Every year we see large amounts of bugs show up in the spring. One of these bugs that we see is the crane fly. It looks like a large mosquito and is often mistaken for a mosquito hawk. This is simply not true. Crane flies are relatively harmless and don’t pose a threat to us. But do crane flies bite? The answer is no. These insects do not bite in any way, shape or form. Let’s look closer at the crane fly and see how it functions in our ecosystem here in Oklahoma.


Many different rumors go around about crane flies. One of the most common misconceptions is that they are the male version of the mosquito. This could not be further from the truth. They do fall under the same family of insects, but they are not the same species. Diptera is the name of the family of insects that both mosquitoes and crane flies come from. This word directly means two wings, which describe both species perfectly. Your Tulsa pest control company will have more information.  

While mosquitoes must take a blood meal in order to complete their reproductive process, crane flies do not. Mosquitoes are much smaller in size than crane flies are as well. This makes crane flies look very ominous when they show up. This is especially so when people believe that they are mosquitoes and want to bite them. But in all honesty these bugs are relatively harmless and don’t pose any threat to us as humans.


Crane flies don’t last very long in the wild. The adult crane fly that we’re used to is usually seen in late winter and early spring. It’s often a sign of the new spring season setting in. These are the adult form and in the prime of their reproduction. In fact that’s their only purpose in this form. Adult crane flies only last a few days which is just long enough for them to mate and lay eggs. 

The females will find damp areas or grassy areas in which to lay their eggs. Often lawns that are near wooded areas or ponds find more crane fly populations than other places. Once these eggs hatch, a larvae will emerge. These larvae are often known as leather jackets. They’re called this because of their tough brown skin. In lava form they can actually cause extensive yard damage. They feed upon dead organic material and roots. Often they can feed on the roots of grass killing large portions of your yard. These larva will feed all winter followed by a resting stage in spring. Then they will pupate and come out as adults. Contact your Tulsa exterminator for more information.  


Since crane flies do not bite, they are also incapable of spreading diseases to humans. The adults will feed upon nectar in order to survive the couple of days that it will take for them to lay eggs and die. But these insects can be very damaging when it comes to your yard. As stated before, in the lava form they eat the roots of grass. This kind of feeding kills the grass in question. While mosquitoes are very dangerous to humans, the crane fly is simply not.

These insects are actually very beneficial for the environment. They play a major role in eliminating decomposing plant material. They also are important in the food cycle of the ecosystem. Many birds and other animals can make a great meal out of a large crane fly. Crane flies can feed on the nectar that they find as an adult, but also have the ability to live off the fat that they’ve developed as a larvae. This is the time in their life where they will do the most of their eating in the larva stage. Get in touch with a good Broken Arrow exterminator for help.  


Because of their large numbers, crane flies can still be a nuisance in the spring. They are often heavily attracted to light sources and can find their way inside of homes. Some people will use a bug light to deal with these intruders. Pesticides can help, but because these insects only last a couple days in their adult form, they usually will die from natural causes before the pesticide can take affect. In their larva stage they are fairly resilient. The leather jackets are tough by nature.  Seldom do over the counter pesticides from your local hardwares store work against these larva.  Often a good granule or yard spray can limit or eliminate the leather jackets found in your yard. If you find large sections of grass that have gone brown then you may have an issue with them.

Crane flies can be a nuisance. If you’re having issues with these bugs or any others maybe it’s time to call a Broken Arrow pest control company. TermMax pest control is the best company in the business when it comes to dealing with these kinds of bugs. We specialize in all different kinds of pest control and insect removal. TermMax pest control services is the greater Tulsa area including Owasso, Sand Springs, Broken Arrow, Prattville, Bigsby, Berryhill, Claremore, Catoosa, Coweta, Jenks, Owasso, Turley and much more. Call us today! We are here to help!

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