Beneficial Bug: The Hover Fly

Familiar garden predators like ladybugs and praying mantises often get all the credit for controlling bad bugs. Check out what this largely unsung backyard hero can do.

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Hoverfly

What's not to like about an insect that eats harmful garden bugs and pollinates flowers?

When it's young, the hover fly feeds voraciously on soft-bodied insects like aphids, scale, thrips and caterpillars. The adult feeds on nectar and, in so doing, inadvertently moves pollen from flower to flower. As colony collapse disorder continues to decimate large numbers of honeybees, the hover fly has stepped up in importance as a backup pollinator.

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