What ARE Those Giant Mosquitoes


In the late summer and early fall, you might’ve noticed those large, mosquito-like insects hovering above your lawn or bumping along your walls if they manage to get indoors. 


These mysterious critters have picked up several aliases with many people calling them giant mosquitoes, flying daddy long legs, and even mosquito eaters (skeeter eaters)!


None of the nicknames are correct, nor are they accurate in describing the true nature of these insects. 


Keep reading to learn the proper name for these clumsy yet somewhat intimidating bugs as well as some real facts about them!



Meet the Crane Fly

Crane Fly is the true household name for these gangling insects. Though crane flies resemble giant mosquitoes, they are not a type of mosquito.


Crane flies enjoy moist, warm conditions which is why we often find them in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent. 


Unlike the mosquito, crane flies do not feed on blood and cannot bite. In fact, most adult crane flies don’t have mouth parts at all! This is because crane flies only live in that lanky adult stage that we’re familiar with for less than 1 week (which is just long enough for them to breed). 


The bulk of the crane fly’s life cycle is spent in the larval and pupal stages where they feed on plant roots and decaying plant material. When crane flies are in the larval or pupal stages, they are referred to as leather jackets.



This is the only stage in the crane fly life cycle where these insects are considered “pests” because they can pose a threat to your lawn or garden if there are enough of them. 


If you typically notice tons of crane flies around your yard and have noticed a gradual decline in your lawn’s health, then you should consult with a lawn pest specialist to determine whether you’ve got a leather jacket problem. 


Aside from the potential risk to your lawn, crane flies are extremely harmless!



Common Myths about the Crane Fly

Over the years, crane flies have accumulated many nicknames and myths based on their appearance and sheer speculation. Here are some myths about crane flies that we’d like to debunk. 



Crane Flies Eat Mosquitoes

Funny enough, this myth is partially true! Crane flies have gained the nickname mosquito eaters or skeeter eaters because people think they eat mosquitoes. 


This is somewhat true because crane fly LARVAE (leather jackets) may occasionally feed on mosquito larvae if they are developing in or near a source of water. 


However, crane flies in their adult stage do not and cannot eat mosquitoes or their larvae because they either feed on plant nectar or do not eat at all – depending on the species. 



Crane Flies Can Bite

Though crane flies resemble mosquitoes and might have a mosquito-like proboscis, they are not known to bite. This is because they do not feed on blood and cannot bite in defense. 


Because crane flies are so defenseless, they have actually adapted to have easily detachable legs in case a predator gets hold of them. This is why it’s common to find crane flies with missing legs



Crane Flies are Male Mosquitoes

Did you know that the only mosquitoes that bite are female mosquitoes? This is because they need blood for their reproductive process. 


Since crane flies do not bite, many people assume that crane flies are male mosquitoes. This is not true because crane flies and mosquitoes are completely different insects. 



Crane Flies are Venomous but Cannot Bite

Crane flies have inherited the nickname of flying daddy long legs because of their appearance, but some people have come to believe that they are extremely venomous but cannot bite – just like the daddy long leg spider. This is not true. Though it’s true that crane flies cannot bite, they are not venomous



About Simply Green’s Mosquito Control Service

We offer different outdoor mosquito control treatments to help rid your yard of these pests and keep them from coming back. Our backyard mosquito control products are safe for use around pets and children, and they work quickly to get rid of mosquitoes.


To control adult mosquitoes, our product is a synthetic version of the Pyrethrum extract found in Chrysanthemum flowers. In areas of standing water in your yard, we use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils that specifically targets and only affects mosquito larvae. Bti interrupts the mosquito lifecycle by eliminating larvae before they mature into adults. It does not affect other insects, including honeybees. All of our EPA registered products are safe for kids and pets and do not pose a risk to your family.


If you’re looking for an easy way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, our outdoor mosquito control treatments are a great option. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you get rid of mosquitoes for good!


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About Simply Green Lawn Care

Picture of a Simply Green Spray Technician treating a lawn

Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.


We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.


Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.


All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.