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Old 05-19-2019, 08:53 AM
 
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They began swarming and mating in one area of plants a few days ago. Yesterday nobody I talked to could ID it, and I sprayed with Eight. That worked, but this morning a new batch of bugs was swarming around. They have spread to some plants near the recently-added one that might have been infested. I need to get more Eight today.

Very worried that they will harm the other plants, some of which are large, slow-growing shrubs.

The mulch (shredded cedar from WA state) I put around the new plant came from a plastic bag and the rest of the bag looks clean. The new plant replaced a Mojave Sage that died last fall, I thought perhaps from drought stress despite drip irrigation. Now I wonder...
Attached Thumbnails
Can you ID this insect?-c91a2505-0a1b-4341-8c5c-40c0788dc870.jpeg  
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:56 AM
 
Location: KY
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…..……….Look close to a Stone Fly.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:19 AM
 
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Hard to get the right combination of the short antennae, dark "shoulders" and one dimensional sort of view. Black fly? Take a look at google images.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Southern MN
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A Push-Me-Pull-You?

Sorry. . .
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:11 AM
 
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I think they are Bibioni marci or related. The moist mulch is teeming with them, and they might be feeding on plants. I saw some bugs toting eggs this morning.

If I remove the mulch that likely has eggs in it, I fear the females will lay eggs in other areas. It is supposed to rain today, so applying Eight is not recommended. Guess I will have to stomp on the ones I can see on the ground and keep spraying every day that weather permits, which at this point looks like not for another week!

The males have big heads and the females have small ones, as the photo shows.

Last year I didn’t notice them in any masses, but it was an exceptional drought year, unlike this winter and spring.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:57 AM
 
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See the image of the bibioni marci looks blacker and hairier than the pic. You are on the scene. So it's definite for future info? Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petsandgardens View Post
See the image of the bibioni marci looks blacker and hairier than the pic. You are on the scene. So it's definite for future info? Thanks.
Not definite, as there are supposedly more than 600 types of Bibionidae flies. Worse, some descriptions state that they are good for promoting humus in soil (beneficial), while others warn that they are harmful to plant roots or even humans and livestock. Another problem is that the term March flies includes ones that bite people and animals, which these do not appear to do.

The plant I think they came in with, a Kannah Creek Buckwheat, is one of the flowering plants that was mentioned as being fed upon by them. However, I cannot see any damage to leaves or stems. The bugs definitely like the plant. Someone suggested that the plant might exude a slight sulfur odor (it is also called Sulfur Buckwheat), and this attracts them.

Every time I walk by that area, I look for more of them and then I STOMP THOSE SOBS! Top priority are the mating pairs. Some of the single bugs when squished manifest an egg, mashed. UGH. The Eight spray harms bees and I really hate to use such chems. But it does kill the flies on contact.

At this point, I don’t know what to do other than stomping on any that appear. There might be better sprays that do not harm other animals. I could dig up the plant and bag it for trash, but if the flies and eggs are not harmful I would have killed a plant for nothing.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:09 AM
 
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I think those are lovebugs, aren't they?


https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...bugs&FORM=IGRE
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:12 AM
 
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According to this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovebug they should not be harmful to your plants.


Larvae feed on partially decayed vegetation, and adults drink nectar, mostly from clover, goldenrod and Brazillian Pepper.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I think those are lovebugs, aren't they?


https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...bugs&FORM=IGRE


I think so too..'
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