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Green Lacewings Control Insect Pests in the Garden

Pretty to look at but scary to see, if you’re an aphid that is. The green lacewing is an important predator of soft-bodied insects like aphids, mealybugs, small caterpillars and more.

The adult green lacewing is about ¾ of an inch long. It’s light green with lacy wings and two large golden eyes.  You may see them feeding on flowers, eating pollen and nectar or near a colony of aphids eating the clear sticky honeydew the aphids secrete. This is also a prime location for laying their eggs; each egg perched upon a thin upright filament attached to the plant.

The immature stage, known as an aphid lion, is brown and white with a protruding hooked jaw and resembles an alligator. They are voracious feeders, eating one hundred or more aphids in a week, along with spiders, mealy bugs, whiteflies, small caterpillars and more. 

A bit more information:  The lacewing’s unique egg laying helps reduce cannibalism among sibling larvae. They also deposit their eggs close to their prey, so the larvae have easy access to food.

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