Location: San Francisco, CA
July 24, 2011 1:58 pm
I woke to find this little guy biting my arm. It raised a small welt that faded in an hour or so. I hope not to meet any more, but I’m curious who I’m dealing with. I had a look through the catalog here, but didn’t spot this fellow. (I’m just glad it’s not a bedbug.) Do you recognize it?
Signature: Breakfast Buffet
Dear Breakfast Buffet,
The larval Lacewing deserves its common name Aphid Wolf. This predator is a welcome addition to the garden where it will devour countless Aphids. Here is a photo from a posting in our archives showing an Aphid Wolf feasting on its preferred meal, Aphids. We have frequently gotten reports from people regarding the sensation of the bite from an Aphid Wolf, and just last week, Daniel had his own first hand experience that is worth reporting. While driving to work in the morning, Daniel felt a slight pinch on his right wrist, and looked down to find a tiny Aphid Wolf biting down. The sensation of the pinch was far greater than one would expect from such a tiny creature. Since Daniel knew that this was a harmless creature, he decided to allow the Aphid Wolf to ride until the destination was reached where it could be released, and in the course of the remaining ten minute drive, the beast bit a second time. Both bites left tiny welts, and the faint burning sensation lasted until the next day. We frequently have to inform our readership that insects might sting and bite, but they are not aggressive. This Aphid Wolf was not provoked, and it bit nonetheless. The sensation was easily felt and the side effects of an itchy welt lasted 24 hours, considerably less than the bite of a mosquito which is far more annoying. Aphid Wolves are amazing creatures, and in some of our older postings, we have used an alternate name of Aphid Lion.
Thanks, Daniel! I’ve delivered the aphid wolf to a friend who’s having an aphid problem. 🙂