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What Does it Mean If Dead Flies Are Stuck to Plants in Your Garden?

By Rena Sherwood ; Updated September 21, 2017
The larvae of the flies eats vegetable seeds, especially corn seed.

The dead flies stuck to twigs, vines and other garden plants are most likely seedcorn maggot flies or Delia platura. The larvae of these flies damage vegetables but not flowers, trees or vines.

Identification

Seedcorn maggot flies are grayish with red eyes and only around 1/5 inch long. Dead seedcorn flies stuck to plants often have pink stripes around their abdomens.

Significance

Those pink stripes on the dead flies are the reason why the flies died. They are the spores of entomophthora fungus. The fungus seems to interfere with the flies' coordination. They land on a leaf, vine, twig or plant and die.

Time Frame

Dead seedcorn maggot flies usually appear stuck on plants in early spring, especially when the weather is cool, according to Iowa State University. But they can appear up to summer because they can breed up to five generations in one year, according to the University of Kentucky.

 

About the Author

 

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.