how to get rid of hoverfly

You love your beautiful garden plants and flowers, and so do numerous pests such as aphids, leafhoppers, and many more that want to feed on their stems and leaves.

Commonly known as syrphid flies or flower flies, hoverflies can be found throughout the world, except in Antarctica, and are widely seen nectaring or hovering at flowers.

Nonetheless, hoverflies are your friends since even though they drink nectar from flowers, they will help you control several different pests in your garden, including cabbage worms, caterpillars, mealybugs, and aphids.

What is the Lifecycle of Hoverflies?

The female hoverfly lays tiny white eggs on shoots and leaves near aphid colonies. Each female hoverfly may lay hundreds of eggs. The eggs may hatch within two to three days. They are tiny legless maggots that range from creamy-white to green or brown.

Hoverfly larvae consume up to 400 aphids in their developmental period between two and three weeks. 

During the latter half of the growing season, you will notice hoverflies after the aphid infestations have plagued your garden.

Why Do I Have Hoverflies in My Garden?

Adult hoverflies are attracted to weedy borders or mixed garden plantings infested with aphids. They are particularly attracted to specific flowers, including wild mustard, sweet alyssum, coriander, dill, Queen Anne’s lace, and other small-flowered herbs.

Additionally, hoverflies often swarm around humans and even land on them, presumably searching for salts and moisture on the skin.

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Are Hoverflies Harmful?

Hoverflies are helpful flies that are crucial for organic gardening and pest control. They help in pollination, and the larvae feed on aphids like mealy bugs, mites, scale, and other pests that harm plants.

While the hoverflies might get you concerned because they resemble wasps, they will not harm you since they cannot bite or sting. If you let them live in your garden, they will do more good than harm.

How to Get Rid of Hoverfly

If you want to get rid of the hoverflies, some methods can help you. Have a look at the following ways how to get rid of hoverfly around your home:

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1. Use a Fly Repellent

Using a fly repellent is another way to get rid of hoverfly. Several different items work as a natural repellent for hoverflies, which will also eliminate other types of pesky flies.

You do not need to be concerned about the safety of your pets and children since natural repellents are harmless.

Here are some of the natural repellent:

Citronella Smoke: Citronella candles or oil can help you deter hoverflies from visiting your garden or patio. The smoke will drive them away quickly.

Citrus Fruit Peels: Citrus fruit peels act as a deterrent for all types of flies. Place them wherever the hoverflies are congregating, and they will go away.

Lemon and Cloves: Cut a lemon in half and stick cloves all over it. Use this to drive away hoverflies by placing them close to the area where the flies live.

Vinegar, Soap, and Water: Mix these three ingredients in a spray bottle. Then spray the area where the hoverflies are to send them away.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Mineral Oil, Dish Soap, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, and Basil Oil: This concoction is strong enough to deter hoverflies and several other flying pests. You would want to use it outside since it has a powerful smell.

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2. Offer Plants With Pollen and Nectar

While hoverflies can be annoying, the good thing is that you can provide them with plants to feed on the pollen and nectar. Hoverflies are beneficial to your garden, and their larvae will help reduce pests.

3. Use a Fly Trap

You can use fly traps to get rid of Hoverflies, but it will kill them. Nonetheless, if they take over your patio or are in your house, you may have no other alternative.

Here are a few fly traps that you can consider:

Fly Zapper: Hang a fly zapper on your patio to attract hoverflies. These flies will die once they get in touch with it since the zapper uses electricity to zap them.

Fly Tape: You can purchase sticky fly traps that you can hang up, and the flies will be attracted to them. They are covered in a substance like corn oil which attracts the flies. The flies will then get trapped and die.

Fly Trap Plants: You can use carnivorous plants such as Sundew or Venus Fly Trap to trap and kill the flies. 

Vinegar Trap: Vinegar works excellently as a trap for hoverflies. You can put vinegar in a soda bottle that is cut in half. Add a drop of dish soap into the bottle, then cover the top with plastic wrap and make some holes in it. The hoverflies will be attracted to go into the bottle to get vinegar and get stuck by the soap.

Sugar Water Fly Trap: Dissolve some sugar in water in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Make some holes in the plastic, and the flies will go in since they are attracted to the sugar.

4. Use a Fan

If the hoverflies are on your patio and you have an outlet, you can make use of the fan. Hoverflies do not like the fan; therefore, they will leave and find another home when you put on the fan and open the outlet in your patio.

You need to be persistent and keep the fan on during the day until the hoverflies move to a different location. In case they come back, turn on the fan again.

Final Thoughts

Hoverflies resemble wasps since they have black and yellow bodies. Nonetheless, they will not sting or bite you. They feed on nectar and pollen, and they are essential for pollination. 

They lay their eggs near aphids, and their larvae eat garden pests. Most people try to draw hoverflies to their garden for this reason.

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