The golden-eyed lacewing (Chrysoperla sp, the common lacewing), is an ill-known Neuroptera whose winged adults lay their eggs on the leaves of plants, from spring to autumn. A female lays up to 1,000 eggs per cycle. The adult lacewingfeeds mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae eat greenfly, soft-bodied scale insects, whiteflies, thrips, mite’s eggs and the larvae of tingidae. Each larva can eat up to 60 greenfly a day over a period of 4 or 5 weeks (depending on the weather conditions).
The lacewing can thus be used in gardens (ornamental, vegetable or orchard), on balconies, in verandas, on any plant where ravaging parasites are present : Acari (eggs), whitefly, scale insects, greenfly, caterpilllars, thrips, Colorado beetle larvae.
Simply introduce the eggs as soon as the first ravagers appear, placing the eggs close to them. Repeat this treatment after 15 or 20 days if necessary.
The lacewing’s cycle allows for the birth of several generations of adults per year. It is interesting to know that lacewings eat more ravagers than ladybirds ! Now you should have a different opinion of lacewings, knowing that they are perfectly harmless to humans – this insect which we sometimes find at the start of winter in the house is a real help to gardeners. Protect this ally by not using pesticides, to which it is very sensitive, and by offering it a shelter for the winter.