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

Subject: Brown bug
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
May 25, 2017 5:44 am
Hi wondering if u could tell me what type of bug this is as I keep getting them in my bathroom
Thanks Angela Williams
Signature: Angela Williams

Louse Fly

Dear Angela,
This is a blood-sucking Louse Fly, and depending upon the species, they normally prey upon deer, livestock especially sheep, or nesting birds like pigeons.  If you live near woodlands with deer or farms with sheep, you might not be able to control their presence.  If pigeons were nesting in your eaves, and the yong have flown, you might want to try removing old nests to see if that helps to control their presence in your home.  If Louse Flies cannot feed on their prey of choice, they might try taking human blood.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: dark room bug
Location: Dubai
May 25, 2017 3:26 am
Dear Bugman,
Please help me identify this bug
I work in a dark laboratory and almost every week this bug attacks my face or hides on my head scarf (black).
I attached a picture of the bug
Signature: Shaima Askar

Louse Fly

Dear Shaima,
This sure looks to us like a Louse Fly, but finding it in a dark laboratory is a mystery.  Louse Flies are blood suckers that are often found near livestock, especially sheep.  Is there any livestock near your Dubai laboratory?  Some Louse Flies prey upon birds like nesting pigeons.  If the nestlings have flown, remaining Louse Flies might be bothering you for a meal.

Dear Mr.Daniel,
Thank you very much for the fast reply. You are 100% right ..the bug in the Picture looks exactly like the louse fly  ..I’m amaized how fast you recognized it . I think the reason behind the fly is probably in pigeons because the lab is on the top floor and near the door leading to the roof I’ll have to inform someone to check if there are any nest there or something.
Thank you again

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found Bug
Location: Wind Gap, PA
November 17, 2016 11:43 am
We found this on a student today. Any ideas?
Signature: Doug Bartek

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Doug,
This is a blood-sucking Louse Fly or Ked in the family Hippoboscidae.  There are both winged and wingless species, and some winged species lose their wings once they find a host.  Hosts include deer, sheep or birds, depending upon the species of Louse Fly, but they are also opportunistic feeders that will bite humans if no preferred animal host is available. We found a marvelous article on Louse Flies by Meredith Swett Walker on the Entomology Today website where it states:  “Hippoboscid flies are fairly particular about their hosts. Sheep keds are not found on birds or vice versa. There are more than 200 species of Hippoboscidae, and 75 percent of these parasitize birds of various types ranging from tiny swifts to huge albatrosses. Some louse-flies even exhibit distinct preferences for a particular species of bird. One species of hippoboscid is found exclusively on frigate birds and another species parasitizes only boobies. This specificity is seen even when the two seabirds nest in densely-packed, mixed colonies where it would be easy for a hippoboscid to fly from one bird to another.
Thankfully, hippoboscids do not parasitize humans. In 1931, G. Robert Coatney conducted an experiment to determine if pigeon louse flies, Pseudolynchia canariensis, would bite humans and survive on human blood. He must have been very persuasive because he convinced two friends to join him in playing host to the flies. The answer is yes — hippoboscids will bite humans when given no other choice of host, and their bites are definitely itchy. But the flies did not survive long or reproduce when fed only human blood. Granted, Coatney’s experiment was limited in sample size and scope, but hopefully no one feels the need to repeat it.”

That is awesome!! Thank you so much for the info!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Fly??
Location: Darlington
June 28, 2016 7:05 am
Can you tell me what this is please? I had one in my bathroom which I flushed down plug hole then just found this one 2 days later crawling up door frame on the landing. It looks like it has wings but I didn’t see it fly, it was crawling both times. Not sure if it’s the same one which survived plug hole or of its another?? Don’t even know if it’s a fly but it only has 6 legs
Signature: Sandra

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Sandra,
Please confirm that your location is Darlington, South Carolina.  We needed to do a web search to determine the location of the city Darlington, but we cannot say for certain that there is no city by that name in England.  This is a blood sucking Louse Fly.  They have warm blooded hosts.  Some feed on the blood of livestock, some on the blood of deer and some on the blood of birds.  They are opportunistic and they will feed off of human blood if there is no animal host available.

Hi thanks for your reply. I am in Darlington County Durham, U.K.  Is it likely that I will have more in my house?
Regards
Sandra

Thanks for the clarification Sandra.  If this is a species that preys on livestock and you are near livestock, you may get more.  If it is a species that preys upon deer and you are near a woods with deer, you may get more.  If this is a species that preys upon birds and you have a bird nest in your eaves, you may get more.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange and a rare bug starts appearing more and more often
Location: East Europe, Lithuania, Kaunas
May 20, 2016 2:29 pm
Good evening.
In the past 11 days I managed to find 6 of these bugs at my flat. From what I noticed, it can climb on the walls, is highly resistant to pressure – I can’t crush it if it’s in my fist. I saw them both at day and night.
I asked my mother and she hadn’t seen anything like this before. Could you help me?
Signature: Deivydas

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Deivydas,
This is a blood-sucking Louse Fly.  They generally feed off the blood of livestock, especially sheep, and there are species that feed off the blood of deer.  Do you live in an area where there are either livestock or woodlands with deer?  Some species feed off the blood of birds and there are frequently pigeons and other host species found near homes.  Perhaps there are nesting birds in your immediate vicinity.  If their preferred host is not available, they are opportunistic, and they will also feed off the blood of other large animals, including pets and humans.

I live in bedroom districts and there aren’t any deers or other animals as we are still further from the forests. There are some swallow nests in the holes of the roof, maybe it could be the cause? We have been living in this flat for over 12 years and we have never seen any bugs like this.
I’m pretty scared now, as I have two cats. Is there any way to terminate Louse flies?

The bird nests seem like the likely source.  Though we do not provide extermination advice, there is not much chance that the Louse Flies will proliferate much with these BugGuide reproductive statistics:  “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.”

Good news. Anyways, thank your help. It is really amazing that there are some nice people who are willing to help in identifying some unknown animals like in my case, Louse fly, which both me nor my family have not seen all their life before. I am happy to know that they are not dangerous to people and can not proliferate much.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you please tell me what this is?
Location: Austin TX
April 7, 2016 8:13 pm
For the second time now, I have found a singular small critter in my hair. My husband found one on his leg. They bite/sting/pinch. I’m not sure which. They are sort of the color of a cockroach, maybe a tinge lighter in color. I’ve never encountered this creature before. We have a large dog who goes out to the backyard frequently. There is a greenbelt behind our house. We also have an indoor cat and guinea pig. It seems like they crop up after we’ve been on the bed (which the animals get on) or the couch (which the animals aren’t allowed). Sorry it is partially smooshed. It was in my hair 🙁 Thank you for your expertise.
Signature: Dayna

Louse Fly

Louse Fly

Dear Dayna,
This is a Louse Fly, a winged blood-sucker in the family Hippoboscidae.  Some species lose their wings upon landing on a host.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination