In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of mosquito hawks also called crane flies.
I’m sure we all know what mosquitoes are, but have you heard of mosquito hawks? These pests can be a problem for your garden, but not the adults, it’s the larvae you have to worry about.
This because they damage the leaves, roots, and stems on trees and grass. If you want to learn how to eradicate them, then keep reading.
Facts About Crane Flies (Mosquito Hawks)
Mosquito hawks are also called “crane flies”.
Their large size and long legs make them look intimidating, however, the adults are harmless. The larvae on the other hand could be problematic to your plants, as they feast on their roots and stems. They also love eating decaying matter.
The larvae love hiding in the soil, although they can come to the surface during warm nights.
How To Get Rid Of Mosquito Hawks
Luckily, getting rid of mosquito hawks isn’t such a tough task. If the right steps are taken, then they’ll be gone as quickly as possible.
Follow these tips.
Know The Difference
Before you begin to execute your eradication plan, you need to identify that the insects you’re dealing with are mosquito hawks.
If you mistake them for something else, you may end up using the wrong treatment and the result would be less than desirable.
You can easily mistake a mosquito hawk for a mosquito, being that they both have soft bodies and long, thin legs. But, a mosquito hawk is much larger.
Mosquito hawks can grow to a size of about 2 inches long, but a regular mosquito can grow to a quarter of an inch at maturity.
Besides their size, you can also identify a mosquito hawk using their feeding habits. Plants are a major delicacy for mosquito hawk larvae. Mosquitoes on the other hand suck mammal blood.
Where To Find Them
The spring and fall seasons are periods when mosquito hawks are most active. If you come across one or two of them during this time, then you can be sure they are nesting around your yard.
To locate them, you need to look around areas that have moist soil, as those are their favorite spots.
You should check around your water fountain, mulch beds, leaking pipes, and every other part of your yard that is high in moisture.
In these areas, you should find both the adults and the larvae. Be on the lookout for patches of grass that have lost their color or are dead (the larvae eat the roots of grass and other plants).
You can dig up a small portion of the soil and take a look at it to confirm the presence of the larvae.
Use Organic Pesticides
Visit a pest control store near you and buy an organic pesticide spray. There are many types to choose from, but be sure to ask for one that won’t can any harm to the healthy plants in your garden.
Visit the infested areas and use the pesticide according to the instructions on the bottle or pack.
An extra tip here is to buy a pesticide that has long-lasting effects. This will not only kill the mosquito hawks but will also repel others from nesting in your yard.
Some organic pesticides can repel mosquito hawks for as long as 3 months.
If you’re a DIY person, then you can make your organic pesticides at home.
There are many combinations you can try. One of which is garlic and chili.
Grind as many garlic cloves as you need and mix them in a container with ground chili and some water. Stir it thoroughly so it will be well blended.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and head to the areas most affected. Remember, mosquito hawk larvae can go beneath the soil, so you would have to make sure the garlic and pepper are well-grounded so they can penetrate the small spaces in-between the soil.
Spray around the leaves and stems of affected plants to kill any larvae perching on them. For the ones in the soil, spraying may not be good enough. It would be more effective if the solution is poured directly on the soil surface so it can sink in and kill the larvae.
Garlic is hated by most insect pests, as the scent is too strong and it is repulsive to them.
If you wish, you can add some mild liquid soap to the mixture. Make sure the soap you are mixing it with is a potash-based soft soap. This is safe to use on your lawn and trees, as it has no harmful effects on them.
You can also use Neem oil to fight mosquito hawk larvae. Neem tree seeds are the source of the oil, and it has devastating effects on insect pests.
It works by attacking the growth hormones of the mosquito hawks, limiting their ability to grow or lay eggs. It also kills their ability to feed, so they won’t be munching on your garden plants anymore.
If they can’t grow, lay eggs, or feed, then your mosquito hawk infestation problem will be solved.
Reduce Moisture In Your Yard
Since mosquito hawk larvae love moist soil, then it would be wise to reduce the moisture in your garden.
One of the major reasons why your garden will be too moist is over-watering. While your plants need water to thrive, they only need it in the right amount.
Only water your plants as required, and not more. Doing this will reduce the amount of moisture in your garden, thereby making it unappealing to the mosquito hawks.
You should also inspect the pipes around your garden and search for leakages. The parts of your lawn closest to any leaking pipes will have the most moisture.
Call a contractor to get them fixed. You will find that the moisture will reduce when they are.
How To Get Rid Of Crane Flies In Your House
Young larvae will prefer staying in the soil since it provides enough food for them. The adults on the other hand can make their way into your home.
They aren’t dangerous to humans, since they don’t bite or spread diseases. Nonetheless, they can be a real inconvenience, as you wouldn’t want them flying all over your living room.
The tips below will help you keep them away from your house.
Keep Outside Lighting To A Minimum
Similar to most insects, mosquito hawks are attracted to bright lights. The lights around your patio or porch will draw them in, so you would want to keep them at a minimum.
You can turn off your lights at night when you are in the house. You can also replace bright fluorescent lights with dimmer bulbs. These would be less attractive to the mosquito hawks and they will stay away from your porch area.
It would be great to have some light around the yard, for the sake of nighttime visibility at least. You can move the lights to a location farther away from your home, as this will help keep the bugs at a distance.
Another solution is to install bug zappers outside your home. They also have bright lights that will attract the mosquito hawks. The bugs will be electrocuted upon contact.
Install Mesh Screens
It is important to keep your windows open for proper ventilation, but that would mean giving the mosquito hawks access to your home.
There is a simple solution to this, and that would be to install mesh screens by your windows.
Mesh screens are tightly woven so the insects cannot get through. Remember, mosquito hawks are larger than regular mosquitoes so a traditional mesh screen would be enough to keep them out.
Use Commercial Insecticides
Get a spray can of commercial insecticides to kill mosquito hawks. A chemical-based insecticide will work faster than an organic insecticide.
You don’t need to spray directly on the adult mosquito hawks. Simply visit the rooms where they are most active and spray into space. They will die a few minutes after they are exposed to the Insecticide.
Read the instructions carefully before you use them. You should also keep the spray can away from the reach of children and pets, as curiosity can lead them to tamper with it.
You will also need to protect yourself before you spray a chemical-based insecticide. Cover your nose and mouth with a face mask to keep the spray from entering your nose or mouth.
A part of rubber gloves would also keep you from touching it.
General Mosquito Hawk (Crane Fly) Infestation Control
If the mosquito hawk infestation has become full-blown, then hiring the services of a pest control service remains the most effective way to get rid of them.
Mosquito Hawk adults aren’t harmful to humans, they are just an inconvenience. The larvae on the other hand will damage your plants.
Use the tips in this article to get rid of crane flies.
I hope the information provided here on how to get rid of mosquito hawks has been helpful.