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Narcissus Blub Flies

Posted by dondeldux 6b (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 11:28

Well within the last 3 weeks my husband has found 2 dead NFBs in our furnace room (where I keep many dozens of hippies) and two that were alive that he killed.
This morning I found one upstairs trying to get out the window and this one was a whopper!
I managed to take a couple of pictures before I caught him and loosely wrapped him in Kleenex and then plastic and froze him. I thought I'd get a picture of his size later as this one wasn't crushed.

Earlier in the season I found a hole in one of my EBay # 1 and caught it in time to poke the maggot to death so the bulb will be fine and is still firm.

I found two totally desiccated bulbs of Desire with one small remaining bulb still alive with leaves but the dried ones might be casualties but the others remain to be found. Most of my older bulbs that reside in the furnace room are in pots with 2 or three large offsets so hopefully I won't totally loose any variety but that remains to be seen.

Hopefully the rest of you won't encounter any of these from plants that spend the summer out of doors.

and the hole that only goes in about 1/2" on the EBay # 1 that I caught early..

I've found from past experience it they choose a large bulb to munch away on during the winter that many times the bulb will produce several offsets and eventually you'll get some bulbs back but when they choose a smaller bulb it's usually curtains....

Donna

This post was edited by dondeldux on Mon, Feb 3, 14 at 20:50


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Hi Donna,

Dang little buggers!!! I'm glad you caught them before they do more damage. I think you should post a picture of the dead ones next to each pot and a warning that reads "You're Next". Maybe they'll stop munching on your bulbs.

Warm Regards,
Fred


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Donna,
That's a great close-up on a NBF. I have been fortunate not to have had a problem with these yet. But I planted a lot of daffodils in my yard this fall, so I guess I am inviting trouble...
Bill


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Donna, are the larvae (plural?) hatching in your furnace room?
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Yikes. That looks like a bee. I would've freaked out and got the newspaper. hehe.

Sorry about the damage to the bulbs though. Hopefully you put a stop to the whole thing before it can spread.

This post was edited by dragonstone on Mon, Jan 20, 14 at 17:10


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Wow! Great photo, Donna. Thank you.
Glad that these destructive pests haven't plagued my bulbs (yet).

-Blanca


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Hi,

Thank you all for your comments on my photo but he willingly posed! Maybe tomorrow when I'm sure he's frozen solid I will measure him for size. I thought he was gigantic!


I assume that the larvae crawl out of their hole and when the metamorphosis is complete they just walk out of the soil and proceed to look for a mate? This must be the season for them to emerge from the soil so keep your eyes peeled!! They don't have far to dig themselves out of the soil in a hippie pot, a lot easier I guess than a daffodil bulb. I'm making it easy for them!

I started the season with a family of 5 cute mice which we carefully captured with a have-a-heart trap and relocated when the weather was much warmer, and now these miserable things! Our furnace room door has to remain open to the downstairs because that's where the cat box is which didn't help when we had the mice problem...

Donna


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

I remember someone described them as fuzzy bees. I saw many here about 5 years ago... I think they do buzz! Sorry that they have showed up again in your house. Whatever bugs do get into the GH are dispatched by the lizards. It's fun to watch them "stalk" bugs on the side panels.
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Oh you're lucky you have those lizards! All we have is a large spider living above the fuse box and you should have seen him run down his web when this next to the last bug flew near his web! But the fly flew to the opposite end of the room and hubby had to do him in.

I took this guy out of the freezer for his last picture and he seems smaller than I originally thought but don't we all shrivel when we're freezing?


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Ewww! That IS a big one!

How warm/cold is it in your furnace room?


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Tell Toby he'd better start earning his keep making sure these and mice stay out of the furnace room!
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

It's fairly warm, around 50 to 60 (in winter) depending on the weather. Its only 14ft square so the hot water tank and furnace keep it quite balmy all winter. The outer wall is an above ground old 2ft deep stone foundation which also helps to keep it warm with the sun shining on two stone walls all year.

Toby is just fat and lazy and probably even old (he was a stray so we can only guess at his age) even though I'm sure he could catch a mouse he prefers the menu we serve him! Chipmunks are his favorite thing to watch through the glass doors as they come right up to the glass to tantalize him...


