The garden thrips are on notice! Lacewings are on the scene.
A small packet of lacewing eggs arrived yesterday by mail. The packet contained an unimpressive looking plastic bag that, to the naked eye, looked like a bag of sawdust. My eyes aren’t what they used to be so I examined the bag closely with my nifty light-up magnifying glass, a gift from Bruce and Shirley. Still no sign of those eggs. The instructions reassured me that the eggs were in there and would be “hatching any minute” if they hadn’t done so already. Well then, no time to waste!
After dinner, my husband watered the affected plants and the Magnolia tree and we set out the eggs. Seriously, it felt like a practical joke because I couldn’t see anything but the sawdust.
The instructions suggest stapling a paper cup to a tree leaf and filling it with some of the eggs. That was the hardest part. I’m clumsy, so trying to staple the bottom of a paper cup to a thin leaf at the top of a tree was…challenging. We scattered the rest of the eggs at the base of the plants.
Guess what? As of this morning, a few already hatched. The packet contained “1,000 eggs” though how you could have counted is anyone’s guess. I hope the emerging larva are hungry.
We ordered our beneficial insects via the Internet from Orcon (Organic Control, Inc.) based in Los Angeles. If you live outside the states, search under “beneficial garden insects” for a source near you. Introducing the appropriate beneficial insect to your garden is safe for plants, people and pets, reducing the need for dangerous and toxic pesticides.