Syrphid Flies

The Ubiquitous Hover Fly

These little wasp like bugs are also called hover flies, because that's what they do, hover over and around flowers and plants.

Syrphid Fly

They're not looking so much for the flower nectar or pollen, although as adults, they do eat that too, but for pests, like aphids. They lay their eggs nearby a good pest population so that the tiny larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch.

These flies, although they resemble a wasp in coloring, don't sting. They use the resemblance to a wasp as protection from other larger insects that could harm them, like dragonflies and spiders.

You can entice them to stay in your garden by providing many flowering plants - don't stop at just flowers; they have a special attraction to dill and other umbelliferous plants, which is a good thing as dill is notoriously easy to self seed where it prefers to grow.

Other favorites are parsley, carrots, and parsnips, as they enter the biennial phase of their lives and start to send up long flower stalks. Many beneficial insects love these plants for the nectar, pollen, and other food sources like aphids they contain.

Don't weed out these kinds of 'weeds' as they perform such a valuable service in your garden; attracting and nurturing predator populations.

If you see hover flies in your garden, and you most likely will if you garden organically, you can rest easy knowing that they are busily taking care of the pests for you.

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