Crane flies have a bad reputation and many people will confuse them with a type of giant mosquito. The truth is, they are harmless and won’t bite you, in fact, they don’t eat anything because they don’t have a mouthpart.
This is not to say you want them hanging around. Crane-fly larvae are a real nuisance and simply love to destroy our beautiful lawns. The larvae feed just below the surface of a lawn and destroy roots and stems.
How to Spot Crane Fly Larvae Damage
The first sign is uneven parts of your lawn that appear to have been eaten or you might see yellow patches. In some areas, you will only be able to see the soil. Things get really bad when holes randomly appear overnight. This isn’t the larvae; this is caused by other animals that feed off the larvae.
Once You Have Determined You Have A Crane Fly Infestation
There are some housekeeping tips that will help prevent crane flies, there are also natural repellents and solutions and well as insecticides. Let’s take a closer look.
Housekeeping Tips to Prevent Crane Flies
Crane Flies love a wide variety of habitats, so it is important to keep your garden clear and clean. Clear away any puddles of water, debris from plants and rotten foliage. It is a good idea to mow your lawn once a week in the warmer seasons and make sure you are removing all of the cut crass.
Natural Crane Fly Predators
Logically, if you have fewer adult crane flies, you are less likely to have crane fly larvae. Birds love to munch on crane flies so try to attract these natural predators to your garden. You can set up bird feeders, bird boxes, and a birdbath. Remember that crane flies are attracted to water, so keep the bath clean, and perhaps only install one once you have attracted the birds first.
Natural Crane Fly Repellent
Many of us have pets or children and are not keen on the idea of using products that kill larvae. If this is true for you, you can try cedarwood, a particular enemy of the crane fly. Cedarwood comes in a natural spray and small chippings you can spread. Crane flies also dislike garlic, so you can mix garlic with oil and dish soap to make your own natural repellent.
Insecticides for Crane Flies
If all else fails and you have reached your wit’s end, there are many insecticides available in stores and online. You can choose between liquids and granular forms, but you should look out for ingredients like imidacloprid and pyrethroid. When using insecticides, always read the instructions and follow them carefully.
If you are anything like me, you don’t take pleasure in killing insects, but at the same time, you are not about to welcome them into your garden, and even less your home. Keep doors and windows closed, turns lights off when you aren’t in the room and bear in mind that crane flies won’t hurt you.