Crane flies seem like a mosquito in opposition to steroids, however there isn’t any purpose to concern them

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Crane flies look like long-legged mosquitoes, and can be seen flying around homes in the DC area.

Crane flies look like long-legged mosquitoes, and can be seen flying around homes in the DC area.

The bugs are seen in large numbers, and Mike Raupp, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, said it was thanks to the rain the area received in the spring.

Raupp believes that lots of rain later in the year resulted in more rotting plant material, and it is in this setting that the crane fly thrives in its younger stages.

“These will be the perfect conditions for these leather jacket larvae or maggots,” said Raupp.

Crane flies look like long-legged mosquitoes, and can be seen flying around homes in the DC area. (Courtesy Mike Raupp)

He said the beetles in the maggot or leather jacket stage are beneficial because they help break down decaying matter. The bug is unique in that not all of them feed on rotting matter.

“These people will help to decompose all the vegetation that has formed out there and put these nutrients back into the food chain,” said Raupp.

However, not all young crane flies eat dead vegetation. Some are aquatic and live in streams where they hunt other small invertebrates. Others can be thought of as pests as they feed on the grass roots.

Once they become adults, they fly; But although, according to Raupp, they look like “mosquitos on steroids”, they are not harmful to humans.

“They won’t bite you; You won’t wear your children by the ears, ”said Raupp.

While much remains unknown about their eating habits as adults, Raupp believes that they feed on nectar and pollen once they are fully grown. For an adult crane fly, there is one primary goal: to take the steps necessary to bring about the next generation of crane flies.

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