Mosquito Eater? Mosquito Hawk? Giant Mosquito? What is this Huge Flying Daddy Long Legs Looking Thing?

Crane Fly

Crane Fly

You just sprayed my yard and it’s covered in giant mosquitoes! Please come back and spray again.” Receiving a call like this at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery County is our worst nightmare. It is also something we are not accustomed to and we take it very seriously. We headed out to the house in question that very same day to see what possibly could have happened.

A Giant Mosquito Infestation

Sure enough, the back yard really was covered in large mosquito-like insects. Upon closer inspection however, they were not mosquitoes. They in fact were Mosquito Eaters. Often mistaken for giant mosquitoes these lovely creatures resemble a cross between a mosquito and a Daddy Long Legs with wings. They are also widely known in the south as Mosquito Hawks or Skeeter Eaters. But their proper name is actually Crane Fly.

What You Should Know About the Crane Fly

  1. Crane flies do not eat mosquitoes. They were named after them because they look like large versions of them, not because they eat them.
  2. Crane flies do not bite humans.
  3. Adult Crane flies usually don’t eat at all, but their larvae will devour any decaying matter in the water where they live.
  4. Adults only live for 10 to 15 days after hatching.
  5. Living to reproduce, sometimes the female Crane fly will die immediately after laying her eggs.

Crane flies are known for their lazy flight, attraction to light and their dangly long legs. Many of us were under the impression that they were a natural form of mosquito control. If one would get in the house we might carefully shoo it out, realizing its value in eating mosquitoes was too important to squash. Carefully picking it up and trying to release it back in the wild was always a challenge with their fragile long legs often becoming victims to our good will.

Mosquito

Mosquito

Don’t Kill Mosquito Hawks

While you don’t have to “save” them for their mosquito control value, there is no need to eliminate these harmless flies. They serve as food for a large variety of other insects, birds and fish and their larvae provide a great service in munching away at the decaying matter in wetlands. There have been reports of larvae munching on the roots and destroying lawns when they show up in massive droves but that is the exception not the norm.

If you happen to be an angler you might be very familiar with The Crane Fly and its value. But you probably don’t call it a Crane Fly either, you quite likely call it great bait or fish food. Known to be a wonderful bait for catching Bass, the Crane Fly can be mighty useful to the fishing sportsman/woman.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

While we don’t advocate killing Crane Flies we do suggest you eliminate its smaller, much more dangerous, smaller name sake – the mosquito. Protect your family and friends today by contacting Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery to schedule mosquito (and tick) protection for your special outdoor occasion and all season long! You can reach us at (301) 444-5566 • email: westmontco@mosquitosquad.com.

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