Those pesky flying insects that seem to be invading your home or lawn are adult Crane Flies. They have the appearance of giant mosquitoes and can be quite plentiful. Have no fear, they are harmless in the sense that this part of the insect’s life cycle does no damage to you, your home, or your lawn. Their only purpose is to find a mate and lay eggs for the next generation.
The particular species that troubles us in this region is the European Crane Fly. It hatches as an adult in the late Summer, in a pattern that resembles a bell-curve: a little at first, climbing to a peak, and then diminishing as Fall season progresses.
Treatment for adult Crane Flies is not recommended. Not only would the expense be significant, but success would be elusive. The hatch season stretches over a considerable time period, meaning repeated treatments to attempt control. More importantly, the flies fly, so there’s no way to prevent them from alighting on your property. Treating the adults is not environmentally or pocketbook friendly. Further, there is no guarantee that the visible number of adults on your grass will produce a critically damaging amount of larvae. Mating success, available egg laying sites, and environmental conditions all play a part. It is much more effective, in my opinion, to treat these insects during the time of their life when they are most damaging and most vulnerable- the larval stage.
At Wolbert’s, we only treat lawn areas that show signs of damage, or pending damage. The years of over-application of pesticides are long past. We welcome any dialogue on this topic, so please feel free to comment!
-Bert Forster, Senior Staff