Beneficial Insect: Tachinid Fly (Tachinidae, Dexiinae, Exoristinae, Phasiinae, Tachininae)
Insect Type: Beneficial Insect
Major Identifying Features: Adult tachinid flies resemble small houseflies and may be covered in dark bristly hairs, they are between 1/3″ and 3/4″ long, larvae are maggots that feed inside host insects, the adults are great pollinators, and larvae can consume incredible amounts of pests
Life Cycle: Tachinid flies are parasites and lay their eggs on the bodies of host insects, after larvae hatch, they excavate the host’s body from the inside, some species deposit live larvae directly into the hosts, and some species lay their eggs on plant tissue in hopes that the eggs will be digested by a pest, tachinid flies have up to 2 generations per year, larvae live inside the host as long as possible, larvae then pupate into adults either inside or outside the prey’s body
Pest Rating: Beneficial!
Management Rating: Beneficial!
Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Hosts are other insects, plant tissue
Support Information/Common Prey: Tachinid fly feed on caterpillars, colorado potato beetles, corn ear worms, cucumber beetles, cutworms, earwigs, foud lined plant bugs, Japanese beetles, Mexican bean beetles, sawfly larvae, squash bugs, and tobacco budworms
Management/Attraction Options: Provide a diversity of plants with small flowers, herbs from the dill family, plants from the aster family, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, Queen Ann’s Lace, chamomile, feverfew, ox-eye daisy, Shasta daisy, leave weeds such as sweet clover, wild carrot, never kill caterpillars with white eggs on their backs