Aims: According to reports of biting flies in some military unites, this study was conducted to identify the biting fly species and also to determinate the causes of the bite incidence.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out during May to July 2013 in a few military unites stationed in Tehran, Iran. In this study, 31 adult feral and domestic pigeons were captured and examined for biting flies. Human biting cases were also checked.
Results: In total, all the 66 pieces (31female, 35 male) of Hippoboscid biting flies, which were collected in this study, were identified as, Pseudolynchia canariensis. This is the first report of the pigeon louse fly in Tehran.
The prevalence of P. canariensis in pigeons was determined 48.8 (SD= ± 38.8) (n=15), regardless of the types of pigeons. The prevalence of this ectoparasite in the rock dove, Columba livia (Gmelin 1789) was significantly more than the other pigeons including the domestic pigeon, C. livia domestica and the laughing dove, Spilopelia senegalensis.
The average frequency index of pigeon louse fly was determined 1.81 (SD= ± 2.3) per each pigeon. Also the 8 cases of human bites from P. canariensis were reported for the first time in Iran.
Conclusion: The P. canariensis were distributed among pigeons in Tehran. Due to the rarity of bites of this fly in humans, relatively high reported cases of human bites is important in Tehran. Therefore, these ectoparasites can be controlled by moving the pigeons away from human living environments. This can be achieved by improving the conditions of buildings in order to prevent nest-building. Environmental hygiene can decrease food sources for pigeons and will eventually reduce the abundance of pigeons in the urban human habitats.