No one likes to see flying insects buzzing around the house, no matter how beneficial they might be. Here’s what to do if you find green lacewings in the house.
Lacewings are beneficial insects that help to control aphid infestations and other pests in your home and garden.
But you will most likely not want them as houseguests! It’s easy to stop them from coming into your home as long as you keep your plants free of their main food source.
Which Lacewings Come into Houses?
It is usually the green lacewings that come into a house. Scientifically known as Chrysoperla nigricornis, green lacewings have a tendency to seek shelter indoors, particularly during the colder months.
They come into your house seeking warmth. Insects that overwinter usually do so in open spaces. However, this species of lacewings prefers to stay indoors during this period.
Apart from seeking warmth in winter, green lacewings may also enter if there is a food source like moth eggs already present.
If you have a lot of indoor plants around, you may have aphids, and those will definitely attract lacewings.
Households that keep plants outdoors like to have a few lacewings to control aphid infestation, and if that’s the case, some of them might accidentally come inside as well.
How To Identify If It Is a Lacewing?
The first thing before trying to prevent them is to make sure that what you have seen is indeed a lacewing. Here are some things that you should check to be sure that it is a green lacewing.
Adult lacewings are green, as the name suggests. However, some may be slightly brown as well. It’s hard to distinguish between green and brown lacewings, but usually, the green ones have more green than brown on their body.
The size of green lacewings is about ¾th of an inch. Each adult green lacewing will have six legs and antennae.
They have two pairs of long and transparent wings, which appear netted. You can also recognize green lacewings by their beautiful, round, golden-colored eyes.
Lacewings usually don’t pupate inside the house. This is why you are less likely to find lacewing larvae indoors.
How To Treat Your House For Lacewings?
The treatment depends on how many lacewings are in your home.
If it’s just a couple of lacewings, you can simply swat them with a newspaper or a book. If they are flying near a window, just open it, and guide them outside. One or two green lacewings won’t be a nuisance.
If you find many lacewings coming in, you need first to figure out where they are coming from. If you have a garden or plants outdoors, lacewings may be coming in from there.
You need to control the lacewing population outside so as to prevent them from coming indoors. Lacewings prefer places where there is a steady supply of food, so there are likely some thrips or aphids in your garden.
To get the lacewings to go away, you need first to finish off these pests. You can use products like Supreme IT and Dominion 2L.
The former is used to get rid of small insect infestations and insect eggs that are food sources for lacewings. The latter gets absorbed by plants and kills aphids and thrips that inhabit them.
You need to spray these pesticides once every three months and then avoid the area for the next 24 hours.
However, if you are considering using these chemical pesticides inside your home, please get professionals to do the job.
It is unlikely that you will find lacewing eggs in your home as they do not reproduce indoors.
How To Control Lacewings Organically?
Green lacewings are useful for controlling predatory mites, but too many in your house will become a nuisance.
To control lacewings organically, you need to stop aphids and thrips from infesting your plants.
Check your plants regularly to see if there are pests in them. Avoid bringing in any houseplants from outside because they may already be infested.
If you only have indoor plants, then those plants must have an infestation that is attracting lacewings. You can treat these plants with organic pesticides like neem oil or DE.
How To Prevent Lacewings From Coming Inside Your House?
Lacewings try to find warm spots during winter to lay low. At this time, it is important to make sure they have no way to come into your home.
Examine your windows and window screens for any small gaps or holes from where these insects can fly in.
Look for small cracks and crevices in the wall, especially in your garage and other places whose doors open outside the house. Make sure to close all such gaps with caulking or tape.
If you have plants in the garden, try to make sure there are no pest infestations on them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there green lacewing in my house?
If you find green lacewing in your home, it is probably because it is cold outside. They like to overwinter in warmer temperatures.
Lacewings might also enter if your garden has an infestation of pests. In that case, you need to get rid of the pests first.
Are lacewings harmful to humans?
Lacewings are not harmful to humans. They may be dangerous to other insects, but they don’t attack humans.
In fact, the larval form of green lacewings, called aphid lions, is quite beneficial. They prevent pest infestations on plants, such as aphids, spider mites, thrips, and other soft-bodied insects.
Can green lacewings bite humans?
Green lacewings usually do not bite humans, but they might bite if they feel threatened or are trying to defend their eggs.
Green lacewing larvae are biters. If you are bitten by green lacewing larvae, there may be some redness or itchiness due to the caustic venom in their mouths.
There might also be a small bump, but that, along with the irritation, will fade away quickly.
How long do green lacewings live?
The lifespan of a green lacewing is dependent on what the climatic conditions are like. Usually, in optimum conditions, which is around 75 F, an adult green lacewing will live for about four to six weeks. But, it also needs enough food sources available for sustenance.
Many people who have gardens love to invite lacewings, lady beetles, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects to keep their pest problems at bay.
You don’t need to worry about them much as long as they remain in the garden. But if they start entering your home in large numbers, you can follow some of the tips that we shared in this article.
We hope this article helps you control lacewings in your home. Thank you for reading!
It’s never a fun site to watch bugs flying around your house, beneficial or not. Here are some of the experiences of our readers with these bugs, when they decided to enter human homes.
Letter 1 – Green Lacewing
Green Little Bug
June 7, 2010
Its Green, Wings Twice Its Size And Looks Like A Fly Or Something.
The Green Lacewing in your photo is an important predator that consumes vast quantities of Aphids and other pests on cultivated plants. Lacewings are often attracted to lights at night. Green Lacewings are delicate looking creatures that are sometimes called Goldeneyes because of their metallic colored eyes.
Letter 2 – Green Lacewing
Location: burbs north of Atlanta
May 2, 2012 7:03 am
First, I promise this is not unnecessary carnage, the tiny beauty was found already expired. My mother came home and found this delicate creature dead on her kitchen counter. She knew my kids and I would love to study her so she preserved her for us. Her iridescent wings and bright green body were so captivating we dubbed her Tinkerbell. Can you help us identify what she is? I’ve included a photo alongside a penny for size reference. She was a little shy for that angle, though.
Thanks for submitting your charming letter and photo. This is a Green Lacewing, a beneficial predator whose delicate appearance belies its ravenous hunting skills. Lacewings are one of the primary predators of agricultural pests like Aphids. Though Lady Bugs get more attention, Lacewings probably do more to control Aphid infestations. The larvae of Lacewings are known as Aphid Wolves or sometimes Aphid Lions according to Merriam Webster. Adult Green Lacewings are often attracted to lights.
Letter 3 – Green Lacewing
Subject: Please help me identify this flying insect
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
July 30, 2012 11:51 pm
Hi – This little guy is a brilliant green – He was hanging out in my bathroom for about a week. Very happy to stay in one place on the wall for hours, before moving to a new spot. I can’t seem to find out what he is. Can you help me? Thanks!
Signature: – Scott
This pretty little predator is a beneficial Green Lacewing. They are sometimes called Golden Eyes. Both adults and larvae are important predators that feed on small insects, especially Aphids. We receive some reports that both adults ad larvae will bite, but the bite is not dangerous, merely an annoyance. The BugGuide family page has some wonderful information.
Letter 4 – Green Lacewing
Subject: Green mantis looking bug
Geographic location of the bug: Oregon coast
Time: 04:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Me and my friends have ran into these a few times now. Even though I’ve spent a while looking I can’t figure out what it is.
How you want your letter signed: Your help is very much appreciated
The Green Lacewing is sometimes called a Golden-Eye.