WSU Extension

Hortsense

Narcissus (Daffodil) : Narcissus bulb fly
(revision date: 4/23/2014)


Biology
The adult narcissus bulb fly is about 1/2" long and closely resembles a small bumblebee. The female lays eggs near the bulbs in early summer. The hatching maggots burrow into the bulbs near the basal plate and feed inside the bulbs, destroying bulb scales and flower parts. Infested bulbs may develop a few, grassy-looking leaves if the bulb is not too badly damaged. Severely damaged bulbs are soft, brown, and decayed, with a 3/4", yellowish white larva inside.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant only firm, healthy bulbs. Soft bulbs may be infested from the previous season. Destroy any soft bulbs to prevent emergence of adult bulb flies.
  • Plant in open areas exposed to wind. Bulb flies are usually less of a problem in such sites.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

Images
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Caption: Narcissus bulb fly
Photo by: R.S. Byther