What Is A Crane Fly?
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.
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.