Lacewings – A Garden Hero
Wildlife of the month – August Article
Why are lacewings heroes?
Because as well as being pollinators, lacewings are voracious predators of aphids making them a very beneficial insect to have in the garden.
Lacewings get their name from their fragile transparent wings. They usually have bright green bodies, prominent golden metallic eyes. Some species are browner. There are 18 species of lacewing in the UK.
Adult female green lacewings lay eggs on the tips of long silken stalks spun on leaves or the stems of plants. This prevents the first larvae hatched from eating the other eggs. The larvae camouflage themselves with bits of leaves and twigs to get near their prey. The lacewing larvae is so successful at eating aphids (greenfly, blackfly and whitefly) that is has the nickname the “aphid lion”. A single larva can eat up to 100 aphids a day.
Lacewing larvae can be purchased via mail order as a biological pest control for your garden, avoiding the use of pesticides. Or better still, encourage more lacewings to your garden, by building a simple lacewing hotel to hibernate over winter.
Let us know how you got on. You can visit Risby Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages where you can read further suggestions on how to encourage pollinating insects into your garden, such as bees and beetles.
Risby Wildlife Working Group
Taken from Friends of the Earth https//friendsoftheearth.uk
Illustrations by Credit: Leaping Hare Pres
Friends of the Earth