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Little black flies on basil plant

Last post 22-06-2008 6:30 PM by Diva_in_the_Garden. 11 replies.

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  • 19/06/2008 10:28 AM
    • babyegg
    • Sunny Spain
    • 19 Jun 2008
    • 2
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     Hello,

     Apologies if this is the wrong board.

    I'm particularly green fingered, but have recently bought a varity of herbs for the kitchen windowsill. Everything appears to be flourishing, but the basil seems to be attracting little black flies.  The plant is still growing well, lots of leaves, very green, getting bushy, but some of the leaves are getting holes in now.

     I live in Spain, and we've been known to suffer from fruit flies in the past, and now we're really wary of keeping fruit anywhere other than the fridge. These flies are smaller and more 'fluttery' than the fruit flies we've had in the past.

     Is there anything I can do? Anything natural?

    Many thanks indeed,

    babyegg 

  • 19/06/2008 11:53 AM
    • Phot's-Moll
    • The sunny South coast.
    • 06 Jan 2007
    • 4,672
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    They sound like scariad (mushroom) flies. If you lift the plant out of the pot, then you white see tiny worm like things too. If that's what they are, then the problem is likely to be over watering or water logged compost. Once you've got them, they're quite difficult to get rid of. I suggest you allow the compost to become fairly dry between waterings and squish as many of the pesky little things as you can.

    http://patsysplot.blogspot.co.uk/
  • 19/06/2008 12:37 PM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
    • 9,685
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    I've had quite a few of these flies this year in the greenhouse and have managed to keep the numbers down by hanging those yellow 'white fly catcher' sticky cards near the plants that have been affected. 

    sue1002
  • 19/06/2008 12:40 PM
    • Rach
    • Hedge End, UK
    • 25 May 2008
    • 33
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    I always find putting an amazing plant like venus fly trap Dionaea muscipula, or similar next to the plant works, also it's interesting to watch and cheep to feed Wink

  • 19/06/2008 09:05 PM
    • Phot's-Moll
    • The sunny South coast.
    • 06 Jan 2007
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    Rach, do they really catch enough bugs to be of help? I love that idea. 

    http://patsysplot.blogspot.co.uk/
  • 19/06/2008 09:50 PM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
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     I bought one the first year we got the greenhouse and it catches a few flies.  I placed it by the window so it catches flies as they enter and during the summer it was always full, I think it takes about 3 days for them to eat each fly, so once it was full the rest of the flies could fly in safely.  Notice the way I said "was" and not "is", it had grown too big for the pot and I split it into two and repotted them, one pot conked out completely and the other has just a fraction of it still left alive but at least that bit is doing it's job.

    sue1002
  • 19/06/2008 10:42 PM
    • Rach
    • Hedge End, UK
    • 25 May 2008
    • 33
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    Hello, I find that it works very well, there are many different fly traps that you can use, and the one I stated was one example. It's also turning a horrible fly problem into an intriguing one. I find them quite amazing little creatures (plants) if your going to get flies anyway you may as well make it an "entertaining" event. I think so anywayStick out tongue

     

  • 20/06/2008 08:58 AM
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    Fly trap plants are tricky things to grow and if you have difficulty with these remember that there is a biological control available.

     

    Boggy

     

     

    Beware the bat-eared bogweevil
  • 20/06/2008 10:38 AM
    • sue1002
    • Ipswich, Suffolk
    • 06 Sep 2005
    • 9,685
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     I did try to grow some from seed but none of them germinated, it's a lot easier to get a plant already grown on that score.  Meanwhile I'll keep to using those sticky yellow traps as they catch a good number of flies and luckily the bees have managed to evade them.

    sue1002
  • 20/06/2008 05:38 PM
    • Susiq
    • Northumberland
    • 16 Feb 2008
    • 3,126
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    I've got the yellow sticky traps too, and was also concerned about the bees, which same as you Sue1002, they have thankfully managed to avoid - need em (the bees that is) to hopefully cross-pollinate my sweetcorn! Most of the traps are full up and need to get some more this weekend.

  • 21/06/2008 11:26 AM
    • babyegg
    • Sunny Spain
    • 19 Jun 2008
    • 2
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     Thanks Phot's-Moll. This sounds about right. Pretty soggy pot!

    And as you can guess, my original post should have read "I'm not particularly green-fingered..." !!  How cocky - ha ha!

    Loving the idea of a Venus Fly Trap too.

    Thanks to you all for your replies,

    babyegg 

  • 22/06/2008 06:30 PM
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    Hi there... hope this is the right place to put this but I wanted to say that I have this problem too. I have had to throw out houseplants before cos the little flies seemed to be coming out of the soil and then flying around.

    This year I am trying to grow chilli peppers and ordinary peppers indoors (Dwarf varieties suitable for windowsills it said in the blurb!) Anyway, they are now about 8inches tall and this week, the damned lil flies came back so I have had to relegate them to the doorstep for now.

    However, I really do want to grow them indoors... so can anyone suggest a pesticide for me? I never use them in the garden, but I do want to keep my indoor plants and especially my chilli and pepper plants free from these annoying creatures!!!

    I would be grateful for any help you can give me, as I am a newbie at this!

    Life is precious - So be slow to anger, and quick to forgive. Kiss slowly, love generously, laugh often and never regret anything that made you smile. Leave the rest to God.