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How To Tell If It’s Crane Flies Or Mosquitoes Hanging Around Your Atlanta Yard

Mosquito on skin

No Atlanta pest control plan would be complete without considering mosquitoes. Parasitic pests aren’t just annoying; they can expose you to many deadly diseases. So it’s vital to protect yourself from them both inside and outside. However, there’s another pest that can confuse your mosquito control efforts: crane flies. Also called mayflies and mosquito hawks, these harmless nuisance pests look a little like mosquitoes. But one can’t do more than bounce off the walls while the other can kill you. That means you’ll need to know the difference. 

How To Identify A Mosquito

Crane flies and mosquitoes do have similarly shaped bodies. They have long legs, skinny bodies, and oversize wings that beat rapidly. But this is where the similarities end. While crane flies look like giant mosquitoes, their size is the primary way to tell them apart from their more dangerous counterparts. 

No mosquito is the size of a crane fly. Crane flies are typically between four and ten times the size of a mosquito. The most giant mosquitoes are still less than half an inch long, while the most minor check-in at just .15 inches. Meanwhile, crane flies are over an inch and a half long. The largest can be two inches. So if you see a bug that looks like the most giant mosquito you’ve ever seen, it’s almost certainly a crane fly. 

A Mosquito Is Dangerous, A Crane Fly Is Not

Crane flies don’t do a whole lot with their lives. They’re born near bodies of water, often hatching out of wet soil or algae mats. Females lay eggs immediately after pupating, and adults don’t typically live more than two weeks. These flies are essential food sources for fish, birds, and other predators – mostly because they’re defenseless. They cannot bite, sting, or do much of anything to protect themselves. 

Meanwhile, mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on Earth, not because of their defenses but because of the diseases they spread. When mosquitoes feed on humans, they spread everything from malaria to viral encephalitis, Zika virus, and yellow fever. This is why it’s vital to keep mosquitoes away – not doing so could be deadly. 

How To Prevent Both Mosquitoes And Crane Flies Around Your Home

There are many ways to keep both parasitic mosquitoes and harmless crane flies off your property and out of your house. These include: 

  • Get rid of standing water to eliminate breeding spots. 

  • Remove high-nectar flowers that could attract mosquitoes. 

  • Plant herbs and flowers that both mosquitoes and crane flies hate – like citronella, peppermint, and lavender. 

  • Attract natural predators like birds to your property using bird feeders and birdhouses. 

  • Spray essential oil mixes with smells both bugs hate (again, think mint, citronella, etc.). 

  • Turn off outdoor lights and use blinds to avoid attracting crane flies with light. 

Taking these measures can help protect you from dangerous mosquitoes and keep annoying crane flies at bay. Crane flies might not be hazardous, but they’re irritating and can bounce all over your house hovering around light bulbs for days before dying. 

The Most Effective Mosquito Control For Your Yard

If you’ve taken all these measures and are still having trouble getting rid of mosquitoes on your property, call us here at Tuxedo Mosquito Control. Our trained and licensed pest control experts can help protect you from dangerous mosquitoes and defend you from annoying crane flies all at the same time! So give us a call or visit our contact page to kick all the buzzing buggers out of your backyard today.

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