Did you know that the long-legged flies that often bump around while in flight are actually adult crane flies, commonly known as “skeeter eaters”?
Crane Flies vs. Mosquitoes
Crane flies are long-legged insects that are often mistaken for daddy longlegs or giant mosquitoes. Daddy longlegs, like spiders, don’t have wings and are arachnids. Also, no mosquito is as big as a crane fly.
The legs of crane flies are too long in proportion to their body. 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. On the other hand, mosquitoes have a humpbacked appearance when they sit with their wings folded flat on their backs.
Crane flies love light so they get into homes at night. They have a bouncy appearance as they bump into walls and spring back using their long legs. They just want to find a way out. On the contrary, mosquitoes that enter your home are looking for someone to bite. Also, they spend most of their time banging their head on ceilings in an attempt to escape.
Other Facts about Crane Flies
Adult crane flies can be found near damp habitats or water since most of their larvae are semi-aquatic or aquatic. They feed on decaying plant material and algae. Some larvae may live in damp mosses and damp rotting woods. The larvae of some species are predatory and live in dry soil where they eat roots, damaging lawns and crops.
Crane fly larvae are legless and have distinctive head capsules and mouths. Because they have a smooth yet tough outer cuticle, they are given the name “leatherjackets”. Depending on the environment, a crane adult fly can live for two to fifteen days after hatching.
Most adult crane flies eat nothing, but their offspring must eat to live. Do skeeter eaters eat mosquitoes? These clumsy, fragile, goofy bugs are incapable of eating or killing a mosquito. Instead, they consume decaying wood, shoots, vegetation, and roots below ground. At night, they ooze out to eat flowers, fruits, and grass.
Crane flies play a crucial role in the environment. As their larvae decompose, the soil becomes enriched, thus improving the habitats of other creatures. Also, they are meals for reptiles, birds, other insects, amphibians, and fish. In fact, they are often used as fishing baits.
Crane flies do not draw blood, sting or bite. They can only become bothersome because of swarming numbers, but it only happens once in a million times because their lives are too short. To learn more about skeeter eaters, your local Modesto pest control company can provide.