How to Get Rid of Crane Flies | Crane Fly Control
Crane Flies are disgusting aerial insects which have the appearance of massive mosquitoes and a tendency to swarm around your lawn or garden. While they aren’t particularly dangerous to humans, crane flies are harmful to your crops and your grass, so they’ve got to go.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of crane flies in your lawn, this is the right article for you. We’ll discuss crane fly characteristics, crane fly control, and practical tips for purging crane flies from your domain.
If you want to know how to get rid of crane flies, you’ll need to know how to identify them.
Craneflies tend to be between 15 and 25 millimeters long. The most easily distinguishable characteristic of a cranefly is its obnoxiously long legs, which are roughly in the same dimensions of a daddy longlegs spider.
Crane Fly larvae look like long and segmented caterpillars with a tough skin that’s the same color as an earthworm’s. Much like adult craneflies, cranefly larvae have an affinity for highly moist habitats that are rich with decomposing leaves or other plant matter.
Common Crane Fly Issues
Crane Flies can be hard to get rid of because they are very evasive in time and space.
Crane Flies only live in their adult form for around two weeks. You can find the cranefly females nestling into wet patches of muddy dirt without grass seedlings or shallow still water pools if you catch them at the right time.
Crane Flies in their adult form do not cause much harm to your crops or lawn. However, their larvae are extremely destructive. When cranefly larvae burrow into the soil near the moist area where they hatch from their eggs, they can subsequently nibble at the roots of your plants.
This means that your vegetables will appear to be healthy on the surface, then suddenly wither as their ability to uptake moisture and nutrients is severed as a result of the crane fly larvae’s chewing.
Crane Fly Damage May Be Invisible
Large patches of yellowing or wilting grass on well-watered turf are a telltale sign that cranefly larvae are going wild on the root system underneath the surface. Once cranefly larvae are chewing at the roots of your plants, there isn’t much you can do to stop them.
On rare occasions, cranefly larvae can consume the entire root system of a vegetable or patch of grass and then move on to destroy the visible portion. In these situations, the visible part of the plant will be eaten from the inside out.
Crane Fly Control 101
The good news is that how to kill crane flies is very straightforward. If you prefer to use a natural approach, crane fly killers range from pesticides to predator fauna like birds.
The best approach to killing crane flies is to target their larvae, however. The first step is to make your lawn less hospitable for crane flies by reducing the amount of water in the soil. Don’t water your lawn as frequently. Try dethatching your garden on a regular basis, too.
Second, fertilize your lawn. Well-fertilized grass and vegetable fields have pliable yet firm flesh, meaning that cranefly larvae won’t be able to chew on them as quickly as they might otherwise. Nitrogen-based fertilizers will do the trick.
Use A Nematode-Based Pest Solution
Flatworms and nematodes can prey on crane fly larvae and reduce their presence in your lawn by as much as 50%. These nematodes won’t harm your garden, but your climate may not be suitable for them.
If you think that the nematodes will survive in your lawn, you can purchase a pesticide pellet system, which includes nematodes inside of the pellet matrix. Once you drop the pellets onto your lawn and apply some water, the nematodes will become activated and start to hunt craneflies.
Of course, the nematodes are microscopic, so you won’t see them doing their deadly deeds against the crane fly larvae. You can’t leave the nematodes unattended, however.
If there’s a sudden heat wave above 90 degrees Fahrenheit with a lot of sun, you should re-seed your nematode pesticides to be safe, as the nematodes may have dried out and died.
Use An Insecticide
The surest way for how to get rid of crane flies is to use the right insecticide to treat your lawn or your crops.
Pyrethroid insecticides are effective options for spraying on your lawn and crops to kill crane fly larvae trying to graze. While these pesticides will also kill adult craneflies, it’s more important to target the root areas of your crops because that’s where larvae will wreak the most havoc.
When you apply a pesticide, you should do so during the early fall when crane flies are laying their eggs at the highest rate, and the earliest batches of eggs are starting to hatch and search for food.
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