A mosquito hawk, also known as a crane fly, is often mistaken for huge, threatening mosquito, but they are not a type of mosquito at all. In fact, they aren’t even related to mosquitoes, despite the fact that they are rumored—incorrectly—to feed on mosquitoes and their larvae.
Mosquito Hawk (Crane Fly) vs. Mosquito
A mosquito hawk is a species of fly. These flying insects don’t dine on mosquitoes or any other type of animal — much to the disappointment of homeowners hoping that the mosquito hawk might help control the mosquito population. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, consume animal blood as an important part of their diet. Read on to learn more about these two varieties of insects, including their similarities and differences and which is most likely to win in the mosquito hawk vs. mosquito showdown.
The biggest similarity between mosquito hawks and mosquitoes is the fact that they are flying insects that share a passing resemblance. These two insect species also both live in water during their larval stages and both species have invaded most regions of the world, thriving especially well in wet regions. As far as comparable qualities, however, that’s about the extent of it.
Mosquito hawks and mosquitoes share far more distinguishing characteristics than similarities — the biggest difference between them being their bite, or the lack thereof.
Mosquitoes must eat to live. As larvae, they live in water and eat algae, while adult mosquitoes can live on plant nectar. But female mosquitoes need both lipids and protein in their diets in order to lay eggs, which is why they also feed on the blood of humans, dogs, cats, mice and birds. Even worse, mosquitoes are able to carry diseases and transmit them to humans by way of those bloodsucking bites.
Unlike mosquitoes, mosquito hawks don’t bite humans at all, or sting them. In fact, these insects eat only in their larval stage, when they feed on grasses and other plant matter. Adult crane flies have no need to eat, since they don’t live very long.
HOW TO GET RID OF CRANE FLIES AND MOSQUITOES
A mosquito infestation in your yard is obvious. When spending time outdoors, you’ll be pestered by the whine and itchy, stinging bite of these annoying little bloodsuckers. You might find small mosquito larvae twitching in pools of standing water that has collected in flowerpots or birdbaths. Mosquitoes can also thrive indoors in homes that have potted plants with moist soil or standing water collecting in drains. Again, the signs will be obvious. That annoying whine in your ear, a ticklish itch on your skin at the moment you’re bitten and the red, itchy welts that result from the bites of these irritating pests.
Mosquito hawk infestations may be less obvious, especially since these insects don’t bite and are essentially harmless to humans. A large number of mosquito hawks can, however, cause real damage to your yard. If sections of your lawn are patchy and yellow or brown in color, or have even been eaten down to the soil, you may be dealing with an infestation of mosquito hawks. Like mosquitoes, these insects live in water or moist soil in their larval stage. Since they consume grasses and other plant matter as larvae, they can destroy the health and appearance of lawns and pastures.
Since both mosquito and mosquito hawk larvae live in water, successfully controlling infestations of both insects must include resolving drainage problems and eliminating damp areas from your yard and home. Dump out water that collects in planters and other receptacles after a rain, and resolve any yard drainage issues to encourage drying and aeration at the root level. Rake and dispose of dead leaves, since both mosquito hawks and mosquitoes can thrive in moist piles of leaves and soil.
SO WHO WINS THE MOSQUITO HAWK VS. MOSQUITO SHOWDOWN?
Despite many misconceptions, mosquito hawks neither hurt nor help humans. They can be a household pest, but they are not a cause for concern, especially when compared to their killer mosquito counterparts. To protect yourself from mosquito bites and the diseases they carry, remember to dump and drain stagnant water around your home because that’s where mosquitoes breed. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors, especially between dusk and dawn. Using CDC approved insect repellent containing DEET will also keep mosquitoes from biting you.
WHATEVER THE PEST, WE HAVE A SOLUTION
If you are experiencing a problem with mosquito hawks, mosquitoes or any other type of common pest and the problem is beyond your scope to handle on your own, remember that Dynasty Pest Control is a trusted source for pest removal. Call one of our experienced pest control specialists to diagnose the problem and determine an effective solution so you can get back to enjoying your living and outdoor spaces pest-free.