The larval Green Lacewing doesn't look like an insect at first glance. It resembles a dirty cotton ball or pile of plant and dead insect debris. This coat of camouflage is collected early after hatching in order to conceal itself from predators like ants. Green Lacewing larvae have huge appetites. They hatch and are immediately hungry. For this reason, females lay the tiny white eggs some distance apart so the siblings don't rush to eat each other as they hatch.
Larvae eat any small insect they encounter, and aphids (smaller flying insect that are the bane of gardeners and growers) are on top of the list. For this reason, they are also called "aphid lions". Aphids drink the juices of young plants, often killing them. Infestations are difficult to eliminate due to their rapid reproduction rate. Ants herd aphids like sheep in order to collect the sweet 'honeydew' they secrete from their bottoms. Because Green Lacewing larvae eat aphids, ants are quick to kill them to protect the herd, hence the need for camouflage. Unchecked by ants, Green Lacewings can control aphid populations without the need for chemical pesticides.
Adult Green Lacewings also eat aphids as well as pollen and the 'honeydew' created by aphids. Some species eat mealworms and other vegetable-harming insect. Green Lacewings can emit a foul smelling secretion when threatened. They are most active in the summer months.