Blackfly is an insect that attacks the plants in your yard and garden. The sap-sucking aphids can form dense colonies on young plant growth. 

There are several species, including the black bean aphid and cherry blackfly. Black bean aphids grow up to 2 millimetres long and are black with possible white specks on their upper body. The cherry blackfly is similar in appearance and is attracted to cherry plants. 

The aphids are often tended to by ants before officially becoming flies and reproducing quickly, which gives them sufficient time to damage the stems and undersides of your plants.

Black flies can weaken and cause stunted growth on plants, lead to poor pod formation on broad beans and harm flower formation on various foliage. 

Thankfully, there are ways to eliminate these pests and avoid the damage they create. Here are five ways to eliminate black flies from your garden. 

close up of blackfly

1. Water

One of the easiest but most time-consuming ways to get rid of black flies is by rinsing them off the stems or leaves of plants. 

Water sprays can clear the infestation but could take several days of rinsing. The spray must be hard enough to remove the aphids, so be cautious when using this method around fragile plants. 

For extra effectiveness, try adding a tablespoon of dish liquid and a pinch of cayenne pepper per litre of water to spray. 

hand holding insect spray repellent bottle

2. Essential Oils

If you’re dealing with a blackfly infestation, essential oils could be an effective solution to get them off your plants. 

Options include thyme, rosemary, clove oil and peppermint. Put a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. 

Once sprayed, the oil will overpower and kill blackflies and their larvae. Be sure to cover the whole plant so more don’t congregate on an untouched part. 

3. Bird baths and Feeders

Bird baths and feeders don’t directly eliminate black flies, but they can indirectly get rid of them by attracting birds to eat them. 

The insects are tasty treats to birds. Once the birds find them, the black flies won’t stand a chance. 

yellow warbler garden bird in bird bath

4. Fabric Covers

Using fabric covers to protect your plants in greenhouses and other structures can be an effective deterrent against black flies. 

These covers work better than other options since they allow the plants more light exposure than solid coverings. Black flies enjoy dark spaces, and preventing complete darkness makes infestation less likely. 

5. Pesticides

Various pesticides can help eliminate garden pests. Make sure they are formulated with black flies in mind.

Ensure that the pesticide you purchase is safe for your garden plants, and read the instructions carefully so you use the correct amount. 

Preventing Blackflies

Prevent black flies from coming to your garden by ensuring you don’t use too much nitrogen-rich soil in your yard. This can cause plants to produce more of the sap that black flies feed on. 

Another way to prevent black flies is to introduce natural predators into your garden, like ladybugs, dragonflies and birds. Having a variety of plants can attract various blackfly predators. 

Keeping black flies away from your yard will let your plants be healthy and strong. Prevention is truly worth more than the cure when it comes to your garden.