After mating, female March flies enter the soil where they lay 200 to 300 eggs. The maggots hatch from the eggs and feed on leaf litter and sometimes among the roots of living plants. They have been reported from potatoes which had been previously damaged by wireworms. Their feeding hastens the breakdown of plant tissue into humus. March fly adults often emerge in early to late spring. (Sometimes there is a fall flight also.) These flies visit flowers and are sometimes effective pollinators.
The large scale control of immature or adult March flies by chemical means would place an undue pesticide load on the environment. The most troublesome species of March flies swarm during warm daylight hours, so driving at night may avoid the problem for travelers. A screen across the front of the radiator will protect the radiator from clogging. Temporarily smearing the front of the car with baby oil or spraying it with a no-stick cooking product will aid in the removal of splattered flies later.
Tie a fly that mimics Bibio
Prepared by: James R. Baker & S. Bambara, Extension Entomologists
Published by North Carolina Cooperative Extension ServiceDistributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
August 1994 (Revised)May 1997
Web page last reviewed January, 2011 by the webperson.