Green Lacewing – Aphid Exterminator (Aphid Lion)
Aphids, small caterpillars, whiteflies, mites, scale thrips, psyllids, mealybugs and other soft-bodied insects and their eggs.
Green Lacewings are general predators that feed on a variety of insects. They are very effective on aphids. During the larval stages it is a predator. Adults are large green insects with large almost transparent lace-like green wings. Larvae are small alligator looking critters with conspicuous legs. They move from plant to plant on leaves. Larvae pupate on upper leaf surfaces, plant stems and twigs. Eggs are laid on hair-like filaments – up to 600 eggs per adults.
Green Lacewings are shipped as eggs/larvae in containers with rice hulls and food. Packages of 1,000, 2,500 & 5,000 eggs/larvae are available. Storing the eggs can be done at a temperature of 40°F for 1-3 weeks. Ideally Green Lacewings should be released as soon as you see larvae hatching out of their containers. Each package of Green Lacewings has disbursement pouches included. Each pouch should be placed in the crotch of the plant limbs or stapled/paper clipped to leaves. Once pouches are placed, pour a small amount of material in each pouch. Spread the release sites out as much as possible. To improve performance, ants must be controlled. Check with your retailer for low impact ant baits. Several generations may occur during one season.
- 1 egg/larvae for each 50 prey is needed for slow-growing plants.
- 1 egg/larvae for each 10 prey is needed for fast-growing plants.
- 5-20 eggs/larvae per square yard on aphids in greenhouse flats.
- 2-3,000 eggs/larvae 2-4 times every 7-14 days for orchards and row crops.
Depending on the size and type of plants, the number and type of pests, other predator and parasite populations and temperature affect the frequency and quantity of releases.
Egg to adult about 30 days depending on weather. Adults live for 20-40 days and will lay 10-30 eggs/day and up to 600 eggs on hair-like filaments. Lacewing eggs hatch in about 3-5 days after reaching temperature of about 60 degrees. Larvae are predators for 2 weeks or longer if nights are cool. During 2-3 larval stages one solitary Lacewing can kill 300-400 aphids, 11,000 spider mites, 3,700 scale crawlers or 6,000 scale eggs. Cocoons yield adult Lacewings in about 5 days. The adult Lacewing will migrate toward pollen, insect honeydew or nectar before laying eggs. Temperature and food availability will determine the timing of each stage and reproductivity.
Pesticides and even-wetting agents and spreader-stickers may adversely affect Lacewing survival. Broad spectrum and systemic insecticides are toxic to Lacewings.