Black Fly Control

If you have been growing fava beans then it’s likely that you have run into black flies.  Black flies love to damage fava bean plants and ruin your production.  But there are a few simple ways to fight back if you notice an infection and even measures you can take to prevent your plants from ever getting infected while increasing the food you get out of your plants.  Here’s how.


  • Check your plants regularly. Black flies will only ever affect the tops of the plants, so keep a close eye on the tops especially.
  • If you see black flies on the plants spray them with soapy water.
  • If the infestation is serious, cut the tops after spraying them with soapy water. Put them in a plastic bag, tie the top to seal it and throw it away. Do not compost any plant material that is infected with anything as it could spread to other plants near your pile, and in the case of some diseases, even survive in the compost pile and infect the plants that the compost is later applied to.
  • To help prevent black flies from becoming a problem keep your plants from getting too high. Since the flies only like the tops of the plants, cut off the tender tops about 3 to 4 inches below the tip.  When they regrow, cut them again.
  • If you beat the black flies to the tips of your plants there is no reason to throw them out, or even compost them. The tops can be steamed or lightly boiled and eaten.  With a little butter and salt they can taste pretty good.

Pest control doesn’t have to mean harsh chemicals, it doesn’t have to mean hard work, it doesn’t even have to mean that you lose out on production.  In this case you can actually eat more from your plants by preventing black flies.

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