Are you looking to add lacewing larvae to get rid of pests in your garden? One of the best ways is to procure them as lacewing eggs and release them when the time is right. In this article, we talk about the best way to do this.
Lacewing larvae are beneficial insects. They are biocontrol agents that eat up pests like mites, thrips, and aphids and help eliminate them from your gardens.
If you are dealing with an infestation in your garden, you can purchase their eggs and release their larvae when they hatch.
Continue reading to learn more about how lacewings benefit your garden.
What Do Lacewing Eggs Look Like?
One can easily recognize adult lacewings due to their veinous wings and large, golden eyes, but it will be challenging to spot lacewings’ eggs.
They look like typical insect eggs and can belong to other tiny creatures that crawl in the garden. They are also relatively tiny and hence, difficult to spot.
One of the ways to identify lacewing eggs is to notice the number of eggs on the leaf. A typical lacewing female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time.
Secondly, these eggs will be laid out on stalks instead of directly on the leaf. They would be hanging above the surface.
If you spot these kinds of eggs in your garden, make sure to preserve them carefully, as explained later in the article, because these eggs have many predators.
These eggs are usually found on the surface of leaves of the plants like asparagus, leafy greens, broccoli, and alfalfa. You can also find them on cruciferous plants and fruit crops.
Where Can You Buy Them?
Since green lacewings are beneficial insects, many people consider buying them even in their larval stage. Below are a few online stores to purchase lacewing larvae and their eggs.
When Do They Hatch?
The eggs of lacewings typically take about a week to hatch. When the egg hatches, you can see tiny alligator-like green lacewing larvae coming out.
The larvae then reach the pupal stage and mature as an adult. The entire process takes about four weeks to complete.
How To Release Lacewing Larvae?
Green Lacewings, as adults, should be released immediately after delivery. All you have to do is open the package or jar to release them into the garden.
In the case of the lacewing eggs, you must wait until the larvae emerge and then release them to the foliage.
So, when the product delivers, check for tiny larvae (barely visible) inside the eggs. Once they hatch, sprinkle them near the hotspots of the pests.
However, it would be best if you kept them in the release boxes (that usually come along with the eggs) until the larvae became ready to search for food. These boxes work as a shelter for these predatory insects.
Best Time To Release Them
If you have purchased the green or brown lacewings to release them into the garden, make sure to do so when the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius.
You can also keep these generalist predators in a dark room for three days at a temperature ranging from ten to eighteen degree Celsius before releasing them in the garden.
Additionally, you should ensure that the larvae should be sprinkled or distributed so that there is one lacewing for at least 50 prey.
However, if the area belongs to fast-growing crops, one must distribute the green bodies so that one larva can prey on ten pests.
What To Expect After Releasing Them?
Once you release them, the females will start laying eggs in the hot spot areas of aphids, mites, and other pests.
Once released, it will be difficult to spot the adult lacewings since they would be busy clearing your garden from the infestation.
However, you can easily spot the newly hatched larvae after a week or so and know exactly where they are heading to.
You will also learn about the presence of the larvae once the area starts to clear from infestation.
The larvae are biocontrol agents that begin feeding on pests and small insects as soon as they are exposed to the foliage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are lacewing eggs?
Lacewing is a beneficial insect that lays (female) about 200 eggs or more on the surface of the leaves of cruciferous plants. These eggs are white and tiny – so much so that it is difficult to spot them with the naked eye.
How do you use lacewing eggs?
Lacewing eggs are used to eliminate the garden pests, like aphids, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and more. One can attract adult lacewings into the infested area or release the females in the garden to lay eggs to get rid of the pests.
Why are lacewings good for the garden?
Lacewings are beneficial insects that eat up garden pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.
If your garden or crop field is infested with these pests, you can quickly eliminate them by releasing lacewings into the garden.
Do lacewings bite humans?
Lacewings can bite humans if they feel threatened or provoked. However, it is pretty rare for them to bite humans.
Their bite is harmless and usually doesn’t cause discomfort unless you are allergic to insects. Lacewing larvae are also biters, but their bite doesn’t count for much, either.
Lacewings are certainly helpful agents to human beings. Whether they are larvae or adults, they can help you eliminate unwanted pest infestation in your garden or crop field.
So, keep the eggs safe in your garden, and if you are buying them from the market, make sure you release them as per the tips we shared.
Thank you for reading!
Over the years, many of our readers have shared their experience of releasing lacewing eggs in their gardens, while others have suggested the best way to procure them, and still others have told us about the mistakes that they made.
While we have shared some of these insights in the article above, please go through the emails below to get this knowledge firsthand from our readers.
