Friendly flies

Asked June 19, 2019, 10:55 AM EDT

Rumor going around that DNR brought the flies in to prey on the tent caterpillars. Your thoughts?

Otsego County Michigan caterpillar damage tent caterpillars

1 Response

Hello,

My thoughts are this rumor is completely false. The fly, known scientifically as Sarcophaga aldrichi (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) and commonly as the "friendly fly, is a native insect. It occurs throughout eastern North America and has been helping to control forest tent caterpillars for thousands of years.

Also, the state agency that is charged with protecting our forests from invasive insects is the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). If a new biological control agent were to be released in Michigan, it would be done by MDARD not the DNR.

Best regards,
Howard