Since it's summertime, let's steer the conversation back to the insect world...that is, if the conversation ever really LEFT the insect world. I've already recounted my ordeal with chiggers; let's hope these little things don't also become an ordeal.

'Voracious' Lacewing Larvae

In Kentucky, you just might look down and see something walking on the ground or the sidewalk that looks like a small clod of dirt or a piece of food with legs. It is neither. Nor is it some bizarre, amorphous creature scientists have yet to discover. No, you might just be looking at a lacewing larva. And why isn't a fully adult insect, you might ask? Well, we're going to dig into that.

You can see why it's nickname is "junk bug"; that's what it looks like it's hauling. Except that's not junk; those are the remains of their prey. They have been described as voracious predators, but they are also beneficial creatures, preying on pests that are garden nuisances.

Additionally, if you're outside and you experience a slight sting, you might have been bitten by a lacewing larva. However, you may not know it because the resulting mark itches like a mosquito bite and resembles one, too. As if we didn't have enough biters or stingers to deal with in the summertime. The good news is that the bites are merely annoying AND rare. One might find its way onto your skin, but it's not likely to bite you unless it's agitated.

Green Lacewings -- Even More Beneficial as Adults

If you're not familiar with lacewings in the larva stage, you've probably seen them as adults when they grow into green lacewings. I know I have. Plus, they become even MORE beneficial as they get older.

I never get through a summer without getting bitten hundreds of times. Mosquitos, spiders, name it. And now that I've done my research, I'll add lacewing larvae into the mix.

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