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insects on sunflowers

Hi! We have various bees on the heads of our sunflowers, but also a lot of flies.  Not a problem, th ebirds will enjoy eating them, I'm sure, but what are they doing there? Do flies take nectar?  Any ideas?

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  • Hi their are several fly type insects that feed on plants like thrips, aphids, white fly and black fly. Their easily dealt with simply buy some yellow sticky boards on amazon,  a company called russell ipm seem to be a good seller i bought some from them. They seem to attract them pretty well and it helps to protect your plants

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Sorry!!-yellow traps for catching insects outside-I think not!!image

    Fine in a greenhouse for an aphid attack but if you put these outside it will attract and trap all beneficial insects-I don't think Will was that bothered about the flies in his original post and nor should anybody else.

  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013
    sotongeoff wrote (see)

    Sorry!!-yellow traps for catching insects outside-I think not!!image

    Fine in a greenhouse for an aphid attack but if you put these outside it will attract and trap all beneficial insects-I don't think Will was that bothered about the flies in his original post and nor should anybody else.

    I so agree with Geoff !!!

    Pam x

  • Hi!  Sorry if I've started a dispute.  I certainly diidn't mean to!  image

    I don't want to get rid of the flies - I like the idea of everything being part of a big food chain.   They're just your basic houseflies, as far as I know.  If the birds etc want to eat them, that's fine too (the flies may feel differently about that!). 

    Anyway, I've had a root around on the internet and it seems the Japanese rear flies specifically to pollinate sunflowers, so it seems the answer to my question is "Yes".

    Well, I hope everyone has a great Bank Holiday weekend, with lots of sun for getting out in the garden.

    All the best, Will.

     

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Sunflowers are made up of many, many separate flowers in concentric circles.  To get the well-known sunflower seeds every flower has to be pollinated.  So leave the pollinators be!

    If they are good seed-bearing variety you will have to put paper bags over the heads when the seeds are filling or the sparrows, etc will eat them all.

  • I find it hard to believe that anyone who has actually bothered to read what I have written in the discussion would think I want to kill any of these insects, but just for the record:

    I DO NOT WANT TO GET RID OF THESE ANIMALS.

    OK?

     

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    You're a bit late to the very short discussion @mattildnw8Ok_hU - just the 11 years.... ;)

    No idea what you're talking about either - 'with a bit of salt enjoy later in the year'? 
    Goldfinches here are the same colour regardless of gender too.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • First I suppose I will question where "here" is as the North American Goldfinch all spring and summer as they feed upon the sunflower ( or other seed resources ) are male a bright yellow and female a slight green or olive color. Winter will make them more difficult to part. And salt is for those who enjoy a baked sunflower seeds this fall and winter !
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,905
    This is mainly a UK based forum, so 'here' is the UK.  :)
    Your goldfinches must be very different from ours. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,953
    edited August 2023
    On this forum ‘here’ is usually Great Britain as this is a UK based website related to a UK tv programme … these are ‘our’ goldfinches 

    https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/animals/birds/goldfinch/ 

    Males and females have the same colouration. 


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





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