We are loving the Natural Enemy Spotlight that has been showing up in our USU seasonal “Vegetable IPM Advisory” as of late! The most recent introduction is the Lacewing.
“Lacewings are generalist predators and are commonly found in agricultural, landscape, and garden habitats. Most species of lacewing adults are predaceous, while others feed strictly on honeydew, nectar, and pollen. Larvae prey upon a wide variety of small insects including mealybugs, psyllids, thrips, mites, whiteflies, aphids, small caterpillars, leafhoppers, and insect eggs.”
Here are some tips on how to attract them to your landscape:
- Start with using as many different native plants as you can. Try to incorporate native flowering plants in addition to the fancy varieties
- Plan for nectar and pollen availability all summer long. Seek out plants that have long-lived blooms so that adult natural enemies always have access to food. Consider using flowers that bloom at different times of the year for continuous pollen production.
- Natural enemies might initially be attracted to an area because of the available pollen and nectar, but will not necessarily stay. In general, predatory insects like to reproduce and generate offspring near a generous food supply of other insects. For example, lacewings like to lay their eggs on plants that are infested with aphids because it ensures the offspring will have food to eat when they hatch into larvae.
- Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides whenever possible, because they can kill beneficial insects too. –Bonnie Bunn, Utah State University Extension, Vegetable IPM Associate
For the the full IPM Advisory click HERE