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  • Green Lacewings or Ladybugs?

    Created by Francine on

    Hi. We have a live oak tree that has an aphid problem. I released a few ladybugs on it last year and it worked pretty well. I’ve since learned that Green Lacewings may be a better solution as they’ll stay put longer. Since I need to get them in the tree, what is the best way to do that? And I’m assuming 1,000 would be plenty — at least to start. None of our other trees or plants have the aphids. An arborist already trimmed the tree which helped, but they’re back (not as bad as before). Thanks!

  • Author
  • #242487

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Francine –

    Both lacewings and ladybugs will attack aphids and other soft bodied pests quickly and effectively providing long term pest control without the use of toxic sprays. Most organic growers experienced with using beneficial insects actually prefer lacewing to ladybugs as they tend to stick around longer — they do not fly off! However, lacewing are very difficult to find after they hatch. Newly hatched lacewing larvae are about 1/8″ long, gray-green in color, and hang out on the undersides of plant leaves.

    Most gardeners are very familiar with ladybugs. They are shipped as adults and arrive healthy ready to go to work in your garden. When your package of live, healthy ladybugs arrives from us you know what you have — it is extremely satisfying when the beetles come bursting out of the mesh bag. Lacewing, on the other hand, are shipped as eggs packed in a carrier (rice hulls). Larvae soon hatch out and will feed for 2-3 weeks before becoming adults, but a common complaint is, “I never saw them.” Also, because, lacewing only feed on aphids in the larval stage, a second release, two weeks later, may be necessary.

    In my opinion, ladybugs are best for tree applications. Ladybugs are natural climbers and will move up the tree in search of aphids, which tend to cluster on new growth. Just makes sure to reduce the ant population prior to release. Ants will protect aphids for the honeydew they produce.


    Hope this helps!



    Thanks! I’ll go ahead with the ladybugs then if they’re better for trees. What is the best amount to get for a mature tree?

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