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Q.Flies, bees, gnats all over my yews

Zone northern Illinois; zip 61016 | LBrown added on October 19, 2016 | Answered

We have 6 yews in the front of our house, facing south. These yews have red berries on them. These are not new bushes. We have lived here for almost 30 years and planted these bushes the first year. Our problem is the bushes are covered with flies, bees, gnats, any bug with wings. If you come near a bush, they fly up like a cloud. The flies are sitting on the house and we can’t even use our front door. We noticed them last weekend. We thought maybe there was something dead under one bush, but these flies are all over all 6 bushes and we can’t get close enough to look for something dead. We don’t think there is anything dead anywhere because we would have smelled it. This has never happened before, not in 30 years. Do you have any idea what is causing this?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 20, 2016

If you're sure there's nothing dead under there, you're probably seeing insect swarming behavior. Flies and gnats will form swarms at certain times of the year, usually for mating purposes. The other species of bugs may be there to eat the bugs causing the swarm.

Citronella candles and products that use sound/vibrations to drive bugs away might help. Fortunately these swarms usually go away by themselves within a few days.

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