Order: Diptera. Family: Tachinidae
Large flies that are good against caterpillars. Ranging from 1/8 – 1/2 inch in size with coarse bristles covering their abdomens. They look similar to houseflies but are more of a mottled black, gray or brown instead of brightly colored. The adults feed on flower nectar, it’s the larvae that prey on caterpillars, beetles, borers, stink bugs, sawflies and a variety of insects.
Female tachinid lies lay their eggs on the bodies of their hosts or where the hosts feed. When the eggs mature they kill the host. They then drop off and pupate in the soil.
To attract these flies, try spearmint, dill or tansy to attract adults.