Have you seen a lot of these around lately? Don’t you worry, these aren’t mosquitos. Coinciding with the warm up in temperatures, we’ve received a countless number of calls from concerned homeowners about Mosquitos on their property, only to find, upon further investigation, that they’re just harmless Crane Flies.
What’s a Crane Fly?
Commonly mistaken as a large mosquito, crane flies have slender bodies, long legs that are deciduous, meaning they easiliy come off the body at maturity, two antennae, and short snouts known as rostrum. They also have wings which typically span 1cm to 6.5cm. They belong to the insect family Tipulidae to which crane fly is a common psuedonym. Thankfully, with a life span of only 10-15 days, and with water and moisture sources drying up, this pest will be out of your hair soon.
Ecology of the Crane Fly.
Larvae habitats include an assortment of freshwater, and semiaquatic environments including: standing water, soil, leaf litter, mud, decaying plant materials, and fruits in various stages of rot. Larvae is an important contributor in the soil ecosystem, as they process organic material and increase microbial activity. Larvae and adults are also valuable prey for many animals, including insects, spiders, fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The larvae of some species consume other living aquatic insects and invertebrates, which could potentially include mosquito larvae. Many adults, however, have such short lifespans that they do not eat at all.
How to prevent them.
Because Tipulidae larvae needs damp areas, eliminating areas of standing water, wet soil, and decaying plant materials can go a long way in preventing the growth and hatching of crane flies on your property. Unfortunately, crane flies travel from other areas that you may not have control over. If it is an area you CAN control, natural and chemical insecticides can be used to limit the growth of larvae. For more information, or to talk to a pest control specialist, call Structural Termite and Pest Control at (951) 687-7413