LACEWINGS

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

At this time of year you may see adult lacewings hov­er­ing around your roses. These green or brown­ish in­sects with char­ac­ter­is­tic, lacy wings look so del­i­cate and yet they’re vo­ra­cious aphid eaters. The adult fe­males flut­ter around, look­ing for aphids so they can lay their eggs nearby. Each egg is laid on a slen­der stalk so it’s out of the reach of ants and other in­sects, and when the lar­vae hatches out the mag­got wan­ders around stems and leaves gorg­ing on aphids. Some species cover them­selves with the dry husks of their prey, pre­sum­ably as cam­ou­flage rather than as tro­phies! Adults are on the wing un­til late sum­mer and most of­ten seen on warm, still evenings.

How to help them A bug ho­tel will give the adults a safe win­ter home but so too will ever­green shrubs, which are favourite win­ter quar­ters. Avoid the use of pes­ti­cides to avoid killing the lacewings and their food.

In­stall a bug ho­tel and watch it fill up with guests!

A fe­male lacewing will look for aphids so she can lay eggs nearby

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