Are robber flies good?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Robber flies, also known as assassin flies, play a significant role in the garden ecosystem. While they may appear intimidating with their fierce appearance and ability to deliver a painful bite, they are actually beneficial insects that help control populations of harmful pests.

One of the main reasons why robber flies are considered good is their predatory nature. They are excellent hunters and feed on a wide range of garden pests including grasshoppers, flies, wasps, leafhoppers, white grubs, and pupating beetles. By preying on these pests, they help to keep their populations in check, reducing the damage they can cause to plants and crops.

In my personal experience, I have witnessed robber flies in action, capturing and devouring various pests in my garden. I have seen them swoop down from their perches and snatch flies out of mid-air with incredible speed and agility. This natural control of pest populations can be a great asset to gardeners who are looking to minimize the use of chemical pesticides.

Furthermore, robber flies are highly adapted predators. They have excellent vision and can spot their prey from a distance. Their long, strong legs and sharp mouthparts allow them to capture and immobilize their victims swiftly. They are also known for their ability to mimic other insects, blending seamlessly into their surroundings to deceive their prey.

Another positive aspect of robber flies is their relatively low maintenance. Unlike some other beneficial insects, they do not require specific habitats or special care to thrive. They are generalist predators and can be commonly found in a variety of garden environments. This makes them a valuable asset for gardeners who are seeking natural pest control solutions.

However, it is important to note that while robber flies are generally beneficial, they can deliver a painful bite if they feel threatened or provoked. It is best to observe them from a safe distance and avoid handling them. This is especially true for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to insect bites.

Robber flies are indeed good for gardens. Their voracious appetite for harmful pests makes them valuable allies in natural pest control. While their bites can be painful, they generally pose no significant threat to humans if left undisturbed. So, next time you spot a robber fly in your garden, appreciate its role as a beneficial predator in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.