Quick Tip: Crane Flies, Mayflies, or Mosquito Hawks?

Ken Hyatt

I’ve been getting a lot of questions this spring about these mega-mosquitoes, which are crane flies. I’ve heard them called mayflies, mosquito hawks, skeeter eaters, and my favorite, mosquito on steroids!
Everyone can rest easy; these aren’t some dangerously huge mosquitoes that have descended on North Texas.

These inch-long, gangly-legged insects that are sneaking into your home and bouncing off the walls and ceilings are crane flies, and despite rumors to the contrary, they are neither predators of mosquitoes nor a colossal mosquito. And they are harmless (even though you may see reports on the internet that they can bite or sting.)

Adult crane flies eat very little, if at all, according to the experts. Some of them can sponge up liquids, such as dew and honey water. Sometimes they’ll visit flowers to take up nectar.

The reason they don’t eat a lot is because adult crane flies typically only live a few days. Crane flies spend most of their time as larvae living underwater in streams, the edges of ponds, within wet logs, or in other damp places, and then emerge as adults for a quick mating spree before dying.

In our area, we typically see crane flies in spring, and we are seeing a lot currently in North Texas. Rest assured, most of these crane flies will be gone soon.

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