Nature is filled with “good bugs” whose diet consists mainly of pests that ravage our crops. Among the “good bugs” or farmers’ friends are a group of insects called lacewings. Wings of adults are either green (green lacewings) or brownish (brown lacewings) and are semi-transparent. They are predators of many pests. Larvae have voracious appetite for aphids, which earned them a nickname ‘aphid lions’. They also feed on mealybugs, mites, psyllids, small caterpillars, thrips, whitefly larvae and insect eggs. Adults typically feed on honeydew, nectar and pollen. These hungry predators are among the most commercially available insects used for pest control.
If you want to attract lacewings to your farm, plant lots of flowering plants, ornamentals and herbs. Remember that insecticide sprays kill both bad and good beneficial insects. Therefore, avoid indiscriminate application of broad-spectrum insecticides. Apply pesticides as a last resort and when applying carefully read pesticide label and rigorously follow label instructions.