Narcissus (Daffodil): Narcissus bulb fly

categories: Bulbs Narcissus (Daffodil) Narcissus (Daffodil) Insects Ornamentals

revision date: 2023-02-07 12:00

Image of Narcissus bulb fly.
Narcissus bulb fly
Photo by: R.S. Byther


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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

None recommended