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

It's quite warm in there...springlike temps. Perhaps that's why the maggots have developed into flies faster as I am thinking that this is not their usual life cycle if they were in host bulbs outside. They'd die in this frigid temps we are having for sure. Hopefully our recent below freezing temps this winter has killed the NBF maggots out there.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Oh Donna, wouldn't it be horrid if they were able to mate and lay eggs in your stored hippies? I really hate the NBF! Maria, they must not die in extreme cold, although our winters have been "relatively mild" for Mn (zone 4) in recent years (it still gets quite cold), I still have these nasty buggers and I don't grow daffodils. I wish I knew where they come from- what they overwinter in! Really good pics.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

This is number 9 if you can believe it! It's an epidemic at our house!


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Since this is all new to me, please explain what THOSE nASTY THINGS ARE? Other than the obvious that the larvae are maggots of some kind that eat your babies.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Marie,

The Narcissus Bulb Fly (not blub fly) prefers narcissus but are very happy drilling a hole just above the basal plate of amaryllis and laying their egg or eggs which as you obviously know produces a huge maggot that eats away the inside of the bulb. These flies think that spring has arrived inside our house and are emerging looking to get outside to find a mate to start the cycle all over again. They are in for a surprise!

Many times it doesn't kill the bulb immediately and the remaining bulb and basal plate will form several bulblets around the perimeter of the basal plate. Several years from the time of injury you end up with 3 to 6 smaller bulbs and the mother bulb just dries up.

When this first happened many years ago I would just throw the bulb away but later learned that the bulb most always forms offsets. I have lost dozens of bulb to this monster.

Here is a seedling (lost tag) that got attacked last fall and I was lucky enough to find the hole and squish the maggot. There are 6 offsets growing from the basal plate. Several years from now the center bulb will be gone and there will be a whole pot of nameless noids!! But, I didn't have the heart to throw it away!

Donna


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Sorry to hijack your post but these guys were flying dangerously close to my amaryllis last weekend and I'm wondering if they are indeed the NBF?


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Yellow Fingers,

I took your picture off your thread to enlarge it to get a closer look at your insect. From what I could see yours appears to be a bee of some kind or a hornet. Take a closer look at the coloration of the NBF because we all must be very careful that we don't mistake them for bees which as we all know, are already endangered.

Donna


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Donna,
Sorry to hear that you've found so many. I know you said that you find them when they are trying to get out the screen, but I sure hope that there hasn't been "other" activity and you find that there will be a new crop! I wonder what particular bulbs these are emerging from? If all your bulbs appear healthy then these guys, as larvae, didn't eat up the insides of bulbs....hmmm.

I hope there's no #10!
K


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RE: Narcissus Bulb Flies

Well, I've found about 4 bulbs that have disintegrated. This season they seem to be choosing smaller bulbs of which I have several in pots. Two small Desires are gone leaving one intact and a pot of vitattums has one dead bulb. A large EBay # 1 (picture posted above) that the bulb is still intact and maybe a another one or two I can't think of, I am squeezing all my bulbs regularly now but I have 5 trays of 3 year old seedlings with many of the bulbs under the soil and I think that this is where the bulk of them are coming from.

These trays are in the furnace room with many of my other bulbs and they are just starting to shoot up new leaves.

Donna


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Great pic of the NBF Donna!

Don't you use Imidacloprid on your bulbs like Kristi does?


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

I lost a lot of bulbs to these nasty things last year.
I treat with systemic solution now regularly. Haven't seen any lately but mine are in the ground so it is usually too late when I do find them. Recent cold killed them to the ground, just waiting now for new growth.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Well, the year before last I did treat with a granular insecticide containing imidacloprid and it did seem to work some as that year I only had about 6 bulbs that were affected. Of course I don't use the stuff in the house and make sure that if a plant sends up a scape outside that I bring it in to boom so the bees don't get near it. I guess I'll have to do better this coming season; it's a full-blown epidemic here. Bottom line is I got lazy...

Donna


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

I have read in another forum that the best time to use Imidacloprid on your plants is right after they have bloomed. That way the bees won't be interested in them. Some gardeners who use systemics cut the stalk with flowers still in bud and bring them indoors to bloom. Other gardeners plant plants with purple/violet/blue flowers (away from treated plants) as the bees are more attracted to them. Something ya'll might want to consider doing and help the bees in their current flight for survival.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

I do use a granular systemic and since Maria reminded me....I haven't seen a single NFB since. AND...we celebrate and dance when the bees return to pollinate the orange and lemon trees in my yard, so they have lots of safe pollen. Since my Hippis bloom in the greenhouse and kitchen, I think the bees are safe. I don't use any pesticide or chemicals in the yard since I have the dogs. The only plants that get treated are the bulbs and those are far on the side yard, fenced away from the dogs and with no pollen to attract pollenators.
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Great!