We might have missed a trick or two, but the cumulative knowledge below is sure to add something to you as well!
Letter 1 – Lacewing Eggs
lacewings, I think
Hi, I just found these eggs on my trampoline net, and thought that was a funny place for someone to lay eggs! I think they are lacewing eggs, from your informative site. I lose track of time on your website; I love it!
You are correct. These are Lacewing Eggs. Lacewings lay their eggs on the silken stalks because the predatory larval Lacewings, called Aphid Lions, are such ravenous eaters they will devour their siblings that hatch later. If you think you loose track of time on the site, just image the time we loose browsing through all the wonderful letters and images (and some considerably less that wonderful) while trying to decide which letters will be posted each day.
Letter 2 – Feather Footed Fly and (probably) Lacewing Eggs
spiral of eggs
We have found several of these egg structures in our yard in Lafayette, LA. All have this near perfect spiral shape. We thought perhaps they were lacewing eggs since they are stalked, but can find no information on this particular pattern being common to lacewings. Could they belong to some other insect? Thanks for your great website. We had a feathered footed fly in our yard this weekend too. What a super cool looking fly. We were bummed to see you already had a bug of the month for September! Thanks again!
Patty & Scott
Hi Patty and Scott,
We choose the Bug of the Month based on what we think will be a common sighting that month. We believe your eggs are Lacewing Eggs. Owlflies also have stalked eggs, but they are often in a horseshoe pattern. Thanks for the awesome image of the Feather Footed Fly, Trichopoda pennipes, an important biological control agent of the Squash Bug. We found a site dedicated to this Tachnid Fly.
Letter 3 – Lacewing Eggs
Result of bug love?Hi, Bugman,
For your ID’ing pleasure, here’s a photo of a what we suppose are (were?) bug eggs on the outside of a window in our house in the woods in southern West Virginia. Each stalk is about 3/16 inch, including the little blob at the end. The blobs were originally rather transparent, with a tan dot in the center. The next day Julian noticed that they were white; they’ve been white ever since (several weeks). For what it’s worth, the spider that lives at the edge of this window apparently doesn’t consider the blobs and stalks to be food. Can you please tell us what they are and what you think accounted for the change in appearance (and anything pertinent that we haven’t thought to ask)?
Ellen and Julian
Victor , West Virginia
PS: For about 9 months last year we watched a similar group (with white blobs) on the outside of another window and didn’t see any change in them. We were hoping that they would hatch into something!
Hi Ellen and Julian,
Mother Nature has developed this ingenious method to perpetuate the Lacewing. Immature lacewings are fierce hunters, and if eggs hatched, the young would quickly devour one another. The female Lacewing deposits each egg at the end of a stalk, so by the time a newly hatched Aphid Wolf or Aphid Lion climbs down, its brothers and sisters have already wandered away.
Letter 4 – Lacewing Eggs
Just like to ask if anyone can provide me with the information on what egg are these? Thank you very much.
Adrian Lee Kian Tat
Stalked eggs are typical of Lacewings. The larvae are so ferocious and hungry, that the first to hatch would devour its siblings, so the stalk is a way to ensure a higher birth rate. The newly hatched larvae have to climb down the stalks, and the theory is they will wander away while siblings are climbing down.
Letter 5 – Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs and Hatchlings
Unknown Insect Unknown Insect Location: North Coast NSW Australia January 1, 2011 12:33 am Hi. I usually can identity most insects in my region but these babies are a complete mystery. These pictures were taken on the ceiling of an exposed patio on the mid north coast of New South Wales Australia. The insects hatched in January which is mid summer. They are very tiny and I used a macro setting on the camera to take a large image, then cropped it to bring the zoom in. (if that makes sense) Thanks for your time. Signature: Niall Dear Niall, These are eggs from the order Neuroptera, and the most likely candidate is that they are the eggs of the Blue Eyes Lacewing, Nymphes myrmeleonides, based on images that are posted to the Brisbane Insect Website. The website indicates “They lay white eggs arranged in ‘U’ shape near houses and fences” and “The larvae are litter dwellers, they cover themselves with debris. They are predators for other small insects. They hunt under logs or debris.”
