It May Look Like a Mosquito but It’s a Crane Fly


There’s no doubt about it- mosquitos are some of the peskiest pests around. Not only does a mosquito bite cause unbearable itching, but mosquitos also cause over 1 million deaths worldwide each year. 

But, what if the pest you’re dealing with isn’t actually a mosquito? That’s right, there’s another pest out there that many people mistake for a mosquito. It’s called a crane fly. 

What is a crane fly? And, how is a crane fly different from a mosquito?

Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about crane flies. 

What is a Crane Fly?

As the name suggests, a crane fly is a type of fly that resembles huge mosquitos. Despite their alarming appearance, crane flies are actually completely harmless. 

However, when crane flies are in their larva stage, they can cause damage to your lawn, so this is why identifying them quickly is important. 

You may have also heard crane flies referred to as mosquito eaters or mosquito hawks. However, as nice as it would be, crane flies actually don’t eat mosquitos. They also don’t bite humans. In fact, adult crane flies only live for a few days and don’t eat much of anything during their lifespan. 

Crane Fly Appearance 

As we mentioned, an adult crane fly looks like a giant mosquito that doesn’t cause any damage. Because its the larva that causes damage, it’s important to know how to identify crane flies at this stage. 

Here’s what crane flies look like in the larval stage:

  • Crane fly larva resemble short and stout worms
  • They look like caterpillars at the later stages of development, but without legs
  • They can be up to two inches long
  • They have thick, gray skin

Crane flies feed on the crown and roots of your turf. They usually hatch in the fall and immediately begin feeding on your turf, and then feed on soil during the winter months. They then re-emerge in the spring when the temperatures begin to warm up to start feeding again. 

Crane Flies vs Mosquitos 

Mosquito Vs Crane Fly

We’ve mentioned that crane flies don’t bite and that they look somewhat similar to mosquitos. But, how else are these two insects different?

Another major difference between mosquitos and crane flies is that mosquitos must eat in order to live. In fact, the term “mosquito bite” is a bit of a misnomer. What mosquitos really do when they “bite” you, is stick a tube-like appendage into your skin in order to suck out blood. What’s worse, mosquitos can also carry diseases that they transmit to humans through their bloodsucking techniques. 

Dengue fever, Zika, and malaria are just a few mosquito-borne illnesses that can have lethal consequences. 

Another major difference between these two insects is their infestation patterns. Mosquitos have no problem taking up residence in your home. While crane flies can get into your home on accident, they won’t stay for long. 

Time to Say Goodbye to These Pests

Whether you’re dealing with a crane fly invasion or mosquito invasion in your home, you should call a pest control company to take care of the problem. 

If you’re looking for pest control in the northern, NJ area, contact us today. Our office is located in Randolph.

We serve the counties of Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Union, Essex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon and Somerset. Give us a call to see if we serve your town within the counties listed.