Common throughout North America, the adult green lacewing is a small, soft- bodied insect that is a light green color, has antennae, big eyes, six legs with, and lace style wings. This beneficial insect is often mistaken for a dragonfly.

an adult green lacewing

Eggs of this beneficial insect are whitish in color and can be found on the tips of thin vegetation. When adult lacewings lay their eggs, they are carefully kept separated from each other.

If not keep separated, as the larvae emerge, they will eat each other. These emerged larvae look like tiny caterpillars, and grey brown in color.

At this stage of live is when they are in their beneficial stage. Very active in this stage of their life that lasts from two to four weeks, they can devour up to six hundred aphids. Even though green lacewings are common throughout North America, they do have a preferred habitat.

In their adult stage, they feed on nectar and pollen from plants commonly found in gardens or agricultural fields. But they do tend to prefer habitats where high humidity exists, making them a good choice as a beneficial insect in greenhouses and for irrigated crops, especially in the Midwest and southeast.

Green Lacewings can be purchased by variety of commercial growers by both the home gardener and farmers for a natural method of pest control, and having a large variety of uses.

There are several successful reported species of prey that the green lacewing has been used on and controlled, examples such as aphids, beetle larvae, eggs of leafhoppers, leaf miners, long tailed mealybugs, moths, red mites, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies to name a few.

The effectiveness of the green lacewing is best in humid areas, including greenhouses and interior gardens. They can also be used on a variety of crops, like apples, cotton, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, sweet corn and tomatoes.

As with all beneficial insects, it is recommended to monitor the population. It is important that they have a sufficient source of food to be able to sustain a natural life cycle. If not you may need to supplement the food supply for the adults to stay around and maintain their population.

a female green lacewing

Recommended Flowering Plants for Attracting Lacewings to Your Garden

To increase more of these common green lacewings into your garden, it makes sense to ensure you have the right kind of plants and flowers for the adults to feed on.

This will ensure not only their survival, but also for the benefit of ensuring your garden plants remain pest free.

1. Chrysanthemums

There are so many varieties of these to choose from, and also a variety of colors. They like to be in full sun and well-drained soil. They flower between August and September, so provide a useful source of late nectar.

2. Parsley

The primary varieties of Parsley are flat leaved, parsnip-rooted, and curly leaved varieties. Parsley enjoys being in full sun and is a biennial plant that also attracts butterflies.

3. Dill

This is actually related to Fennel and is an annual herb. It also attracts various butterflies.

4. Fennel

Is drought hardy and can be grown anywhere. It can be grown as an annual but is actually a perennial. It attracts butterflies too, although it doesn’t grow well with certain other plants, so check compatibility before planting near other plants.

5. Rosemary

This herb loves free draining soil, in full sun.

6. Thyme

This small perennial plant has pink or lilac flowers. It is also attractive to butterflies too.

7. Lavender

Flowers in the summer, right through to autumn. It has a lovely scent and prefers to be in full sun, in well drained, dry soil.

8. Marigolds

There are various bright colored varieties to choose from, also in differing heights. They like to be in a sunny position and will flower from June through to September.

9. Asters

Otherwise known as the Michaelmas Daisy, these all flower in late summer through to late September. They grow best in full sun and like to be regularly watered.

10. Sunflowers

These range in height depending on the variety chosen. They have to be in full sun and enriched soil or manure.

They need support, due to their height and will flower between June and September. You can then leave the seed heads for bird food during the autumn and winter.