Crane flies

Identification

  • Colour Grey to brown
  • Size From 15 mm to 25 mm long
  • Also known as Daddy longlegs
  • Description Have a long, thin body, with thin, smoky wings and extremely long legs.
  • Notes Crane fly larvae are cylindrical, and look like worms, growing up to 4 cm long. They are often called leatherjackets, due to their tough skin.

General Facts

Why do I have crane flies?

Crane flies like moist, vegetative, outdoor habitats, and are usually only seen around a home on external walls and window screens.

They lay their eggs in moist soil and when the larvae emerge, they feed on the roots of grasses, decaying organic matter, decaying wood, vegetation, and turf. Some larvae also feed on small aquatic insects, invertebrates, and any decaying plant life found near the surface of streams.

Adult crane flies don't feed and live for only for a few days, just long enough to mate and reproduce.

How worried should I be about crane flies?

Crane flies do not bite or sting humans, livestock, or pets, but can become a major pest to turf, pasture grass, golf courses, and field crops. This is due to their voracious larvae, which can leave grass yellow and thinning - and whole patches entirely bare.

Hatched larvae may cause damage to plant roots in large concentrations and attract more pests, like skunks, birds, and raccoons, who may try to dig up the ground in order to feed on them.

While adult crane flies have an extremely short lifespan, that doesn't mean they can't reproduce quickly. A female crane fly lays up to 300 eggs in the ground, all of which hatch into hungry larvae within two weeks.

To eliminate a crane fly infestation, you need to focus on their larvae. Registered insecticides can be effective, if used in late fall when eggs are laid and larvae are active. To be sure your crane fly infestation is over, a professional pest control service is essential.

How can I prevent crane flies invading?

Maintain a healthy and vibrant turf or lawn, improve drainage soil is dry and aerated.

Other pests related to Crane flies

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