University of Maryland Extension

Narcissus Bulb Fly - Flowers

Narcissus bulb fly

Back to Common Problems of Annuals, Bulbs, Groundcovers, Perennials, and Vines

Narcissus bulb fly is a pest of narcissus but may also attack cooperia, eurycles, galanthus, galtonia, habranthus, hymenocallis, leucojum, pancratium, sprekelia, vallota, zephyranthes, and cipollini. The adult is a large, hairy yellow and black fly. It resembles a small bumblebee. The female lays eggs on or near the crowns of narcissus or other hosts. Usually, only one larva will develop in each bulb. The larva is plump, white to yellow, wrinkled and ½ to ¾ of an inch long. As a result of the feeding, the bulb is reduced to a soft brown mass. Infested plants have yellow, stunted foliage or very little growth and the bulbs will feel spongy.

Management: To manage this pest in the home garden, discard all bulbs that feel spongy or are rotting.

damaged bulb

Bulb fly damage

bulb fly larvae

Bulb fly larvae

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