2 Dec 2015

The hidden value of blowflies

10:41 am on 2 December 2015

Blowflies migfht seem like a pest to most people, but new research shows flies and other insects are important for pollenating fruit trees and crops.

Blowfly

Photo: 123RF

Plant & Food Research Scientist Brad Howlett said people think of flies as nuisances, but not all of them were.

"So you've got hover flies that essentially you just see on flowers they don't come into the house and they don't affect animals. There are some other fly species, for example some of the blowfly species cause sheep strike so you've got to be careful promoting those around areas where livestock are present.

"So some careful thought needs to be given to what insects we promote for pollenation. Blowflies are definitely pollenators. They are quite valuable pollenators in crops such as onions and carrot seed crops. Even with the blowfly some of them are more of a pest than others. Some of them are primary fly strike species and other dont even contribute to fly strike so their life cycle is totally different."