Definition - What does Lacewing mean?
A lacewing is a small insect with a slender body and clear, lace-like, membranous wings. Lacewings are considered to be beneficial insects, rather than pest insects.
In cannabis cultivation, larval lacewings are predators of aphids, which are tiny insects that create huge problems for marijuana growers as they feed by sucking the sap out of the plants.
To avoid the overuse of pesticides, many gardeners who see aphids in their growrooms buy lacewings to reduce their aphid problems. Lacewings are a common component in integrated pest management (IPM) plans. Although they look delicate, lacewings are hungry bugs looking to feast on aphids, while leaving plant matter alone.
Hydrolife explains Lacewing
Aphids can be a devastating problem for both indoor and outdoor cannabis growers because they live in large colonies and can produce live young incredibly fast. Once aphids have infested a grow space, they feed on plant matter and leave behind a sticky mess. Plus, it is very hard to get rid of them.
Enter lacewings, which are an organic gardener's ally in the fight against aphids. Lacewings can be purchased at various gardening centers so that growers don't have to resort to potentially harmful pesticides, which, while saving their crop, ultimately make it less marketable to cannabis connoisseurs.
Adult lacewings are not harmful to plants because they feed exclusively on pollen and nectar. In fact, they even play a part in the pollination process, as they fly from one plant to another to feed. In their larval stage, lacewings are also called aphid wolves or aphid lions. A single larval lacewing can eat about 200 aphids in a one week. And, if the aphid population drops too low for them to feed, lacewing larvae will not resort to eating your plants but will eat other larvae instead.
Adult lacewings can lay as many as 200 eggs at a time, usually located close to an aphid colony on the undersides of the leaves. Once the larvae hatch, they will climb off of the leaf to hunt and eat aphids. They’ll do this for two to three weeks, and then they will spin their cocoons and undergo metamorphosis to become flying adults in about five days.