Mosquito Hawk

Also known as crane flies, mosquito hawks are common in the U.S. Some people confuse these flies with mosquitoes, but they are different. They are not related to mosquitoes. Do mosquito hawks bite humans? No, these insects do not pose a threat to humans or pets.

Read on to learn more about the mosquito hawk, how to identify it, and ways to control them.

Facts, Identification, and Control

Below are some facts about mosquito hawks

Latin Name

Family Tipulidae


When you look at the pictures of a mosquito hawk, you’ll notice that they can be yellow, black, or red as there are different species around. Although they resemble mosquitoes, these flies have longer legs and elongated faces. Their wings have a brownish-yellow or grayish-black color.

The female have extended abdomens that house the eggs. Unlike mosquitoes that have stingers, mosquito hawks have an ovipositor that they use for reproductive purposes.

Facts about Mosquito Hawk

What are mosquito hawks? These insects resemble mosquitoes, but they are harmless. If you’re wondering what’s the difference between mosquitos vs. mosquito hawk, the major difference lies in their lack of bite.

Moreover, mosquitoes need to eat to live. Adult mosquitoes can consume plant nectar, but the females require protein to lay their eggs, the reason they feed on the blood of humans and pets. Mosquito larvae live in water and eat algae. These pests are disease carriers and transmit them to humans through their bites.

Some illnesses like dengue fever, malaria, and Zika virus are dangerous to humans and can result in death. Another thing to note about mosquitoes is that they can infest your house if you have potted plants or indoor drains with standing water.

Mosquito hawks or crane flies do not need to eat to survive; it’s only the larvae that feed. Also, these flies do not sting or bite like mosquitoes. Although mosquito hawks may get indoors, they don’t stay long as they prefer the outdoors.

Where do They Live?

Mosquito hawks thrive in wetlands and places with lots of vegetation. You can spot them on outdoor walls or window screens.

Mosquito hawk larvae can be found in moist soil feeding on plant roots or decomposing vegetation. They bounce against the ceilings and walls when indoors.

What do They Eat?

Unlike other flies that feed, the mosquito hawk adult doesn’t feed. The larvae that feed on decaying organic matter and roots of grasses.

How Did I Get Mosquito Hawk?

You can get mosquitoes with long legs if you have decaying wood, organic matter, turf, or vegetation around your home.

They lay their eggs in moist soil, and the larvae feed on roots of grasses or organic matter. Mosquito hawks may be seen on window screens or external walls of a house.

How Serious are Mosquito Hawk Problems?

Do mosquito hawks bite? No, you don’t have to worry about mosquito hawk bites. However, these insects can cause damage to your lawn. They can cause your grass to be yellow. Also, these flies may create bare patches throughout the yard.

You may have to deal with secondary damage when birds or skunks try to dig further deep to find larvae to feed on. Hatched larvae can damage plant roots and attract more pests.

Mosquito hawks can be annoying as they fly into homes and bump against ceilings or walls. Also, you may have to deal with foul smell as adult mosquito hawks only live a few days, and a generation can perish at once, leaving you with piles of dead insects on driveways and sidewalks.

What Can I Do About Mosquito Hawk?

If you have a mosquito hawk problem, you should focus on getting rid of these insects at the larval stage. Ensure that you have a vibrant and healthy turf, as this makes it less attractive to these flies.

You can also improve drainage to enable proper aeration, and soil drying as these flies lay eggs in wet soil. Insecticides can help you get rid of these pests. Always read the label to know how to use the product. However, if you’re dealing with a severe infestation, you’ll need to consult a pest management specialist.

Signs of a Mosquito Hawk Infestation

You may have a mosquito hawk infestation if you notice that your lawn is balding and has some bare patches. The grass appears yellowish and dry. Leaves will appear crooked as these flies chew them. Eventually, any vegetation thins out and dies. Sometimes you may have to replace the entire lawn because of the damage.

Another sign is that you may notice flies around your window screens or some bouncing off your ceiling.

Large holes on the surface of lawns are a common indication of a mosquito hawk problem. These flies do not cause the holes, but they are dug, but insects looking for larvae to feed on.

Mosquito Hawk Prevention and Control Tips

You can get rid of and prevent mosquito hawks by:

Clearing Your Lawn

Paddles, fallen leaves, and dead plants can attract these insects. Make sure that you clear any plant debris in the garden. That will force them to move and find another breeding ground. You can cut the lawn once a week during the summer months.

Turn off the Lights

Mosquito hawks find nighttime lights attractive, and this will draw them closer to your house. You can turn these lights off, Alternatively, use incandescent lights that won’t attract these insects.

Get Some Natural Predators

Natural predators can help get rid of mosquito hawk larvae, which will, in turn, stop the destruction of your lawn. That will prevent the adult flies from bothering you. Skunks and birds are some predators that can also help remove other bugs apart from crane flies.

Use Organic Pesticides

Spread organic pesticides around the house and your exterior to get rid of larvae. You can also make a repellent using dish soap, oil, and garlic.

Mosquito Hawk Professional Pest Control

If you’re experiencing a mosquito hawk problem, you may want to consult a professional pest control specialist. They have experienced and qualified staff who will help determine the best solution for your problem.