Hoverfly plague could be nearing end

A PESKY plague of hovering hoverflies could soon be at an end the Evening Star can reveal today. Hundreds of thousands of the harmless insects have been attracted to the region in recent days thanks to rising temperatures and perfect conditions.

A PESKY plague of hovering hoverflies could soon be at an end the Evening Star can reveal today.

Hundreds of thousands of the harmless insects have been attracted to the region in recent days thanks to rising temperatures and perfect conditions.

But they will soon disappear as quickly as they arrived, if it rains.

Evening Star weather man Ken Blowers said the plague will soon be over.

He said: "If you get heavy showers or torrential rain it will be the end of them, they hate rain."

Dramatic weather expected over the next two days will reduce numbers

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Mr Blowers said: "The outlook is for Tuesday and Wednesday thundery showers. It will be extremely humid with temperatures up to nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit, 27 degrees Celsius."

Mr Blowers said rain is likely to start falling tomorrow afternoon.

He added: "From about noon tomorrow for a day and a half there will be thundery showers.

"Until then it is going to be very close, humid and oppressive."

Coastal areas like Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze were plagued by swarms of the insects as temperatures topped 23C during the weekend.

Laurie Forsythe of the Essex Wildlife Trust said: "If the conditions are right the population can explode. We are getting large swarms of them from across the channel.

Mr Forsythe said hoverflies are harmless and beneficial to gardens and the environment.

He added: "They are good pollinators and scavengers."

Despite the large numbers of hoverflies insect eating birds are not enjoying a hoverfly feast.

RSPB spokesman Chris Durdin said birds do not eat hoverflies.

He added: "I do not think birds are eating them. I am sure there is something that does eat them. The warning colouration may well put off birds."

HOVERFLIES FACT FILE

N There are 270 known species of hoverfly.

N In many species of hoverfly the males hover to claim a territory in the hope that a female will arrive.

N Flowers are used a re-fuelling stations providing energy in the form of sugary nectar.

N Hoverflies have a complete insect life cyle-from egg to larva to pupa to adult.

N Hoverfly larvae eat aphids (greenfly) of garden plants and crops.

N Often found with black and yellow colouring imitating wasps and bees the Hoverfly is harmless.

N Hoverflies are from the Syrphidae genus.

N Unlike many insects Hoverflies can digest pollen, which is rich in protein for the development of the eggs.

N Some hoverflies are migratory and may have travelled hundreds of miles.

N Hoverflies measure between 6mm and 13mm long.

N Hoverflies are attracted to bright colours like yellow and white.

N Excellent pollinators hoverflies are known in the US as flowerflies.

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