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What's The Difference Between Crane Flies & Mosquitoes In Atlanta?

Mosquito on skin

If you’ve ever been outside during the warm months of the year, you’ve likely noticed lots of flying insects that come around especially after it starts to get dark. While mosquitoes are common pests in Atlanta, they aren’t the only flying pests in Atlanta, Georgia.

The crane fly is another prevalent species, but they are often confused with mosquitoes. However, crane flies are much longer, and they look different, too. Crane flies range from yellow to red to black while many mosquito species are grayish. Crane flies also have longer faces than mosquitoes. They have larger wings that are often tinged with brown or grey while most mosquitoes have transparent wings.

Another common misconception about crane flies is that they kill and eat mosquitoes. While it’s true that they are often known as mosquito hawks or mosquito killers, they don’t attack mosquitoes at all. So, sadly, they aren’t going to reduce mosquito populations around your property.

Similarities Between Mosquitoes And Crane Flies

While these two species are different in many ways, there are some similarities between them. As far as appearance goes, they both have six, long legs that are quite thin. They also both have long, oval-shaped bodies and wings that are rather thin in proportion to their bodies.

Beyond how they look, the other main similarity between these two insects is that they both live and breed in water. Because of this, standing water in the form of ponds, hot tubs, and even lakes can attract both species to an area. But, while mosquitoes lay their eggs near or in bodies of water, crane flies lay their eggs in the grass, preferring locations that are damp or wet.

Differences Between Mosquitoes And Crane Flies

While these two pests might have things in common, the things that are different about them are even more important. The main difference is that mosquitoes are a dangerous pest that causes millions of mosquito-borne illnesses and many deaths around the world every year. This is because the females of the species drink the blood of both humans and animals, and therefore transmit many diseases including malaria, encephalitis, and Zika virus.

On the other hand, crane flies are mostly harmless. They don’t drink blood at all, instead of feeding on nectar, so they aren’t able to spread pathogens to humans or other animals. In fact, they aren’t able to bite at all. The main concern with crane flies is that they can damage lawns when their larvae hatch in the grass.

By far, mosquitoes are much more of a concern than crane flies because they pose such major health risks, but this doesn’t mean crane flies are a welcome sight either.

How To Prevent Crane Flies And Mosquitoes

Since both species are attracted to water, prevention tips are similar for these flying insects. You should start by removing standing water around your property when possible and also clear any debris from your yard. Then, make sure that rainfall can drain properly and cover all hot tubs and water features and treat them with the proper chemicals.

Along with these steps, the most effective way to prevent and control both mosquitoes and crane flies is to contact the mosquito control professionals in Atlanta at Tuxedo Mosquito Control. We provide both commercial and residential mosquito control options. Contact us today to get started.

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