Pest Guides

Lacewings

Chrysoperla carnea

Appearance

Lacewings

  • Lacewing flies are approximately 12–20mm in length.
  • Adults flies are pale green and have long antennae and bright, golden eyes. They have large, transparent, pale green wings and a delicate body.

Lifecycle

  • Lacewing flies lay oval shaped eggs at the end of long silken stalks. These single eggs start off green and turn grey after a few days.
  • The active larvae are grey or brownish. They are alligator-like with well-developed legs and large pincers with which they suck the body fluids from prey insects such as aphids.

Habits

  • Adult lacewings feed on pollen and also need nectar or honeydew as food before laying eggs.
  • Adult Lacewing flies are active fliers, particularly during the evening and at night. Their fluttering flight is particularly characteristic for this species.
  • Lacewings are considered an important predator of mealy bugs in both greenhouses and interior plantscapes. They also feed on (among others) several species of aphids, spider mites (especially red mites), thrips, white flies, small caterpillars and beetle larvae.
  • Lacewings are often used in a biological pest control programme, to control insect and mite pests in agriculture and gardens.