London (change)
8 messages
16/05/2014 at 18:39

I know birds eat aphids and greenfly but do they eat black flies too?  I noticed two stalks of my philadelphus were covered in tiny black flies and I cut the tips off, sprayed them, wrapped them up and put them in the bin.  I'm just wondering, instead of trying to get rid of them like that - if i could put the stems on the bird table because the flies stayed on them even when I'd snipped them. 

16/05/2014 at 19:38

The birds keep the green aphids down for me, but they don't seem to like blackfly around here.  Perhaps they taste nasty?  I'm not going to test that theory though!

16/05/2014 at 20:52

ah my philadelphus was covered in blackfly too yesterday, obviously a favourite plant with them 

16/05/2014 at 22:06

They do indeed .

16/05/2014 at 22:13

Am I right in thinking, as we have had quite a mild winter there will be more bugs than usual?  The greenfly on my lupins are enoumous and prolific!  

16/05/2014 at 22:55

Lorraine, those are a specific kind of aphid called (not surprisingly) 'Lupin aphid':

They are indeed huge and birds seem to avoid them too!

16/05/2014 at 23:13

No, I haven't seen birds eat blackfly. But I have seen ladybird larvae and hoverfly larvae eat them. Ladybird and hoverfly larvae look fairly similar to blackfly if you don't pay attention, so it may be possible to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

16/05/2014 at 23:50

Thanks for the info & link, Bob.     Will commence battle with them tomorrow.

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8 messages