What Are Crane Flies? An expert guide

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Crane flies are small, delicate insects that can be found all over the world. They are considered a nuisance because they can build up in large numbers and can cause damage to property. Crane flies are members of the fly family and are known for their colorful wings and legs. Let’s get to know more about them in this article.

What are Crane Flies?

Crane flies are a type of fly that is closely related to mosquito hawks and other biting flies. However, they do not bite or spread diseases. They are mostly harmless to humans and animals.

As crane flies lay their eggs indiscriminately on the lawn, there is a high likely hood that you will encounter their larvae as they hatch and start to feed. The larva is voracious eaters and will damage your turf as they feed.

What are crane flies

While they are not harmful to humans, they can be quite annoying when they swarm around your head in large numbers.

What are the Crane fly larvae?

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Crane-fly larvae are small, worm-like creatures that can be white, green, brown, or translucent in color. They are found near the surface of soil and water and can cause damage to crops and plants.

They hatch from eggs and go through a series of molts until they reach their adult form. These larvae can be found in soil and aquatic environments where they eat plant matter. They are not harmful to humans, but they can be a nuisance because they are often mistaken for termites.

They can be found in a variety of habitats, including soil, water, and vegetation. In fact, as I proceeded with my research, I found that they are important predators of other insects and help to keep populations of those pests in check.

However, when they emerge on warm nights, they feed on your grass, killing it at the root. This makes the grass unable to recover and grow back.

Do crane flies bite?

Crane flies are harmless and do not bite. They are mostly known for their large size and delicate wings. In fact, they are mostly harmless to humans. However, their appearance can be startling for some people.

How worried should I be about crane flies?

Crane flies are a type of fly that can be a pest to turf, pasture grass, golf courses, and field crops. They can cause significant damage to these areas and are difficult to control. While they do not bite or sting humans, they can be a nuisance.

When crane flies eggs hatch, the larvae can cause significant damage to plant roots in large concentrations. Additionally, these hatched larvae can also attract more pests, like skunks, birds, and raccoons.

Though crane flies have a very short lifespan as adults, they can reproduce quickly. This means that even if you don’t see many of them, they could still be a cause for concern.

In short, generally, there is no need to worry about crane flies as they are not harmful. However, if an infestation occurs, it can be a concern. It is best to treat the larvae with registered insecticides in late fall when the eggs are laid and the larvae are active.

How to eliminate crane flies?


Crane flies are a common pest that can be found all over the world. While they may look scary, they can also be a nuisance because they tend to swarm in large numbers. The best way to get rid of them is by using a pesticide or an insecticide.

Personally speaking, there are five steps you can take to get rid of adult crane flies for good:

1. Identify the problem.

2. Find the source of the crane flies.

3. Eliminate their food supply.

4. Use traps or insecticides to kill them off.

5. Monitor your progress and repeat as necessary

Let us discuss the steps to eliminate them in detail.

Identify the problem.

There are many different types of crane flies, and it can be difficult to identify them without knowing what to look for.

By matching the description of the insect you are looking at to a known species, you can narrow down the possibilities and determine which type of crane fly you are dealing with.

The most common type (also the one that I encountered) is distinguishable by its long legs and slender body. If you are trying to identify a crane fly larva, look for tentacle-like appendages coming from the body.

Find the source of the crane flies.

Once you’ve determined whatever bugs you’re dealing with, look around your yard to see where they’re coming from. If you can locate a location where they are concentrated, you will have a better notion of why they are there.

Crane flies are attracted to moist patches in the yard, indicating that your yard lacks proper drainage. It’s critical to figure out where you’ve gone wrong and how to correct it.

It’s also crucial to know where you should spray insecticide and promote natural predators in the next two steps. While you can try to raise and apply all over the yard, it’s preferable, to begin with, to use a smaller area. At least, that is what worked out for me.

Eliminate their food supply.

One way to help get rid of crane flies is by eliminating their food supply. This can be done in a few ways, but one of the most effective is to put out bird feeders. This will attract birds that will eat the crane fly larvae.

You can also encourage predators of crane flies by providing them with a safe place to live. This could be in the form of a garden or a pond with plenty of insects for them to eat.

Use traps or insecticides to kill them off.

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There are a number of ways to get rid of crane flies. One is to use traps, which can be purchased from home improvement stores or online.

Another option is to use insecticides. While these products may be more effective, they also come with the risk of harming other insects in the area, as well as pets and people.

It is important to talk to a pest control company if you are experiencing a severe infestation, as they will have more effective products and guarantees in place to ensure the pests are eliminated.

Monitor your progress and repeat as necessary

Crane flies can be a nuisance, but there are ways to prevent them from coming back. Make sure your yard is healthy and free of debris. This will provide the crane flies with no place to nest and lay eggs.

Mowing your lawn to the correct height is important in order to keep crane flies away. If you mow your lawn too short, it will remove the food sources that crane flies rely on.

Additionally, make sure to rake up any leaves or other debris that may have fallen on your lawn, as this can also attract crane flies.

Furthermore, piles of leaves or stacks of wood can provide a place for these pests to breed and live, so it is important to keep them cleaned up.

You can also monitor your progress and repeat as necessary; if you see that the crane fly population is increasing, take steps to eliminate them.

When to hire a professional?

If you are dealing with a crane fly infestation, it is important to seek professional help. Crane flies can be difficult to get rid of and can cause a lot of damage if left untreated. Professionals have the experience and knowledge necessary to effectively deal with these pests.

Although homeowners can take some preventative measures on their own, there are times when it is best to hire a professional.

For example, if there is an ongoing infestation or the problem is too big for the homeowner to handle, hiring a professional will be the most effective solution.

If you’re not sure how to use the pesticide or if there is a large infestation, it’s best to call a professional. They will know how to handle the situation and ensure that the pests are eliminated safely and effectively.


Crane flies are common pests that can be found in yards across the country. They can be harmful to your lawn and should be eliminated with a reputable pest control company.

Applying a quarterly pest treatment will help keep your yard healthy and free of pests. Lastly, if nothing seems to be working contact a pest control company.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.