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Don’t throw out your trash bugs

Brown and Green lacewings,  are beneficial insects that attack and feed on pests such as aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, whiteflies, and other soft-bodies insects. Because of this, they are important in biological control. Some green lacewing larvae are called “Trashbugs” because they cover themselves with the skins of their victims and other debris. Previous literature suggested brown lacewings were also trash-bearers, but this is inaccurate. There are 22 species of green lacewings in Florida and 10 species of brown lacewing.

Brown Lacewings of Florida
Green Lacewings of Florida
Beneficial Insects: Lacewings and Ladybugs

This post was edited by Michelle Leonard-Mularz, Environmental Horticulture Agent for Monroe County, to correct the previous statement that brown lacewings were also trash-bearers.
Photo credit: UF/IFAS







3 Comments on “Don’t throw out your trash bugs

  1. Do they bite and are they anything to worry anout if they do ?

  2. Hi kgabel,
    You may wish to consider updating your statements above. Some, but not all, green lacewings (Chrysopidae) are “trash carriers”, but no brown lacewings (Hemerobiidae) have ever been shown definitively to carry trash. Earlier reports in the literature to this effect all appear to be misidentifications of green lacewing larvae. Your left photo above is a chrysopid; the right photo is a hemerobiid.
    John Oswald
    Prof. Entomology, Texas A&M University
    P.S. I’m a Neuroptera systematist…

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