Louse Fly

Maybe a louse fly?
Location:  North Idaho, USA
October 7, 2010 12:31 pm
Hi! Last night this strange little bug was crawling around in my hair. Kind of freaked me out. I crushed it while getting it out, but I could see what it looked like. Couldn’t identify it. This morning a similar one was crawling on my brother. He flicked it off into the kitchen sink and it drowned, but we fished it out and took pictures. I’m thinking maybe it’s a louse fly. THe whole creature is about 1/8” long. If I look VERY close I see tiny, tiny wings- no way they’d show up in pictures. Can you tell us about it and what we can do to keep them from crawling around on us?? Thanks!
Signature:  Hannah

Louse Fly

Hello Hannah,
Your suspicion that this is a Louse Fly is absolutely correct.  Considering that you are in northern Idaho, we suspect you might live near either a wooded area where there are deer or an agricultural area where there are sheep herds, two situations that would be conducive to supporting a large population of Louse Flies or Keds in the family Hippoboscidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Most are found on birds
” including the Pigeon Louse Fly.  The University of Florida website has an excellent web page on the Pigeon Louse Fly, and the Neotropical Deer Ked is also featured on a web page on the University of Florida Entomology website.

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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