Currently viewing the category: "Louse Flies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Flying spider
Location: Estonia
May 30, 2014 11:08 am
Hi!
I found this insect yesterday (May 30th, 2014) from a sink. From afar it looked like a spider, because it has long legs. It is not a spider though, because it has only six legs and also two wings. The interesting thing about this insect is that it does not use its wings at all, no matter how much you poke it. It only runs really quickly, like a spider, seems like it is meant to live on the ground and not fly. The wings also seem too small to support its size in the air. I have never seen anything like it. I live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in town, so my questions are: What is it and how did it get here?
Here are some features I noticed about this insect: It likes to crawl into narrow dark places. Its body ends with a thick and short tube-like part. The mouthparts look like the closed mouthparts of a horsefly. It rubs its front legs like a housefly (as seen on the third picture). The top of its head is dark-red.
First picture: in the sink beside my finger.
Second picture: on glass, picture taken through the glass (bottom view).
Third picture: same as the second picture.
Thank you!
Signature: Andero

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Andero,
This is a Louse Fly in the family
Hippoboscidae and it is a true Fly, hence the similarities you observed to a House Fly.  Louse Flies are blood sucking insects and those that have wings can only fly feebly.  Generally Louse Flies are very specific regarding the host, which might be livestock and in some species pigeons and other birds, but when the choice host is not available, they have been known to feed from humans.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: screwworm?
Location: Oman
March 28, 2014 12:29 pm
Hi. I’m on the Arabian coast (Muscat, Oman) and recently found some feral dogs infected with this fly. It was curious to me because it was crawling underneath the coat, down at the skin level, and crawled on the dog as much as flew around him. Kinda hopeful that this is NOT screwworm, because… poor dogs!
Photos taken today (sorry — the fly’s a bit smooshed).
Signature: Char

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Hi Char,
This looks like a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  Louse Flies feed on the blood of birds and mammals.  According to BugGuide “Most are host specific on bird species, with a few occurring on mammals.”  There are species that feed on sheep and deer, but we believe if they do not find a preferred host, they may feed off other species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: fly insect
Location: jordan_irbed
February 11, 2014 1:54 am
Dear sir,
This is Dr.Motasem from Jordan, recently we have found this insect (attached) in our home (about 5 in number),we live in modern town, not a village, no trees, no animals or pets in around.
3 days ago i got an insect bite which was severly swollen,itchy and tender relieved by local and oral anti-histamine( u can identify the sting head (double head) in the attached file).
Looking forward to hearing from u soon. Any suggestions is much appreciated.
Thanks in advance
Yours
Motasem
Signature: Motasembella

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Dr. Motasem,
You are being visited by Louse Flies in the family Hippoboscidae.  Louse Flies feed on the blood of animals, and though they have preferred hosts depending upon the species, they will feed opportunistically from humans if there is no other prey available.  You have indicated that there are no animals near you, which would explain why you are being bitten, but it does not explain why the Louse Flies are there if there is no food source.  Some Louse Flies feed on the blood of sheep, and others prey upon birds like pigeons.

Bite of a Louse Fly

Bite of a Louse Fly

Dear Daniel,
Ur reply and cooperation is much appreciated.
This explanation makes sense as we were invaded by Pigeons in the last 6 months in the roof of our building ( we live in the  last floor).
We are trying to get rid of them, but not yet.
So do u think we should use now any type of insect killer or should we bring a specialised company for that, or just leave it.
Thanks
Motasem

Hi again Motasem,
In our opinion, if you get rid of the pigeons, you won’t have to worry about the Louse Flies.  They are not interested in human blood unless they can’t get pigeon blood.  We believe they will die out on their own if there are no longer any pigeons to drop new flies on a regular basis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: REDISH FLYING BUG
Location: Bellville, South Africa
January 21, 2014 6:52 am
Dear Bugman
We found this bug in our office.
It is very quiet and rather fast. One of the ladies that works with me said that it stung her.
What would it be?
Kind regards
Signature: JG

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear JG,
Your coworker had an encounter with a blood-sucking Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  They are generally found near wildlife or livestock.  Your individual looks very much like an image tentatively identified as
Hippobosca rufipes on ISpot.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tick-like Insect?
Location: Becket, MA
November 17, 2013 10:34 am
11/17/2013
Dear Bugman,
What is this?? I found it crawling on my neck yesterday . I felt a tickle and pinch, just like a tick feels as it is trying to attach. When I handled it, the body was much softer than a ticks and it appears to have three body segments rather than two (like a tick). It’s six legs looked much like those of a wood tick.
Signature: Jenna

Louse Fly, we believe

Louse Fly, we believe

Dear Jenna,
This appears to be a Louse Fly in the family Hippoboscidae.  They normally prey upon warm blooded mammals like deer or sheep, and some species feed prey upon birds.  In they absence of their normal prey, they have been known to bite humans.  Many species of Louse Flies do have wings and they are capable of feeble flight, but they lose the wings when they find a host to feed upon, sucking blood for nourishment.  See BugGuide for additional information.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ticky looking bug but not a tick I’m told.
Location: BIrch Bay, Wa (State Park)
October 16, 2013 4:31 pm
Do ALL ticks have 8 legs? Here’s a pic of a bug that I swore was a tic but was told it’s not ~ It acted like tick if you watch it. No one can tell me what it is.
Most say we don’t even have ticks here but I’ve got the vet bill to prove we do ~ Found one on our dog last year.
These are photos I took of this thing.
I would SO appreciate it if you could tell me what this is. We haven’t been walking in the park since because I’m afraid of these things. My friend and I found several on us and it was like they were trying to burrow into our jeans. It creeps me out to think of them in my hair or getting in my shirt.
Signature: Not sure what this means.

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Adult Ticks have eight legs, but it is our understanding that larval Ticks have six legs.  This is not a Tick.  It is a Louse Fly and they are blood suckers.  Female Louse Flies must have a blood meal prior to reproducing.  According to BugGuide:  “Females rear one offspring at a time, the larva feeding in utero from special ‘milk’ glands. The mature larva is ‘born alive’ and immediately pupates in the soil (or on the host in some cases). Most are host specific on bird species, with a few occurring on mammals.”  We suppose they might bite humans if no other host is available.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination