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.
Signature: Paul and Barb
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.”