SWD control using Hummingbirds

Has anyone ever heard of this or tried it? I have read somewhere that a guy set up about 20 hummingbird feeders per acre on his blackberry fields and never had to worry about SWD infestation. Not sure if this is accurate or would work, but seems like it would help. Any thoughts?


I never heard about this, but sounds like an interesting idea. I’ll try this against olive fruit fly next summer.

This was the article your referring to http://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/2014/09/19/hummingbirds/.


interesting idea, thanks!

What a great idea! I wonder if hummingbirds will fly through the chicken wire enclosures I have around most of my berries? I know they would fit, but will they do it, since they aren’t hole nesters?

Sound very good. I wish they eat aphids.

My concern is they may wipe out ladybugs in my yard, too. I need ladybugs because of black cherry aphids.

I believe they do eat aphids, especially when they are rearing young

Supposedly runner beans draw humming birds to the area. Han anyone ever tried planting them around or grown them on a tree? Perhaps the tree would benefit from the N-fixation from the beans?

That would be great. I have plenty of black and green aphids. I have to remind these hummingbirds to leave ladybugs alone.

I’d think lady bugs, esp adults, too big.

Yes, ladybugs are definitely too big for hummingbirds, so no need to worry about that. AFAIK, most birds refrain from eating ladybugs anyway.

Scarlet Runner attracts hummers. We’ve had them go to colors other than red, such as blue, but I think they prefer reds; I’ve seen them try car taillights. Pretty neat birds- ornery little cusses, too!


Will the hummingbirds peck fruits though?

I watched a documentary once that showed them feeding on sap in early spring before flowers were open but I believe it was out of necessity and not a preferred food.

@fruitnut and @Stan,

Thank you for your affirmation. The blog said they eat small beetles and flies among other things. That made me concerned.

Has anyone used Bee Balm to attract hummers?

Good point to bring up Ross. It seems a better way to attract hummingbirds is with real flowers instead of the sterilized sugar water that the article recommends. Lets build living ecosystems in our orchards. I have found that Red Bee Balm is an excellent attractor of hummingbirds, so are hostas, and many other tubular shaped flowers.

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I saw a post from Bob Hays today restating that yes it works and more research has been done by University of California Santa Monica replicating his results. I am currently looking for any newer published data. But I know what I am going to be picking up from Dollar general this weekend.

Hummingbirds may reduce SWD – Spotted Wing Drosophila (cornell.edu)

Hummingbirds as Pest Management Partners? | New York State IPM Program (cornell.edu)

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dragon flies will actively hunt swd every year in my yard

Yes but can someone make a dragon fly habit with out also making a mosquito sanctuary.

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