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Crane Fly Identification and Control in Utah

Correct identification is an important first step in pest control.


Crane flies resemble very large mosquitos. They have thin, elongated bodies and extremely long legs. Their wings have a smoky look to them. Crane flies do NOT have biting mouth parts.

Crane fly larvae are cylindrical and can resemble worms. They can grow up to 4 cm in length and their skin very tough like leather.

Crane flies survive the best when winters are mild and the summers are cool. Adults begin to emerge in the late spring from lawns and pastures. Adult crane flies do not feed and typically only live a few days which is long enough to mate and reproduce.

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Where do they lay their eggs
Where do they lay their eggs

Crane flies breed in moist areas with abundant vegetation and some can breed in turf grass. When the larvae hatch they will feed on decaying wood, vegetation and turf. Damage to plant roots is a problem when these flies are present in large numbers. Some species of crane fly may be found in streams with the larvae feeding on small insects, invertebrates and decaying plant life.






Yes, they are attracted to light

Thorn Pest Services Tips for keeping crane flies away

Tips & Tricks to Prevent and Eliminate Crane Flies
Pest control experts
  • Seal cracks around doors and windows.

  • Install properly fitted screens on windows and doors.

  • Add weather stripping to windows and doors as well.

  • Keep doors and windows closed or open with properly fitted screens.

  • Improve drainage in soil and aerate your lawn.

  • Make sure lawn and turf is healthy.

Why Are They Significant
Pest control experts

The biggest issue with the crane fly is their larvae. When the larvae are feeding they can potentially cause a lot of damage to plant roots. This can leave grass looking yellow and thin and in some cases bare patches entirely. The larvae also attracts other pests who may like to dig them up in order to feed on the larvae. These can include skunks, bird and raccoons.

Crane flies can be mistaken for mosquitos but fortunately, they do not have biting mouthparts. Their large size of this fly is also very intimidating.

They can occasionally enter buildings when a door or window is left open, but cannot survive indoors for long.

Control for them is not typically necessary, but if you are having problems please give us a call.

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Proper pest management starts with a detailed inspection and assessment from an expert pest professional before treatment. Thorn Pest Solutions uses a three-step process rooted in science to eliminate pests with long-term results.

Assess Situation

First, we identify the root problem(s) with a site assessment. Pests are almost always an indicator of an environmental condition. This will determine the best actions to provide short and your long-term results against pests.

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Next, we develop a plan to fix the problems we discovered. This includes solving current pest issues, eliminating conducive conditions, and monitoring for future pest activity. Good pest management starts with a good plan.

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Lastly, we implement the solutions we developed including inspection, monitoring, and preventing future pest infestations. Good pest control requires a good offense and not just defense. Prevention is key.

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