Week of September 9

Green Lacewing

green lacewing
Lacewing under an Ancho pepper leaf
Green Lacewing is a beautiful insect and highly beneficial in the garden. As its name suggests it has wings which are translucent, lacy and light green. It often is found on the underside of the leaves and for the same reason may not be easy to notice. It gets noticed when you are brushing against a plant and it flies off suddenly. The light green color which easily blends in the green color of leaves also makes it difficult to notice this insect.

Lacewings are quite helpful to gardeners in controlling the aphid population. Their larvae are often called aphid lions as they consume large number of aphids. Lacewings also consume whiteflies which are often a problem in El Paso’s gardens.
Other insects that they prey on include mites and mealybugs.

Lacewings, as some other beneficial insects, can be ordered online to be introduced in the garden. However this is not always successful and even less so in El Paso. Our climate is hot and dry and not always hospitable to introduced insects. It may be hard to believe when a garden is in the beginning stages, if ever there will be any beneficial insects in that garden. It does happen though and is definitely more successful than buying and introducing insects. A garden that is not sprayed with pesticides (even organic pesticides) and has a variety of different plant will definitely be home to lacewings. They are more abundant during spring which is also the time for aphid attacks on the new plant growth. Lacewings can also be spotted in peak summer in El Paso if there are good variety and number of plants, edibles or ornamentals, to provide food and shelter.
Nurture the soil, grow a mix of plants, avoid any chemicals and there sure will be these beautiful insects in the garden.