What is that Buzzing? It is March Flies!

Have you been seeing fairly large midge-like insects flying around people and crabapples (Malus spp.) in full-bloom? These are adult March Flies (Family: Bibionidae), and most are in the genera Bibio or Dilophus. One common morphological characteristic for identification is the presence, on the wings, of a very distinct yellow-brown stigma (spot) among the veins. March flies are in the same family and are closely related to love bugs. Female March flies dig holes in the soil in which they deposit approximately 200 to 300 eggs in a mass. They die soon after laying eggs. Eggs hatch into larvae that are yellow in color with dark spiracles and a shiny brown head. Larvae live in moist habitats and feed on decaying organic matter and among plant roots. They may enter potatoes that are damaged by insects such as wireworms (click beetle larvae) or diseases. Adults are most active in spring and summer, and may be present in abundant numbers (as people have experienced). They are attracted to flowers and may be important pollinators, but they are also attracted to homes and people.



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