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Invite An Insect: Green Lacewing

By: Sandra Nelson

A truly Jekyll and Hyde insect, the Green Lacewing is both a fierce predator as a larvae and a delicate beauty as an adult.


Adult green lacewings are slender insects with lacy-looking, transparent wings and round, golden-colored eyes. During the day, green lacewings are usually found resting in open spaces  around grassy or weedy areas.


At night, being attracted to light, they often cling to window screens.


Female adults lay their eggs, often called fairy-eggs,  one at a time on the top of threadlike strands she has put on twigs or other hard surfaces, usually near the larvae food source.


Green lacewing larvae are small brown and white “aphid lions” that begin devouring aphids and other soft-bodies insects as soon as they emerge from their eggs. Lacewings are voracious eaters and can consume up to 100 aphids per day.


They also dine on asparagus beetles, cabbage worms and young caterpillars so they are valued as predator insects by greenhouse growers, farmers and gardeners alike.



To attract and keep lacewings:


Plant pollen and nectar producing plants such as cosmos, goldenrod, marguerite daisies,  coreopsis and yarrow. (all pictured below)