Dead flies on sunflower leaf tips

Asked July 27, 2019, 12:30 PM EDT

Several of the leaves on my young sunflower have brown tips which roll under. Upon inspection, I noticed that each of these leaves also has a fly also situated in these brown areas of the leaf. None of the flies seem to be alive. Any thoughts?

Frederick County Maryland sunflowers flies insect or spider id entomopathogenic fungus

1 Response

It looks like the flies may have died from an entomopathogenic fungus that they may have picked up from the soil. This is a fungus that attacks insects. The flies got on the leaf and died. This will not harm your plants and the flies did not cause browning or the holes.

The holes may have been caused by some leaf feeding caterpillars. No control is necessary. Monitor the health of the plants and you can send us more photos if you notice additional symptoms. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the stems.

Marian