Brown Lacewing, Micromus variegatus, is one of the lesser-known but highly-efficacious natural predators. Unlike its cousin – the green lacewing, whose larva are the only predators – Brown Lacewings are predatory at all life stages. In fact, the adults are likely the most voracious life stage. An introduction of brown lacewing into your crop or garden early in the Spring is a sure way of starting the year with greatly-reduced pest pressure.
- Melon aphid (aphis gossypol)
- Foxglove aphid (Aulacorthum solani)
- Green Peach aphid (myzus Persicae)
- Potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphoria)
- Most other aphid species
- Long-tailed mealybugs (pseudococcus longispinus)
- whiteflies (greenhouse and tobacco whitefly)
- Soft-bodied insects (caterpillars and nymphs)
- Thrips and invertebrate eggs
- Commercially available
- All life-stages are predatory
- Controls aphids at temperatures down to 4 degrees celsius
- Does not diapause due to short day-length.
- Flying insects find their own food.
- They “lay dead” when disturbed and hunt and night, reducing their likelihood of becoming prey.
- Native to North America and will cycle year after year in most USDA zones.
- Leaves no trace of aphids (like honeydew or aphid “mummies”) so it is usable on ornamental crops (like cut flowers and lettuces)
- Does not seem inhibited on strong smelling plants, like kitchen herbs.
Brown Lacewings are sold as adults – just open the lid and let them fly. Rates of application are generally unknown as it is only recently become commercially available. Always start preventatively and with the smallest rate – Save your money! Adults live for several weeks and produce 100-150 eggs. So getting them in early means you’ll be producing your own.
Lacewings, including this one, are found all over the world. As adults they are all pollinators (even those that are predators) and their larva are solely predators and good ones:
The Bug Lady: (Western Canada) http://thebuglady.ca
Anatis Bioprotection (Quebec): http://anatisbioprotection.com/en/
NIC: Natural Insect Control (Eastern Canada): https://www.naturalinsectcontrol.com
Read more: How to control Aphids
Read more: Never Buy Ladybugs