WHAT IS IT? Crane flies taking over Tucson

Crane fly
Crane fly(Flickr)
Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:09 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 27, 2023 at 2:58 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - No, they aren’t giant mosquitoes. They also are not mosquito-eaters.

You’re looking at the crane fly, and right now southern Arizona is full of them. Similar to mosquitoes, crane flies have aquatic larvae, but many species also live in the soil.

Everyone wants to know - Do these bite? Are they harmful? Are they helpful?

No, adult crane flies do not bite, sting or suck blood. They are harmless.

While the larvae have the chewing mouth parts to feed on decomposing organic matter, adult crane flies do not, and many believe they don’t eat at all during their roughly two-week life span.

If they do eat, they only eat nectar. Think about that the next time you decide to run around your house like Rambo armed with flip-flops.

Crane flies are attracted to light, which is why they find a way into your house any time you open the door.

If you want them out of your house, make sure your windows, doors and screens are securely shut, and keep outside lights off near your doors. Or keep a herd of cats around.

The population of crane flies will be declining through April.

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