Onion Fly

Delia antiqua

Onion Fly, Onion Maggot

1 of 2
1 of 2
The Onion Fly is ash-grey and looks a lot like a common housefly. The larvae are most problematic in gardens and allotments because they bore the bulbs of onions, garlic and leek. If you find an infestation, it should be removed and disposed of as soon as possible to prevent another generation from hatching the following year. Wilting and yellow foliage is one of the main symptoms.


Onions, garlic, shallots and leeks may be damaged and made inedible as a result of an onion fly infestation.


The onion fly is ash-grey in colour and looks a lot like a common house fly. The legs are a dark black colour while their wings are transparent. The females are slightly different and lack the longitudinal stripe that the males have down their abdomen. The eggs are white and laid in groups on the shoots, leaves or bulb of the plant. Larvae is also white and cylindrical in shape.


Leaves turn yellow Wilting Rotten bulbs Hollowed out bulbs Plant death











North America, Western Europe, Russia, Central Asia, China, Japan and Korea

Biological treatment

You can buy insect proof netting that will protect any of the flies getting to the plant, preventing them to lay their eggs.

Chemical treatment

You can use insecticides on your soil to provide effective control, this will kill any living larvae


Bulbous plants

Be the first to download the app

Help us build a place where community meets knowledge. Try it out and let us know what you think.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

What is Candide?

Candide has everything for plant lovers – buy plants from independent sellers and book tickets to visit inspiring gardens near you. Identify plants in seconds from a single photo and learn how to care for them with our in-depth guides.


Learn how to care for your plants and share your growing successes on Candide’s free app for your phone or tablet.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Germinated in Bristol © 2021 Candide