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.
E-mail This Page to Your Friendsx
A link to %this page% was e-mailed
This critter resembles a small bee, but it's a bona fide member of the fly family. It doesn't sting. Like flies, it has two wings rather than four. But unlike many other insects, it executes telltale aerial maneuvers: it can suspend flight in mid-air, then dart quickly backward, forward or sideways.
In spring you can often find the young adults visiting flowers and foliage. Avoid using pesticides — even insecticidal soaps — and you'll likely see more. It's good to have this insect patrolling your garden. As a significant pollinator and bad-bug eater, the hover fly is an especially good friend to anyone who grows vegetables and fruits.
Learn about a variety of insects that can help prevent garden pests from terrorizing your yard.
The exotic flowers and lush foliage of these beautiful plants can add drama to your garden in the growing season.(8 photos)
A selection of these plants can carry your garden through the dog days of summer and help you welcome fall.(11 photos)