Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not certain what is eating your plants. Ants generally would not eat plants, nor would flies. It is possible that the Japanese beetles are eating them, these are fairly large irridescent beetles that fly. They can sometimes be repelled by spraying with neem -- be sure to carefully read and follow the label instructions. Before doing that however I would suggest you work with your county extension to obtain a firm identification of the culprit. Once you know that, you can determine the best way to proceed and they will be able to suggest appropriate controls. Good luck with your plants!
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