Lacewings to the Rescue
Photos & text by Albert Brian Vick, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator
Grant Howell – head butterfly honcho for the Butterflies LIVE! exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – was unhappy to see a swarm of yellow aphids attacking a milkweed plant being groomed for the butterfly habitat. It wasn’t all gloom & doom, because Grant’s trained eyes spotted a string of lacewing eggs, along with a few adult lacewings. The lacewing larvae have a voracious appetite for aphids. Grant’s next concern will be ants, because ants enjoy the honeydew produced by aphids – to the extent that the ants will defend the aphids by consuming the lacewing eggs.