Letter 6 – Green Lacewing Egg
Green Lacewing eggs Location: Naperville, IL June 27, 2011 9:49 pm Dear Daniel~ I searched but could not find any photos on your site of green lacewing eggs, which are truly remarkable! I found many of these odd (1/4-inch total length) ”footballs on filaments” the other day in the flower umbels and on the edges of the leaves of asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)that I grow for raising Monarchs. I must admit that I panicked at first, thinking my milkweed had some spores growing on it that would be detrimental to the Monarch caterpillars. But green lacewing larvae are voracious aphidlions, and they will consume spider mites as well. Now that I know what they are, not only am I happy to have them, I am relieved I did not rush to remove them from the plants. There are so many fascinating bugs out there! Regards, Signature: Dori Eldridge Hi Dori, We had to dig deep into our archives, back to 2007, to find an image of Green Lacewing Eggs. We love your close-up photograph. Lacewings, and several other Neuropterans, lay eggs on stalks to help the young survive. Hatchling Lacwings are so ravenous upon hatching, that they might feed upon their siblings if they didn’t have the distraction of having to climb down the stalk after hatching. Milkweed surely does produce a fascinating ecosystem. We have gotten very busy with work and our email inbox is filling with unanswered letters, so we are very happy we stumbled upon your submission before it got buried too far under more recent submissions.
Letter 7 – Probably Lacewing Eggs
What lays these eggs on stalks? Location: New Orleans, LA April 1, 2012 5:34 pm I find these clusters of eggs laid on stalks on the frame around my front door. I live in New Orleans (Westbank). These pictures taken 3/31/2012. I have never seen the egg-laying critter. Signature: Carl Hi Carl, These are most likely Lacewing Eggs, though we would not rule out some other species of Neuropteran as a possibility. Insects in the order Neuroptera often lay eggs on stalks. The larvae of Lacewings are fierce predators known commonly as Aphid Wolves. It is believed that they have adapted to laying eggs on stalks to help reduce the possibility that hatchling Aphid Wolves will devour one another upon hatching. Green Lacewings are also called Goldeneyes.
Letter 8 – Blue Eyed Lacewing Eggs from Australia
Subject: Mystery Eggs – Australia Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia January 17, 2015 11:50 pm Hi Guys, Found this under the awning on my back patio. Found another pic of this on this site from 2006 which hasn’t yet been identified (now 2015). Location – Coffs Harbour NSW. Looks very similar to lacewing but in this odd configuration. A fine hair/filament radiates outwards from each “node” and support the structure roughly 10mm from the surface. Another set of hairs support each “node” vertically, from surface to egg. Each filament looks as if it has “droplets” attached along the length, in the same way a spider leaves sticky drops along their sticky strands. Please note, the eggs are solid white, with the filaments being transparent. All dark areas in the pictures should be considered shadows cast by the cameras flash. Signature: Grey Dear Grey, Interestingly, the person who submitted those Neuropteran Eggs in 2006 was named Grev. Your submission has led us to an identification of Blue Eyed Lacewing Eggs, Nymphes myrmeleonides, thanks to Project Noah. There are also images on the University of Sydney Entomology page and the Brisbane Insect website. The larvae of Lacewings are predators with ravenous appetites, and this type of egg configuration helps to ensure that the hatchlings do not devour one another as they must first climb away from the other eggs.
Letter 9 – Lacewing Eggs
Subject: Small hanging pods Location: Interior – Northern Wisconsin April 15, 2015 12:40 pm Found these small pods (the size of a deer ick) hanging from an interior door. Do you know what they are? Signature: P. Menz Dear P. Menz, These are Lacewing Eggs. Lacewings are beneficial predators and it is believed that the eggs have evolved to being laid on stalks to prevent the ravenous Aphid Lions or larval Lacewings from devouring one another when they hatch.
Letter 10 – Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs
Subject: Moth-like creature Location: Sydney, Australia December 30, 2015 2:32 pm Hi Bugman! Last night we saw a large moth-like creature on our wall outside. This morning we see it has left behind a very interesting chain of eggs(?) that are attached to our ceiling with insect like legs. I didn’t get a picture of the insect itself, just the eggs. If you have any idea at all please let me know! Signature: Tom Shamrock Dear Tom, These are Neuropteran Eggs, quite possibly the eggs of a Blue Eyes Lacewing. See these images on the Brisbane Insect site for verification. Thanks Daniel! You are definitely right, many thanks for that we just couldn’t work it out! Tom
Letter 11 – Lacewing Larva eats Eggs
Subject: Peculiar bug with eggs Location: Phoenix, Arizona. urban setting May 19, 2016 3:24 pm I just noticed this bug on a leaf in my Arizona Ash tree, guarding its eggs. What the heck is it?! It’s pretty small about 2 centimeters in length. Signature: Damaris Dear Damaris, This is NOT and insect guarding its eggs. The insect is a Lacewing Larva and as it is not mature, it is not currently capable of laying eggs. Lacewing Larvae are predators that feed on small insects, including Aphids, and we suspect it is eating these eggs, which appear to possibly be the eggs of a moth.
