewing eggs are white to off-white and oval-shaped.
- They are attached to slender stalks on the underside of leaves.
- Larvae of green lacewings are easily recognizable as they look like tiny alligators.
- They are striped in brown color.
- They have 6 legs and big jaws to catch their prey.
- These insects are green in color.
- They are insects with slender-shaped bodies about 0.4 inches (10 mm) long.
- Green lacewing adults have large eyes.
- They have transparent, green-veined wings.
- Green lacewings have two long antennae on their head.
Green lacewings have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The insects can be seen throughout the year, but usually, they hibernate in winter as adults. After hibernation, the adults will lay their eggs on slender stalks attached to the underside of leaves. The female can lay from 100 up to 200 eggs in her lifetime. Eggs will be deposited singly or in small clusters near a food source for the hatched larvae to eat.
Green lacewing larvae emerge from their eggs and immediately search for prey. Larvae are voracious eaters and will consume many pests and insect eggs. Then, it will go through a couple of molts until it pupates and become an adult. The adult lacewings evolved to feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and honeydew secreted by aphids.
These insects can be found among tall grasses, shrubs, trees, and bushes. You won’t see a group of green lacewings as they are not social insects like ants or bees. Still, you will see them fly around or resting on the leaves of garden plants and hedges in warm weather.
Green lacewing larvae feed on several pests, such as:
- Corn Earworms
- Lace bugs
- Spider Mites
- Young Caterpillars and their eggs
- Colorado Potato Beetle Larvae
- Asparagus Beetle Larvae
How to Attract Them to Your Garden?
Green lacewings eat nectar and pollen, so flowers are a great way to attract them. Choose flowers native to your area, as they provide the best nutrition for native lacewings. Some plants are known to attract lacewings more than others. These are:
- Marguerite Daisies
- Queen Anne’s Lace
Also, create shelters like insect hotels made out of untreated wood.
- Lacewing larvae are voracious eaters. They eat up to 100 aphids per week.
- Some larvae will collect and carry debris or food remains on their backs. This provides camouflage and protects them from predators.
- The natural predators of these insects are spiders, bats, ants, dragonflies, and birds.
What to Do Next
Check out our other Beneficial Insects Guides. Read and learn more about how to identify their benefit and how to attract them.
Check out our Garden Pests Guides. Read and learn about how to identify and control garden pests.
Also, check out our Gardening Guides to learn easy step-by-step tutorials.
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