Currently viewing the category: "Flies"

I live in the midwest and recently relandscaped a good portion of my lawn and had bluegrass sod laid. ok so it was a very warm dry winter then 2 days after sod was laid the spring rains started and just keep coming. Problem is 2 monthes later the rains still come 1 or 2 times a week. there are lots of mushrooms growing in the new sod but that dosen’t bother me i know it will dry up soon. the problem is the sodded area seems to be infested with small dark colored flying bugs larger than gnats but smaller than the average house fly.the sod is still deep green but im worried that this could be a damaging infestation! what kind of insecticide should be used ? can you tell me what kind of bug this could be? thanks in advance!
Robert Bouchard

Dear Robert,
Many nonbiting gnats including Root Gnats (Family Sciaridae) and March Flies (Family Bibionidae) spend their maggot form eating decaying plant material such as compost, peat and spaghnum. They are scavengers who often live among the roots of grasses. There was probably a substrate of manure and compost laid beneath your sod, and that is where the flies are breeding. They will not damage your lawn as they do not feed on the living grass.

Lately I have been seeing some of the large mosquito-like creatures and am wondering: Do they really eat mosquitos? I’m talking about the ones that look just like mosquitos but are much lagers and fly with their legs dangling in an almost comical way. They never bother us excpt for an occasional tickle as they brush over an arm, and we are careful to not kill them, ushering them outside if the cat hasn’t already gotten them… Thanks. I just occasioned upon your web page thanks to google…

Dear Lou,
I’m so happy that search engine is doing what it is supposed to do, direct the curious to our site. You are talking about crane flies which though they are known locally in some areas as mosquito hawks, do not really feed on mosquitos. They have soft mouthparts incapable of biting. The Giant Crane Fly, Holorusia hespera, is one of the world’s largest flies with a 3 inch wing span. I’m also happy to hear we have a reader who knows how to cope with insect visitors in a kind and logical manner instead of just bombarding the entire environment with pesticides to no avail.

Thanks! I found a corroborative answer in further searching, Crane Flies! Never heard the name but known the interesting creatures all my life. And Mosquito Hawks are also names for dragonflies and Damsel flies. Fascinating photo article on Damsel flies in National Geographic recently, too.
Thanks, Bugman!

I live in SC and yesterday (4/30) I found 3 bugs attached to my miniature pincher’s bare belly (only on hairless spots). They were much easier to remove than a tick. I know they were sucking her blood because they were attached exactly the same way (like a tick would be) and were full of blood. They leave red patches that get about as big as a dime and last 3-4 days but don’t itch. The spots look almost like ringworm. The bugs looked very much like sweat bees but didn’t sting me when I removed them. They had tiny transparent wings and were black like a sweat bee but a little smaller. Our vet didn’t know what this could be. I have never found one of them on a person, but my dog has been getting these red spots whenever she’s been outside over an hour (which only happens in warm weather). Please tell me what this could be so I can protect my little dog.
Thank you,

Dear Angie,
Louse Flies, family Hippoboscidae, are small with flattened bodies. They look like winged ticks that cling tenaciously or crawl sluggishly when they land on skin or clothing. All louse flies are blood suckers, though none feed regularly on humans. Upon emerging from the pupa the adult fly, which has fully developed though fragile wings, flies among trees and shrubs in search of prey. They are ectoparasites whose natural prey includes deer and certain birds.

Hi, Bugman….
This guy was just stumbling around on the trunk of my avacado tree….having trouble finding his legs…..he couldn’t fly but he flapped his wings…. I’ve seen a lot of these…..this one was maybe newly hatched and just getting started….he wasn’t as big as the ones who used to live in my bathtub at my old place.
Anyway, this guy was just about an inch long, not counting his legs.. What is he? He looks just like a super sized mosquito, but friendlier, and not at all bloodthirsty. Thanks…..Jonathan

Dear Jonathan,
How nice to hear from you.
You’ve got a common crane fly, (Tipula planicornis). The larger species is the Giant Crane Fly (Holorusia hespera) which can have a three inch wingspan. Craneflies have short soft mouthparts and are incapable of biting. Larvae are called leather jackets and are found in rotting vegetation. Some are aquatic.

My husband and I have been seeing a type of bug that we can’t identify. They are black bugs, about 1/2 centimeter in size. We never seem to see them flying, they usually are just sitting on the walls. They sort of resemble tiny houseflies, except that they don’t have large eyes. I have attached a basic drawing of one.
We started seeing these a few weeks ago when my husband was doing some work in the basement. There was an open drain in the floor which was starting to smell. It was at that time we noticed a few of these bugs. So my husband cemented over the drain. That was a couple weeks ago and we are still seeing the bugs. They don’t seem to be attracted to food or garbage or anything in particular. We just see them on the walls. When we go to kill them, they leave a charcoal-like smudge on the wall (I don’t know if that info helps at all – its just something I noticed). Please help us figure out what these bugs are and the best way to get rid of them!
Holly Kramer

Dear Holly,
You have Bathroom Flies, Clogmia albipunctata, which belong to the Moth Fly family Psychodidae. They are small, harmless gnats that are often noticed indoors in damp places, especially bathrooms and more specifically showers. The brown wormlike larvae develop in the sludgy organic muck that accumulates outdoors in shallow lpools and under artificial conditions, in sink traps, drains, and dead-flow areas in household plumbing. Clean out the pipes.

What is the tiny fly type bug that comes in through the window screens and hangs out on the window glass or ceiling. They almost look like a small fruit fly but they are not. They hang out in the grass as if you water your lawn or walk through it they disperse. Just tons coming in the garage screen door. I’ve been swatting them for almost a week now. Live in NY state and it has been dry and hot. Thanks

Dear R.
Any number of gnats are small enough to enter through the openings of window screens. The Black Gnat (family Sciaridae) is tiny, about 1/16 inch, and often flits in one’s face while watching television or gets caught in fresh paint, or causes despair when they appear in bowls of breakfast cereal. The larva live in decaying plant material, often being numerous around compost piles, and they are also known to infest the roots and stems of various herbaceous plants. Since you haven’t complained of itchy bites, you can be thankful that you aren’t being plagued by nasty no-see-ums, so count yourself lucky that you just get benign gnats.