Moving to Texas a decade ago from the Midwest, I had to get used to seeing these guys all over. The worst is when they get inside the house and just flutter around with their giant spindly legs waving around.

I remember calling them 'mosquito-eaters' growing up. This was the only reason I mildly tolerated their rare presence as a kid.

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash
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The good news is that they are not actually mosquitoes. The truth is a little more depressing.

Sad facts about the Crane Fly

These cuties do not eat mosquitoes, unfortunately. In truth, aside from the occasional nectar, adult crane flies don't eat anything... like at all. Add in the fact that adults live up to three days, at most, and you've got yourself a natural flying snack pack for other animals.

With no defenses, a wide variety of predators will pursue these guys including birds, bats, lizards and even other predatory insects looking for some fast food.

Their delicate legs are also easily broken and they often bump around due to their poor flying ability.

Photo by Wyxina Tresse on Unsplash
Photo by Wyxina Tresse on Unsplash

With no toxins, mandibles or stingers, these guys pose virtually no threat to humans, aside from being slightly annoying and creepy to look at.

In truth, it's the larva you need to be concerned about. With mouth parts designed for chewing, the baby stages of Crane Flies can pose risks to your garden or yard as they feed on roots and other vegetation.

It's important to note that, in Texas, adults emerge from the ground around February and March. This explains why I have been seeing them slip inside my house and bounce around the ceiling light.

They're like you're weird neighbor, Terry. He just kinda sits at his porch and may wander into your yard from time to time but you let him since he's old and doesn't have his dentures in. People ask who he is and are often taken aback by his appearance, but you know he's harmless and just looking for a friend.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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