Pest Identification: Robber Flies
Most Common Types
Robber flies are in the Asilidae family. They are called “Assassin Flies” and “Bee Killers
What They Look Like
The appearance of the robber fly is meant to frighten its prey, because robber flies are often much bigger. Robber flies are only one-half to 1.5 inches long, and have big, prominent eyes. Robber Flies have elongated brown, black, gray, or yellow bodies and short strong proboscises used to stab their enemies. With their hairy heads and thoraxes, some types are often mistaken for bumble bees.
Where They Live
There are about 7,500 species of robber flies and all of them are predators. They most often inhabit open, sunny, and dry to arid lands. Robber flies can be found throughout the world in savannas, steppes, and semi-desert environments.
Where They Nest
Robber flies generally inhabit warm, sunny, open areas near forests where they can prey upon flying insects such as bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, and moths. Robber flies enter the home in search of moisture, congregating around dampness in bathtubs, drains, and sinks. Robber fly larvae can be found in moist, organic material such as rotting logs and soil.
Steps to Prevent
Robber flies are beneficial insects that prey on pests like flies, beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers and some spiders. Even though they also feed on other beneficial insects, such as bees and dragonflies, there is no need to prevent or control the numbers of robber flies.
Are They Harmful?
Robber flies can exhibit startlingly aggressive behavior but will only sting people if they are trapped or confused. Some people even keep them as pets.