Subject: Black Flying Thing
Location: Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
June 23, 2013 10:59 pm
We have no idea what this is. It just appeared on our office desk at about 10pm, just hanging out staring at the computer. Looks like a wasp, so I caught it to take some pictures in case we need to be weary of getting stung if we see them again.
Thank you!
Signature: Paul and Barb

Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Fly

Dear Paul and Barb,
Greetings neighbors.  The offices of What’s That Bug? are on Mount Washington in Los Angeles.  This is a perfectly harmless Black Soldier Fly,
Hermetia illucens.  They are sometimes called Window Flies because of the transparent “windows” on the abdomen.  If you or a neighbor have a compost pile, you can expect to see more Black Soldier Flies as the larvae live in rotting organic materials, including compost piles.  According to BugGuide:  “Very rarely, accidentally ingested larvae cause intestinal myiasis in humans and domestic animals. However, larvae compete with house flies in manure, compost piles, etc., and may thus be beneficial. Adults are harmless and not known to carry any human disease.”

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Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California

5 Responses to Black Soldier Fly in Mount Washington

  1. Katy says:

    It should be noted that the larvae also make an excellent food for reptiles, being naturally high in calcium! 🙂

  2. BorealWormer says:

    The Black Soldier Fly Blog has set up a Black Soldier Fly Mapping Project (link) displaying the locations of confirmed BSF sightings/wild populations and seasonal data. If you’d like to contribute there’s a ‘Report BSF sighting’ link in the upper left corner of the map or you can use this link. Only locations which are submitted with adequate documentation will be used.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks so much for this information. The What’s That Bug? offices are also in Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California and we have found wild Black Soldier Fly larvae in our compost pile in the past.

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