Pest Control: Shore Flies

Shore flies (Ephydridae) are minute flies ranging from black to gray in color, that prefer moist environments. Adults and larvae feed on algae and decaying organic matter in planting substrate.

Damage

Shore flies are mainly considered a nuisance pest but can also transmit pathogens such as Pythium, Fusarium and other root diseases to food crops and ornamentals. Additionally, their excrements (brown-black specks) cause cosmetic damage to ornamentals and food crops.

There are specific solutions for different species of shore flies.

 

Natural Enemies

The primary beneficial insects that are natural enemies of shore flies are as follows: 

(Click the name of the beneficial insect for additional information) 

BioStratiolaelaps - (Stratiolaelaps scimitus) is a soil-dwelling predatory mite whose nymphs and adults feed on fungus gnat larva, thrips pupae and other small invertebrates. These predatory mites stay at the base of plant stems and on the soil, rarely transferring onto the plant itself.

BioAtheta - (Dalotia coriaria) is a fast-moving, soil dwelling rove beetle. A generalist predator, it feeds on a wide range of small insects and mites but is primarily an egg predator. BioAtheta is used in the control of fungus gnats, thrips pupae, shore flies, moth fly larvae, root mealybugs, springtails, and other small arthropods.

BioSc - An entomopathogenic nematode containing infective juveniles of Steinernema carpocapsae in an inert carrier.

In addition to these insects, the following insects also target shore flies along with their primary enemies:

BioSf - An entomopathogenic nematode containing infective juveniles of Steinernema feltiae in an inert carrier.