Crane Fly vs. Mosquito: What's the Difference?

Crane Fly vs. Mosquito: What's the Difference?

April 14, 2021

You’ve likely had a bug that looks like a very large mosquito sneak into your house at some point. You always know when one has come in because they tend to bang around on your ceilings and walls. These insects may appear intimidating, and while many people believe they are giant mosquitoes, they’re actually crane flies. There are some similarities between crane flies and mosquitoes, but for the most part, the two flying insects are completely different. 


The biggest similarity between a crane fly and mosquito is its appearance. They have similar shapes to each other, but the crane fly is much larger. Crane flies have extremely long legs compared to the size of their body, and they have a wider wingspan than mosquitoes. However, if you don’t have a mosquito right next to the crane fly, it might be difficult to tell which one it is. The position of the insect’s body can help in this instance. A crane fly has a straight body and will rest with its wings out, while a mosquito is usually humped in form and keeps its wings folded.

Mosquitoes and crane flies are also similar in their habitats. Both species live in water during the larval stage, so can often find them near bodies of water.


The differences between mosquitoes and crane flies are far more significant than their similarities. For starters, if you find a crane fly inside your home, it likely ended up there by accident. These insects are attracted to light, which draws them inside. When they’re bouncing against walls and ceilings, it’s because they’re trying to get out. However, mosquitoes can willingly live indoors, especially if there’s water. You can find them near potted plants you have inside.  

crane fly or mosquito

One of the biggest differences between a mosquito and a crane fly is that a crane fly won’t bite or sting you. They are completely harmless to humans and don’t even have teeth or a siphon to “bite” with. Crane flies only eat during the larval stage, and they feed on plants. Adult crane flies only live for around 12 days, so they don’t have a need to eat.

Mosquitoes, on the other hand, will feed on your blood and can transmit serious diseases like malaria, Zika and dengue fever. Keep in mind that only female mosquitoes feed on humans and animals, and they do so to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes stick to plants and usually feed on nectar. 

Mosquito and Flying Insect Control Services from MosquitoNix®

While mosquitoes can be harmful to humans and pets by spreading disease, other flying insects like crane flies can still cause a nuisance. You can try to keep these insects away by making sure you don’t have any stagnant water around your yard, covering exposed skin and applying bug repellent. 

mosquito fogging

If you need help getting rid of mosquitoes and other pests, you can count on the experts at MosquitoNix. We offer a variety of mosquito control services to match your unique needs. For long-term mosquito control around your home or businesses, we offer automatic and on-demand misting systems. If you’re holding an outdoor event and need short-term insect control, our fogging treatments are a great solution. Both our misting and fogging services are also available in a green alternative. To rid your home or property of mosquitoes, flies, ticks and more, get a free quote today.

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