Crane Fly vs Mosquitoes: What Is The Difference?

Crane flies are often time mistaken for mosquitoes. As Spring kicks into gear this year, there has been an abundance of crane flies taking over yards and gardens across the Southeast. With our mild winter and wet spring, these have been the perfect conditions for crane flies to mature from the larvae and pupal stage to full-grown, flying adults. When these adults start to infest our yards, people think they are large mosquitoes. The reality is they are not. Here, Lookout Pest Control, formerly Any Pest Inc., discusses crane flies and their differences from mosquitos.

crane fly

What Is A Crane Fly?

A crane fly is a type of fly that is visually similar to a large mosquito. They range in size from tiny to almost 3 cm (1.2 inches) long, these harmless slow-flying insects are usually found around water or among abundant vegetation. The easiest way to differentiate a crane fly from a mosquito is by the position of its body. Crane flies hold their bodies straight and rest with their wings wide open. Yet, mosquitoes have a humpbacked appearance when they sit with their wings folded flat on their backs.

What Is The Difference?

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Crane FlyMosquito
Shape & SizeStraight long body, 1-1.5 inchesBent abdomen and needle-like nose, roughly 0.10-0.50 inches in size
Lifespan1 – 2 weeks1 – 6 weeks
WingsSingle Pair, 0.5-2.5 inches in sizeTwo pairs, roughly 1 inch in size
Legsvery long, twice the size of their bodiesLong and thin
AntennaNot HairyHairy
When Are They Active?NighttimeDawn & Dusk
Threat To HumansHarmlessCan pass several diseases

Do Crane Flies Eat Mosquitoes?

The simple answer is NO! Despite being called “mosquito eaters” by some, crane flies do not feed on mosquitos. This is due to the fact that the majority of their lives are spent underground. Once the larvae become an adult, the crane fly spends its time mating, laying eggs and waiting to die.

crane fly

What Is A Crane Flies Purpose?

The South is used to a large abundance of crane flies. Adult crane flies eat little or nothing and live a relatively short lifespan. Although they’re not the mosquito-eaters you may have heard about, their larvae do play an important decomposing role in the ecosystem. Their larvae break down waste in soil and help process organic material for other organisms. This helps the overall ecosystem and the circle of life function properly.

Minimizing Mosquito Infestations

Mosquitoes are dangerous because they carry malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and yellow fever. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 200 million people contract these diseases yearly. The best way to prevent mosquitoes is to eliminate them from your yard and home. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  • Keep it clean: Keep your yard clean by raking leaves and grass clippings, picking up trash, cleaning gutters, and trimming overgrown plants near your house.
  • Remove standing water: Water attracts mosquitoes, so drain any puddles or other places where water collects after rain or watering plants. Also, make sure there aren’t any holes in your roof or foundation that would allow water to gather inside the house.
  • Use repellents: Use mosquito repellents like DEET when going outside. Also if you have an area of high mosquito activity in your yard (such as a pond or marshy area). If using repellents on children, always read the label first and use only what is recommended for their age.

Need Mosquito Control? Call Us Today!

The best way to get rid of mosquitoes and other pests is to call the professionals at Lookout Pest Control. Although you may have read a lot of information online and are confident you can safely and effectively keep mosquitoes away; it is always a good idea to call an expert for mosquito control if you have a persistent problem. 

If you see some dead mosquitoes around your property, it may mean that living ones are breeding somewhere in or around your home or business, which might be difficult for a novice to identify. This is why we encourage you to enlist the help of our professionals and let them take care of your mosquito problem so you can get back to enjoying your property and not worrying about mosquitoes.

Crane Fly vs Mosquitoes: What Is The Difference? in Kennesaw, GA and beyond!

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