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

For all we know, these bulbs that we have been purchasing are all likewise treated with insecticides/fungicides/pesticides etc. Hiroshi of Komoriya actually told me in his email a few months back that their bulbs were under "medical treatment". I'm pretty sure that other commercial growers use chemicals on their stocks likewise. So let us all just be aware and be careful.

Narcissus Bulb Fly by the way is a European species of hoverfly according to Wikipedia. How it arrived here in USA only heaven knows. Perhaps as a larvae that hitchhiked inside an amaryllis bulb? LOL


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Maria,

That is a frightening and sobering thought.

-B


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Update from my NBF farm...

Hi again,

Well I walked into the kitchen early this moning and there was an NBF clinging to my Sumatra bud. He had newly emerged from his haven inside one of my Sumatra bulbs.

so I went digging in the pot of about 5 small bulbs, the center and larger bulb was fine but as I was digging, out popped another right before my very eyes!! This one was still covered in dirt!

notice the wings aren't yet dried and their "fur" is sill somewhat matted.

Nice huh?? These are numbers 11 ad 12...

I finally did find the bulb that was the host for at least one of these flies but couldn't remove it as it was still firmly attached to the mother bulb. I would say that since much of this bulb is still remaining that the second fly came from yet another offset!

Donna...smileys emoticons photo: rant 97.gif...smileys emoticons photo: rant 97.gif


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Oh Donna......
emoticons photo: Crying cry_smiley.png
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Hi Donna,

So what did you do with/to them???

Fred


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Fred,

I'm saving these last two in a jar and I'm going to mail them up to you!!


Seriously though I leave the execution to my hubby...;-)


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Dang... They just keep coming, don't they? :(

Didn't someone share their experiences once about using a hypodermic needle and some neem oil to inject into some bulbs that they suspected had the NBF inside it because of a leaf emerging that had a hole in it?


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Oh noooooooo...

You can grab a bottle of Bayer Tree and Shrub and give your bloomed out ones and seedlings a drench of it now. That way, your hippies will be protected before you bring them outside in spring.


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Maria, do you use the above mentioned Bayer product? I use the Bayer 3in1, but this would be much more convenient and it lasts for 12 months whereas the 3in1 is 3 months (I recall). I think for me the liquid would be a little more tricky figuring out the dilution for a bulb...vs 2 teaspoons of granules per 1 gallon pot!

The labels read:
Granules: For indoor containerized plants, bring outdoors, make treatment, and return indoors when no excess water is present.

Liquid: For indoor containerized plants, bring outdoors, make treatment, and return indoors when no excess water is present.

Doesn't sound too practical right now in the midst of winter's snow and ice, but Donna HAS to do something about those NBFs. I think I'll try this in the spring when pots are being moved to the side yard!

THANKS!
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

No I don't use it Kristi but it has been highly recommended in the Clivia group with good success. Should work with the Hippies...1 tablespoon per gallon. Good for 12 months. Drench outside and then bring indoors if you need to?

Warning: Imidacloprid (active ingredient of Bayer Tree and Shrub) will kill bees so please be aware of this and take extra care that your treated plants' flowers would be away from them.

This post was edited by mariava7 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 15:04


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

I use the other Bayer granules (2in1 or 3in1), but only on bulbs after blooming. Since they bloom in the greenhouse, and I have other safe pollen (orange and lemon) I think it should be ok...but thanks for the reminder! The 12-month activity is very attractive!!

For the clivias, since they don't lose their leaves or go through a dormancy, do you need to only apply to the soil or will anything be harmed if the solution gets on the leaves? Glad to hear of this other product. THANKS again Maria!
K


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Clivias do go in a semi-dormant stage too during winter or cold weather. They don't lose leaves but do slow down or stop any new growth. I have not read any reports of damage on leaves on clivias with the solution though. Just don't use it on very young seedlings.

I just re-read that info about Bayer Tree and Shrub. One gardener uses this rate on her other plants besides clivias with success.

You're most welcome and good luck!


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Hi Donna,

Ha Ha...please don't. I had some beautiful Ismene bulbs overwintering in my basement two years ago and those dang little buggers destroyed almost every one of them. I was so aggravated when I saw them, I squished with my fingers right there and then. That'll learn 'em

Warm Regards,
Fred


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RE: Narcissus Blub Flies

Oh Donna,

I am so very sorry and I hope you get to the end of this soon. I know this isn't easy and yet you have taken the time to teach us about this horrible insect. Thank you -J


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