Question regarding lacewing release

woohoomanJune 15, 2013

I'll probably be ordering some lacewing larvae/eggs shortly -- anticipating the yearly onslaught of whiteflies.

A couple questions --

I have somewhat of an ant problem and I've read that ants will eat the eggs of lacewings. Right now, I'm using DE around the base of my plants and trees to keep the ants at bay. But, after the release of the eggs, are the larvae going to be harmed by the DE climbing out of a tree or tomato plant in search of food? Should I set up a couple of ant baits before I even order the larvae? And remove as much DE as possible?

Also, can anybody give a list of reputable sites that don't cost an arm and a leg for larvae?



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Diamotaceous Earth kills insect by cutting the exoskelton of the target and since ants walk above where the DE usually is it will not do that. I have also seen something about ants ingesting the DE, which they will not do. So contrary to what people that sell this product tell us it is unlikely that DE is a good method of ant control.
Some ant species are known to eat some insect pests while others do not. Some ant species subsist on protein while others subsist on sugars, like us they all have different jobs to do.
If you provide the right habitat for the lacewings those ants will not be a problem. If you do not provide a good lacewing habitat the ants will not make any difference.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Thanks kimmsr-- you provided me with new info, but that really wasn't my question. What I do with the DE is pull back the mulch around my plants some and put down a a fair amount around the stalk of a tree or plant. This DOES keep the ants away -- at least until the next watering ...LOL

The question was -- say I hang a lacewing card in my tangerine tree and there's a layer of DE below... am I just building a death trap for the lacewing larvae as they "hatch" and then descend from the tree in search of food? Lacewing larvae don't fly, right?

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:33AM
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Are there just not a lot of experts that frequent the IPM forum or release lacewings? Should I try a different forum?


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:33PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

So how are you supposed to place the eggs? Why should they even come into contact with the soil? The larvae need to find their food on the plants, right?

I admit to being pretty clueless. I've never been a personal fan of bringing in predatory or parasitic critters and releasing them in the great outdoors. Do they actually do what they are supposed to do?

I'm always so happy to see them hard at work in my garden, but the adults lay their eggs with a purpose....near a food source. Tell me how this works when you ship them in.

You 'might ' get some good information in the Organic Gardening forum. And, write down all of your questions and concerns and call the company. I'll bet that you get all kinds of good advice.

Please let me know what you find out. I'm very interested.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 12:01PM
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Rhizo1: will do! But to answer your question a tad, apparently one is supposed to create an insectary(plant plants that are attractive to the beneficials) so that when they've done their job, they have a place to feed on the nectar and reproduce. I'm in the midst of creating one, so THIS year I was planning on purchasing some lacewings. I see one or two a year, but as of this day, I don't think I have a balanced enough garden to attract them in masses. Gophers got everything but the sunflowers this year, but I've since resown some asters, zinnia, bachelor buttons, and "beneficial" herbs.



    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 2:00PM
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