Green lacewing (Chrysopa spp., Chrysoperla spp.) adults are green, soft-bodied insects with golden eyes and four membranous wings. Their larvae are pale with dark markings and a tapered tail, and measure 1/8 to 4/5 of an inch long.
There are several species of green lacewings; some species have predaceous adults, while others feed only on honeydew, nectar and pollen. Larvae look like tiny alligators and are generalist predators on mites and small insects, including aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, whiteflies, and insect eggs.
If you look carefully, you may see green lacewing eggs on plants in your landscape. Eggs are laid in clusters, or singly, each on an individual silken stalk.
Both adults and larvae prey on various small insects including mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, and insect eggs.
Protect Natural Enemies
Protect lacewings and other beneficial predators in the garden by avoiding using certain pesticides that can kill them, and choosing plants that provide pollen, nectar, and shelter. You'll also want to keep ants out of pest-infested plants. Watch the video, “Using a Sticky Barrier to Keep Ants out of Trees” for instructions.