Can anyone identify this horror please, there were about ten of them in our attic bedroom in Cumbria.
They have very good grip to what they are standing on and measure about 1cm from end to end including teh legs.
These are great photos of the Louse Fly or Ked. A very specialised parasite of Swifts, Swallows and Martins. When found in a house it is usually near the nest of one of their hosts.
Best wishes Lewis.
thanks Lewis, that is very helpful, we'll have to search out where the birds nest is now. i guess finding them in the attic bedroom is an obvious connection to this type of bird?!
It may be worth mentioning that on the two occasions I have come across a bathroom full of these flies is when house martins inadvertently came in through the bathroom window. Their manic flapping in their vein attempts to escape were probably seen as death throws to the nycteribiids and they all jumped ship.
Crataerina pallidais one of the more common species - the Swift Lousefly (found on swifts that is, not that they are known to be fleet of foot).
Well one of them will have to go; the wife or the flies? It would be a close call in my house!
Just keep chucking any you come across outside and you will soon see the back of them. They have been known to bite but will not sustain themselves of of their main host for long, so no chance that they will infest your home and feed off your family.
Although I have a profound love of insects I have to admit that I find these flies a tad ugly - there are prettier looking flies for sure, though I bet Mr Ked thinks Mrs Ked is gorgeous.
My girlfriend somehow managed to get one in her ear this morning! I told her it was a spider (based on the couple of legs I could see protruding from her ear canal). I must say, I was quite impressed with how calm she was. She carried on making my sandwiches for a good 5 minutes and then it started to crawl out. That's when I realised it wasn't a spider and took these photos:
I'd better not show her these close-ups in case she has a belated freak-out.
Well David what can I say? Thanks for sharing that fun little interlude with us. I expect I will easily be able to sleep someday soon. Is your wife on some form of calming medication? (Horse tranquillisers etc) I could just imagine how that conversation would have gone in my house i.e. not very well (actually that is a ridiculous understatement): Lots of loud sustained screams, head clutching, manic ragdoll flailing, entreaties to a higher spiritual power. etc 'What's in my ear? 'It's a spider, no wait a minute, its only a Ked darling'. Some how it would have been my fault, I am sure of that. I think your partner must be made of the right stuff.
Best wishes Lewis