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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

Crane Fly Identification Guide

Learn All About Crane Flies - Do They Really Eat Mosquitoes?

By DoMyOwn staff

What Is A Crane Fly?

crane fly mosquito hawk size

Crane flies, also known as mosquito hawks and mosquito eaters, are giant insects that resemble big mosquitoes. Despite their appearance, these large insects are completely harmless when fully mature.

Often confused with mayflies, crane flies, aka mosquito eaters only live a few days once fully mature. Unfortunately, they don't eat mosquitoes or help control mosquito populations.

The larva of crane flies can damage lawns, which is why it is important to identify what these mosquito flies look like in order to prevent and remove them from your yard.

Learn more about the various development stages of crane flies below.


crane fly life cycle growth

crane fly anatomy
Adult crane flies, which cause no damage to lawns and do not bite or sting, resemble large mosquitoes with very long legs.

Since the larval stage of crane flies cause damage, it is most important that you are able to identify the larva in your yard:

  • Larva resemble short, stout worms. They can also look like caterpillars at later stages of development, but they do not have legs.
  • They have a thick gray skin, and have the nickname "leatherjackets."
  • They can be as long as two inches
  • Feed on the crown and roots of your turf. Larvae hatch in the fall, begin to feed on the turf, and then overwinter in the soil. They will re-emerge to feed again in the spring when temperatures begin to warm up.

If you have Crane Flies in your yard, check out our guide on how to get rid of crane flies to learn about your treatment options.

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