Tiny flies eating hydrangeas and more

proudgrma(Zone 5)July 14, 2008

I'm not good at identifying insects and "destroyers of plants", though I know slimy ole slugs when I see 'em. My partial shade gardens are swarming with these little teensy flies, maybe a little irredescent? They are eating up my hydrangea leaves and fly out of most plants I walk by or touch. Do you know what they are and how to get rid of them? I could submit a picture of the leaves if that is helpful, but it's too dark right now! Thanks.

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I know of no "teensy flies" that would be eating up hydranges leaves.
There are white flies but they suck sap and are for sure not irridescent....aphids? but they also suck sap and don't fly out.
I am guessing you are seeing a small sweat bee type of insect and the destruction of the leaves is happeniong at night...by slugs or perhaps caterpillers.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:33PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Oh my goodness, I was wondering about the same thing! This year, I have these awful little flies all over my paniculata hydrangeas! I have no idea what they are, but they are just covering the paniculatas like Quick Fire. Also, those darn Japanese Beetles are eating up my Limelight hydrangea too! What on earth is going on? They never touched my Limelight in previous years, but this year, they are eating it up! It's been a very strange year.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 12:30AM
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gazania_gw

My "Quick Fire" is positivly swarming with all kinds of flies/bees and Pennsylvania Leatherwings. None of them seem to be doing any real harm to the leaves and flowers. I believe that they are just there for the pollen. This shrub was planted in early summer last year. What little bloom it had last summer was quickly destroyed by Japanese Beetles. This year the shrub is blooming heavily and I am seeing very few JBs on it. Maybe all those other guys are keeping them away. Fine with me.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 6:31AM
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proudgrma(Zone 5)

I will get a picture of the leaves and possibly the insect and post it later. Thanks so far!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:29AM
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proudgrma(Zone 5)

Here are a couple photos of the leaves and the little flies that seem to be eating them. Any help in identifying them and what remedy is available is greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 10:51AM
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phyl345(z.5)

oooohhhh ... that's exactly what i have!

i suspect there is no solution, however ... sigh ... the joys of gardening, hey?

phyl

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 4:17PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Heres a link for white flies

Here is a link that might be useful: whiteflies

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 8:59PM
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cynandjon(Z 5/6)

Seeing bugs on your plants doesnt always mean they are bad. heres a link for lacewings which look simular.Lace wings eat bad bugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: lacewings

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:02PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Don't know what the "tiny flies" are...but I know what they aren't.
They are not white flies, and they aren't what's eating your hydrangea leaves...that is plainly slug damage. Get some slug-go and leave the teensy flies to do whatever it is they are doing....likely pollinating your flowers.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:28PM
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proudgrma(Zone 5)

Here's a couple more varmits I found today. One is an earwig, right? I haven't seen any slugs....yet.

irridescent fly

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 11:50PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

The bottom is a sweat bee...likely a pollinator of your plants.
Nothing to worry about...gardens have bugs.
Go out after dark with a flash light if you are looking for slugs. they hide during the day.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:48AM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

I just googled this because I have swarms of these little critters on my quick fire. . . no damage that I can see just annoying to walk through them.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:05PM
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gazania_gw

I rather enjoy all the insect activity on my H. Quick Fire. Me and my scooter, have worn a distinct path around it as I watch in fascination the variety of pollen seekers.

I sometimes wonder if all those swarming insects on my Quick Fire are what cause the change in color of the bloom from white to pink.

In past years the Pennsylvania Leatherwing has been abundant on this shrub and just about everything else that blooms in my yard. Sadly, this 'good guy' beetle is rare this year as are most of the usual butterflies.

In the picture, Quick Fire and friends. The lower most insect is a Leatherwing

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:04AM
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ayimera(7a NoVA)

I have a sweat bee party going on around and on my buttonbush. Not sure why they are congregating there, but there must be at least 10! Poor buttonbush, already got decimated by leafcutter bees. The sacrificial lamb to pollinators.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 11:14AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I read the thread title as "Tiny flesh-eating hydrangeas".

I sure don't want any of those in my garden!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:27PM
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babera(5a (Montana))

I agree with lindac. . . my macro Hydrangeas are slug magnents. . . I tried everything I could think of. . . beer bait (works but have to do it every time you water) egg shells, coffee grounds, ironite, even 60 grit sandpaper and lastly I just pile up the small stickery twigs from my huge fir tree and small pinecones at the base and all around hydrangeas and hostas. Im not sure which one is working but they are all staying right where they are cuz one of them is working.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:56PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Proudgma, your irridescent insect looks like a beneficial Longlegged Fly to me.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Earwigs can do a lot of damage and you normally see a lot more of them at night with a flashlight. If you don't see slugs, I'd suspect earwigs could be doing that damage. I have not seen them bother my hydrangeas before. They prefer basil and echinaceas usually.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:48AM
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