Vegetable Garden

Wednesday Wigglers ~Hoverfly

March 23, 2011
Hoverfly on Kale Flowers

Kale Flowers


Often mistaken for wasps (they don’t have a pinched waste though), hoverflies are most definitely a FRIEND and should be wholeheartedly encouraged by anybody hoping to garden organically.

Their larvae are voracious devourers of aphids (greenfly, blackfly) but they can easily be mistaken for little caterpillars if you’ve never seen them before.

Known as beneficial insects, hoverfly can be encouraged into gardens by planting flowers that they are attracted to. These would include dill, borage, coriander, lavender, nasturtiums, poached egg-plant, Phacelia and Calendula (pot marigolds) to name but a few.

So next time an insect buzzes around you, don’t automatically swat it out-of-the-way. Take a few seconds to have a look and see if you can identify it.

Note: Insecticidal soaps don’t discriminate…. they will kill beneficial larvae too.


  • Reply 12 Friendly Creatures We Want To See In Our Gardens September 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    […] the larvae of hoverfly eat aphids but planting flowers such as limnanthes (poached egg flower) or any other yellow or […]

  • Reply Can We Save the Pollinators of Ireland? | Greenside UpGreenside Up March 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    […] 180 species in Ireland) don’t just pollinate plants, they help organic growers fight pests too. Hoverfly larvae feast on aphids so planting flowers around our gardens such as Limnanthes that attract them, helps to keep aphid […]

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