Hover Flies

Hover flies are often seen buzzing around flowers in the garden. Some imitate wasps but they do not have a sting. Hover flies are beneficial insects and eat many garden pests.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

Hover flies have a distinct flight pattern. They are often seen hovering over and flitting around flowers in a garden. They are predators of many pest insects and pollinators; as such they are beneficial.

Some hover flies protect themselves from predators by mimicking wasps by having yellow and black stripes.The hover and flit flight pattern plus broad wings held out from the body when landed distinguish hover flies from wasps. Wasps hold their narrower wings back more tightly to the body. See the images in the gallery for comparison.


  • As hover flies pollinate many plants and hover fly larvae feed on aphids, small caterpillars, thrips and other pest insects they are regarded as beneficial and should not be controlled.
  • However, because they mimic and resemble wasps they can cause consternation in the garden if mistaken for wasps. Take a look at the images in the gallery so that you can tell the difference between wasps and hover flies.
  • How to control wasps.
  • If hover flies become a problem indoors use NO Bugs Super.

Did You Know Did You Know

  • Hover flies rarely come indoors and as they neither bite nor sting are not a pest outdoors. As they are sometimes mistaken for bees or wasps they can cause concern. Hopefully this page will help you identify the insect and if it is hover flies concerns can be reduced.
  • Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies or syrphid flies, are members of the insect family - Syrphidae.

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