Mosquito eater. Mosquito wasp. Mosquito hawk. All of these are common names for the crane fly. Despite these commonality of these colloquial terms, they are all misleading. Contrary to popular belief, crane flies do not eat mosquitoes, or any other kind of insect for that matter. In fact, in their adult form, crane flies don’t eat at all — they don’t have mouths to do so. These pests are non-aggressive and don’t pose any real threat to you or your home beyond being a nuisance. So having crane flies on your property isn’t a big deal, is it? Wrong, it still is. The real problem, however, lies within the Melba crane flies’ larvae, not the adult insect.
Life Cycle: In order to understand the dangers posed by crane fly larvae (know as leatherjackets) you must first understand the life cycle of a crane fly. In late July to August, female crane flies pupate and emerge from their underground homes. Within only a day, the females deposit eggs into grass. Once these eggs hatch, the leatherjackets eat and eat and eat some more. They feed on grasses, plants, flowers, and clover. As the weather begins to cool, the leatherjackets will overwinter, and then resume feeding once temperatures begin to rise again in the spring. They will continue to feed until they themselves pupate and the life cycle starts over again.
This intense, nearly year-round feeding is known to cause considerable damage to plant life. The most common sign of a leatherjacket problem is yellowed, browning, or dying grass. In some cases, you may also awake to find complete sections of grass missing or torn out overnight. This is often the case when nocturnal predators, such as skunks, dig up your grass trying to eat the larvae. Ultimately, leatherjackets lead to unhealthy, unsightly yards. If Melba crane flies are living in large numbers on your property, their offspring leatherjacks can cause enough damage in a short amount of time to warrant replacing the entire lawn. This can be a expensive and a huge headache!
Extermination: If you are noticing leatherjacket damage to your lawn or even seeing the adult flies congregating near your home, it is important to address the problem promptly. But, dealing with Melba crane flies can be a daunting task. The harmful larvae can be very hard to locate and kill since they live underground. The only way to effectively eliminate your crane flies and leatherjackets is through the use of pesticides. However, using the wrong pesticide on your lawn can potentially cause even more damage than the grubs themselves. So, if you’re facing a crane fly infestation, it is best to contact a pest control agency and let them solve the problem for you. This will save you time and energy, and it will save your lawn too!
Located conveniently in the Treasure Valley, Get Lost Pest Control can help solve your Melba crane fly concerns. Contact us today to see how our fast service and experienced professionals can eliminate leatherjackets and keep your lawn looking the way you want — beautiful, green, and healthy!