A crane fly in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest Control

Do you have bugs that look like giant mosquitoes living in your house or all over your yard? In the spring here in Eastern TN, mosquitoes start their breeding season back up again, but their larger look-alikes also start to make appearances. Crane flies, sometimes referred to as mosquito eaters or mosquito hawks, have an uncanny resemblance to mosquitoes, but they actually have nothing to do with each other. Read to learn the differences between mosquitoes vs crane flies with the experts at Johnson Pest Control!

Crane Flies vs Mosquitoes: Do Crane Flies Bite?

When you see insects in your house that look like mosquitoes but larger, it’s normal to worry about the possibility of a bite. Don’t be afraid, though—crane flies do not bite humans, or any animals, for that matter. They lack a proboscis (the mouthpart that mosquitoes use to draw blood) and don’t need the nutrients from blood for reproductive purposes like the female mosquito. 

That said, it’s still easy to mistake crane flies for mosquitoes and vice versa. Both of these insects have long, skinny legs with wide, thin wings. Their bodies are also similarly shaped. However, there are some main differences you can look for to tell if you have a mosquito or crane fly infestation:

  1. Size: Crane flies vary greatly in size, but they will always be larger than mosquitoes. Some crane flies can reach over an inch in length, and their legs are even more dramatically long than mosquitoes’. You can reliably tell apart crane fly vs male mosquito appearance by their sizes.
  2. Habits: As we’ve covered, the “mosquito eater” nickname is actually a misleading mistake. Crane flies only eat plant nectar and will never bite a human.
  3. Activity: Mosquitoes are most active outside at times of low sunlight. Crane flies can be active throughout the day, and you’re likely to see them in your bathroom where moisture builds up.

Crane Fly vs Mosquito infographic - Johnson Pest Control in Eastern TN

How to Prevent Crane Flies

Although these insects are harmless, it can become a serious nuisance to have them all over your yard or inside your home every year. Take these steps to prevent crane flies around your home:

  • Look for breeding sites: Crane flies lay their eggs in the ground in areas that receive a lot of moisture. Check your lawn for patches of brown or yellow grass. This is a sign of crane fly larvae damage. Their larvae look like tiny worms and are green, white, or brown in color.
  • Attract predators: Birds eat crane fly larvae, so using a birdfeeder or other bird attractors could put a stop to crane fly reproduction.
  • Use natural remedies: Diluted neem oil, essential oils, or garlic can be sprayed on crane fly breeding grounds to shut down their growth. Pesticides will work well too, but it’s important to consult a pest control professional for safe use advice.

Get Rid of Spring Pests with Johnson Pest Control

Whether you have mosquitoes or crane flies, we understand that a pest-filled yard can ruin the warmer months of the year. If you’re looking for professional extermination services for your crane flies or mosquitoes, call your local pest control company. Our team at Johnson Pest Control can conduct a thorough inspection to find and identify the active pests and figure out the best extermination strategies to go forward with. Reach out today for a free quote!

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