Letter 12 – Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs from Australia
Subject: Weird Bug Location: Sydney, Australia August 19, 2016 7:19 pm Hey there, We found this bug in our garage, any idea what it is? Signature: Dale Dear Dale, These are most likely Blue Eyes Lacewing Eggs. The hatchlings are such fierce and beneficial predators that the species has evolved, indeed many members of the order Neuroptera have evolved, so as to lay eggs in a manner that will help protect the hatchlings from being eaten by one another. The duration needed for each individual to hatch and climb down the stalk helps to separate it from its siblings in both time and space. You may verify our identification on the Australian Museum site where it states: “The larvae are ambush predators with traplike jaws feeding on small invertebrates found in the leaf litter.”
Letter 13 – Hatching Green Lacewing Eggs
Subject: Green Lacewing eggs Location: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA October 14, 2016 8:36 am I think these are Green Lacewing larva hatching. I took this photo today. Signature: Brady Reed Hi Brady, Your image of hatching Green Lacewing Eggs is a marvelous addition to our archives. We have read that the larvae of Green Lacewings are such gregarious hunters, that the species has evolved so that the eggs are laid on stalks to help prevent cannibalism.
Letter 14 – Lacewing Eggs from Australia
Subject: What insect lays these eggs?! Geographic location of the bug: Australia, South East Queensland Date: 10/11/2017 Time: 09:38 AM EDT I’ve been seeing these little clusters of tiny white eggs on long slender stalks in odd places around the house eg, on the internal stairwell, bathroom window, etc. They really are tiny, the whole cluster covers an area no larger than a thumbnail & the eggs are smaller than poppy seeds. In this pic it looks like they’ve hatched.. What are they?! How you want your letter signed: Renee Dear Renee, We are nearly certain these are Lacewing Eggs, but we won’t rule out they might be the Eggs of a different member of the order Neuroptera. Lacewings have extremely predatory larvae, and they have evolved to lay eggs in this manner to help ensure higher survival rates so the hatchling larvae don’t cannibalize each other.
Letter 15 – Lacewing Eggs
Subject: Sperm cillia Geographic location of the bug: Louisiana Date: 10/12/2017 Time: 07:45 PM EDT I found these organisms attached to multiple surfaces outside my home. It hides and attaches itself underneath wood, metal, and plastic. The way they arrange themselves is unique and of different patterns How you want your letter signed: T. Myers Dear T. Myers, The female Lacewing has evolved so that she lays her eggs on stalks to help prevent the ravenous larvae from devouring one another when they hatch. Young Lacewings are called Aphid Wolves.
Letter 16 – Lacewing Eggs
Subject: Egg display Geographic location of the bug: Gulf Coast Date: 10/15/2017 Time: 06:37 PM EDT Found this lovely little display on my patio today. Any chance you know who may have left it? How you want your letter signed: A. Dear A., These are Lacewing Eggs.
Letter 17 – Lacewing Eggs laid on a Hand
Subject: Eggs on a hand Geographic location of the bug: Oklahoma United States Date: 08/03/2018 Time: 01:00 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman:n A bug laid eggs oon my friend’s hand. Creepy but cool too. Can you identify the bug egg? How you want your letter signed: Lee walker Dear Lee, When we initially read your subject line, we really didn’t have much hope we would be of any assistance, however, the eggs of Lacewings are so distinctive, we had no trouble. The Lacewing has adapted to lay its egg on a stalk so that when each egg hatches, the larval Lacewing, commonly called an Aphid Wolf, it has to crawl down the stalk before it can begin to forage for prey. Lacewing larvae have ferocious appetites and they will eat any small creature they encounter. This adaptation helps to prevent cannibalism. We are curious though, how this managed to happen without your friend noticing the insect, because no description of the Lacewing is included in your request.
Letter 18 – Green Lacewing Egg found on Woody Plant
Subject: What’s this egg on my woody plant Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California Date: 09/19/2018 Time: 07:32 AM PDT Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman, Harvest time is fast approaching, and I am inspecting my colas for dreaded Budworms, and I have learned to recognize their eggs, but I noticed a few different eggs I would like identified. They are on a stalk. Thanks for your time. How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener Dear Constant Gardener, We suspect we will get a few comments from our readers regarding the content of your image, but the stalked egg in the lower left corner was laid by a Green Lacewing. Green Lacewings are predators, and their larvae are commonly called Aphid Wolves. Mel Frank Comments Yes, they are all over my plants, every year. It’s one of the reasons I have had only very minor insect infestations and is a main reason I don’t use insecticides–I don’t want to kill the biological helpers.