Lacewings are around 13 mm long (some species are longer) and usually green or brown. There are at least 25 different species of lacewings in Canada. Another beneficial insect and a must in every garden.
Green Lacewings-Kunafin (left), Brown Lacewing (right)-Home and Garden Information center
They have very large wings, gold coloured eyes and are mostly active at night. They are attracted by light so patio lights around your garden can attract them. When handled they can give off a terrible odor. To attract them to your garden plant plenty of pollen producing plants.
Lacewing larvae sucking the life out of an aphid-University of Wisconson
They are found worldwide. Females lay their eggs on foliage. The eggs are elongated and white and are at the end of a stiff thread. They hatch in the early cool spring and crawl down the stalks of plants. This gives them a head start on those aphids before they can get a foothold in your garden. The larvae look like small alligators with bits of fluff on their sides. Adults live for approximately 5 weeks and then lay their eggs and die. There is usually at least 2 generations a year.
Lacewing Larva-Kunafin (left), Eggs (right)-Home and Garden Information center
Lacewings and their larvae are greedy aphid eaters. They are dubbed “Aphid Lions’ for this reason. They can consume anywhere for 20 to several hundred aphids a day! It is mostly the larvae that eat garden insects. They also eat other sap sucking type insects such as mites, mealy bugs, thrips, leaf hoppers, spider mites just to name a few.