We’ve all encountered them. These six-legged flying insects are often confused with large mosquitoes. Often called “mosquito eaters,” “mosquito hawks,“ or even “skeeter eaters,” they are actually crane flies. In their pupae stage, they look more like fat earthworms but are shorter. In this stage, they are sometimes referred to as “leather jackets.” These pupae live off algae, moss, and weakened grass crowns.
Are Mosquito Eaters Harmful?
So, are mosquito eaters harmful? Truth is, they look a lot more intimidating than they actually are. In fact, they only live for about 10 to 15 days, breed, lay eggs, and die depending on environmental factors. Of all the 15,000 described species of crane flies in the world, not a single one is predatory as an adult.
A few facts to know:
- Mosquito eaters do not carry diseases, bite, or sting.
- They aren’t included in pest control because they’re not considered hazardous to people or agriculture.
- Their larvae are a pest of turfgrass, however.
Do They Eat Mosquitoes?
So, the burning question remains: Do mosquito eaters eat mosquitoes? Ironically, they don’t even eat mosquitoes. They don’t eat anything except maybe nectar, but it is rare. However, they do help pollinate plants, feed other wildlife, and help decompose rotting vegetation quickly. So, in summary, they won’t be eating you or mosquitoes. Mosquito population control comes from bats, birds, frogs, dragonflies, fish, and a number of other insect-eating animals.
What Can You Do About Mosquito Eaters?
If you’re seeing an influx of these and want to reduce the population, lowering water saturation in turf or moss development seems to help limit them naturally. They’re typically most prevalent in early spring, so you can rest assured these harmless insects won’t be bothering you for long. The most proactive method in handling mosquito eaters is to contact a Chorbie expert for further assistance. We are always happy to lend a helping hand to homeowners in need!