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Aphid Eating Dragon

Lacewing

If you are troubled by aphids on your roses and other plants do not worry, help is at hand which does not involve chemical sprays or washing up liquid. The answer is to invite Lacewings into your garden, encourage them to lay their eggs and let the emerging larvae do the rest.

Lacewings are beautiful, delicate insects with large intricately veined wings usually held tent like over the abdomen. The family is typified by the Lacewing Larva and aphidcommon green and the related brown and dusty lacewings are common in Britain. The adults feed on nectar and honeydew and the larvae, which have the appearance of small cartoon crocodiles, are ferocious predators of aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, thrips and many other garden pests. Each larva can eat upwards of 300 aphids or other pests during the course of its development.

Lacewing box To encourage lacewings, construct a box similar in size to a bird-nesting box with an open front and three or four floors fixed at a downward angle. Pack each floor with a variety of different gauged tubes. Garden canes and straws are ideal.

Next spray with an attractant and hope lacewings will visit and lay eggs. The box needs to be out in the open between March and November then over wintered in a frost-free shed.

Attractant available from:

Biotal,
5 Chiltern Close,
Cardiff,
CF4 5DL
Tel. 0117 – 9634194

To be sure of establishing lacewings, get a starter pack of eggs from

The School of Pure and Applied Biology,
University of Wales, P.O.Box 915,
Cardiff
CF1 3TL.

Bob Morgan