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 giant 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 or clumsy, 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. Let's compare the two to understand better which one is worth your attention.

How Crane Flies and Mosquitoes Are Alike

With 5,000 species of crane flies and over 3,000 of mosquitoes, chances are good you have seen some of each hanging around your residential or commercial property. Are these insects more similar or different?

The biggest similarity between a crane fly and a mosquito is its appearance. They have similar shapes, 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, thanks to its bent thorax, and keeps its wings folded.

Mosquitoes and crane flies are also similar in their habitats. Both species lay their eggs in moist areas and live in water during the larval stage, which explains why you often find them near bodies of water.

How Mosquitoes and Crane Flies Differ

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 wobbling against walls, doors and ceilings, it's because they're trying to get out and back to their breeding grounds. 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

Another difference between these flying insects is their lifespans. A crane fly can live on average 10 to 15 days, while a mosquito's lifespan is shorter. Male mosquitoes usually only live about a week, while female mosquitoes can hang in there longer than two weeks.

Crane flies and mosquitoes also have different times when they are most active. Crane flies are nocturnal, and because they are attracted to light, you tend to see them weaving around outdoor lights. On the other hand, mosquitoes are crepuscular, so they get busy at dawn and dusk when sunlight is not as intense.

One of the most significant differences between a mosquito and a crane fly is that a crane fly does not bite or sting you. They are completely harmless to humans and don't even mouths. Crane flies only eat during the larval stage, and they feed on plants, not blood.

Female mosquitoes will feed on your blood using a needle-like mouth called a proboscis to puncture your skin, which is how they can transmit serious diseases like malaria, Zika, West Nile and dengue fever. Keep in mind that only female mosquitoes feed on humans and animals because they need blood proteins to develop eggs. Male mosquitoes stick to plants and usually feed on nectar, never blood.

Mosquito and Flying Insect Control Services from MosquitoNix®

While mosquitoes can harm humans and pets by spreading disease, other flying insects like crane flies can still cause a nuisance hanging around your property and tangling in webs. 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, count on the experts at MosquitoNix. We offer a variety of mosquito control services to match your unique needs. We offer automatic and on-demand misting systems for long-term mosquito control around your home or business.

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 an eco-friendly alternative. To rid your home or property of mosquitoes, flies, ticks and more, contact us for a free quote today.

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