Last Saturday, UC IPM staff greeted a swarm of visitors at their Picnic Day booth. Picnic Day, UC Davis' annual Open House event, invites people to visit the campus and interact with fun and educational exhibits. UC IPM has participated in Picnic Day for more than a decade and this year attracted visitors to their booth with live insects like hissing cockroaches, a termite colony, and crane flies. UC IPM staff answered many questions about pests, pesticides, and cleared up misconceptions about some common insects.
What did we talk with people about?
It's now spring, which means the appearance of all kinds of insects, including those large, leggy insects sometimes called “mosquito eaters” or “mosquito hawks”, which fly awkwardly in or around your house.
These insects are actually called crane flies, and sorry-- they don't eat mosquitoes.
They also don't bite or sting but can be a nuisance pest for some. In reality, crane fly larvae are a pest of turfgrass.
The best way to deal with crane flies is prevention. Learn how to prevent crane flies in your home and landscape by reading the blogpost ‘Mosquito Hawks' in Your House? Or by visiting the UC IPM Crane...
You may be seeing long-legged, flying insects in your house lately, bouncing around the walls, ceilings, and corners. Many people call these “mosquito hawks” or “mosquito eaters,” but unfortunately, they are not predators of mosquitoes.
These flying insects are actually adult crane flies and although annoying to find in the home, they are basically harmless and won't help with any mosquito problems.
Many reports claim these adult European crane flies (Tipula paludosa) bite or sting, but this is false. Most adult crane flies, which superficially resemble large mosquitoes with very long legs, eat very little, if at all. Adult crane flies live for only a few weeks, and when they find their...