Crane flies might look like harmless, even interesting bugs. But they can end up causing a lot of damage to your lawn if you don’t take care of them. The best way to prevent a crane fly infestation is to stop it from happening in the first place. If you notice an increase in crane flies around your home, check for larvae and other signs of an invasion so that you can deal with it immediately. But if an infestation does occur, use one or more of these solutions for a quick fix.
Crane flies can be a nuisance on your lawn, as the larvae feed on the roots of grass plants. These pests are not just annoying; they can also cause long-term damage to your grass. While crane flies don’t bite or sting people, their presence is a clear sign that something is off with your lawn. If you see dozens or hundreds of adult crane flies flying over your lawn, there’s almost certainly an infestation of larvae below the surface. If left unchecked, these pests will not only destroy grass but may also affect nearby plants and trees. Fortunately, there are several treatments you can use to kill them before they cause any more damage
- Identify them. Crane flies are large, black, and hairy pests that resemble a cross between a mosquito and a housefly. They are also called mosquito hawks because of their feeding habits; crane fly larvae feed on the fluids of plants and animals by piercing the skin with sharp mouthparts.
- Don’t attract them to your home! The females lay their eggs in the soil where they hatch into larvae that look like tiny alligators with long snouts and spindly legs. Adult crane flies don’t have wings, so they cannot fly—they jump around instead! Crane flies look for warm conditions with lots of moisture when searching for food sources such as aphids or nectar-producing flowers; therefore, they’re most active during springtime months (March through June) or when it rains heavily in the summertime months (July through September).
Stop the invasion.
- Planting marigolds, lavender, and other plants that repel pests.
- Keeping the grass short.
- Keeping the lawn well-maintained.
- Removing dead leaves from your lawn as soon as possible.
- Removing other debris from your lawn as soon as possible.
- Removing weeds from your lawn as soon as possible (weeds will attract crane flies).
Use a pesticide solution.
Insecticides used to control the population of these flies are pyrethroids and imidacloprid. Both of these chemicals have different modes of action, but both kill the larvae in the lawn. These insecticides are available in liquid and granular forms. If you are planning to apply the insecticide on your lawn, you should follow specific guidelines and apply it in the early to mid-April. Always follow application guidelines and wear protective clothing. Insecticides can be applied by a pest control expert, or you can apply them on your own.
Although not harmful to humans, crane flies can be a nuisance in your lawn. You can identify these insects by using a flashlight to check your lawn for signs of infestation. Alternatively, you can dig up a small sample of soil and examine it for signs of crane fly larvae. The larvae of these flies can be found at the base of the vegetative layer or very shallow in the soil.
Imdacloprid has a short residual period and gives good control at the labeled rate. However, the residual effect of this insecticide is less than satisfactory, and birds will eat up to 30 percent of the larvae. Therefore, you should use an insecticide such as Ortho BugClear for your lawn. The insecticide works by killing the larvae by direct contact above and below the soil. It creates a bug barrier that lasts for three months, but it must be applied according to label instructions. Birds love these European crane fly larvae, and will help control the populations.
To kill the larvae, you can use a pesticide solution. The best choice is to use a product that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on lawns, and that is labeled as safe for pets, children, and nontarget wildlife. It also should not be harmful to bees or other pollinators.
While there are many products available at garden centers, some of them may not be right for your lawn because they contain ingredients that are toxic to plants as well as insects. If you don’t want to buy these kinds of chemicals or if there isn’t an appropriate one available locally, consider using organic pesticides such as Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Bti). This bacterium kills larvae but does not harm beneficial insects such as bees or butterflies.
You need only apply enough Bti product so that it comes into contact with the larva; this means just covering the top layer of soil where cranes fly fly around looking for food, the upper 2 inches (5 cm).
Pyrethroid insecticides kill adult crane flies
Pyrethroid insecticides kill adult cran flies in lawns by affecting the larvae in the insect’s food chain. Crane flies lay their eggs during late summer and early fall. The larvae may be visible in lawn patches, and this is the time to apply an insecticide. In the case of an existing infestation, repeated applications may be necessary for several years.
When it comes to applying an insecticide, two popular products are imidacloprid and pyrethroid. Both of these insecticides kill the larvae, and they are most effective in late summer and early fall. However, be sure to read the label and follow all directions. It is also advisable to apply the insecticides during late summer or early fall. Applying the insecticide during these seasons will yield the most effective results. However, if the problem persists, you may use the insecticide in early spring, when temperatures are rising.
Pyrethroid insecticides for lawns can also be used in conjunction with natural predator fauna such as birds. These predators are beneficial for reducing the number of crane flies in your lawn. Birds will also help control the population of European crane flies. These pesticides can kill adult crane flies in your lawn, but you must follow the label instructions carefully.
Neem oil repels crane flies
Repelling crane flies on your lawn is not an easy task. In order to be effective, you must mix the insecticidal soap with water and apply it to the lawn. Then, let the oil dissolve in the water and repeat the application every few days. This way, the larvae will no longer be able to feed on your lawn. Moreover, this insecticide can be applied to other areas of your yard, including flower beds.
You can also use insecticidal soap for controlling adult crane flies, which contains pyrethrins. This insecticide can kill off the larvae by paralyzing them. Insecticidal soaps also contain azadirachtin, a compound found in neem seeds. It halts the development of the leather jacket and breaks down within seven to 10 days.
Although the adults of the crane flies are harmless, the larvae can cause damage to the grass. These flies can eat the roots of your plants, causing the grass to die. Neem oil is an effective insecticide. It has been shown to repel both the adult and larvae stages of these flies. It can be used on any lawn regardless of the type of grass.
If the larvae stage has reached maturity, the pesticide must be applied to the lawn. This insecticide is particularly effective in lawns where they have been left untended for a long time. It will not kill the adults, but it will eliminate the larvae, preventing them from reproducing. In addition to flies, the insecticide also prevents the crane flies from breeding in the lawn.
Use a specific pesticide for your climate/region.
When it comes to pesticides, it’s important to consider what the label says about safe use for your climate. In some areas, certain chemicals are not legal for use on lawns or gardens because they can pollute waterways and harm wildlife.
For example, if you live in California, you can’t buy products that contain the active ingredient carbaryl (also known as Sevin). This is because carbaryl has been found to be harmful to birds and other animals. If you’re outside of California but still have concerns about using pesticides near water sources like lakes or streams, check with your local government agency first before purchasing fertilizers or insecticides from a store or online retailer.
Consider natural alternatives.
In addition to chemical pesticides, there are also some natural alternatives that can be effective in killing crane fly larvae.
- Nematodes are a natural predator of the larvae and work best when combined with an insecticide or fungicide.
- Diatomaceous earth is a natural abrasive that will cut through the skin of the maggots and kill them but does not kill adult flies or eggs.
If you have a large, overly crowded lawn, you may be concerned about the appearance of your grass. If so, you might consider investing in a lawn treatment to control these pests. These invasive pests feed on dead leaves and grass and are known to destroy lawns and pastures. The larvae of these flies are about an inch long, brownish, and are often accompanied by a thick, whitish paste.
The adults of the crane fly lay their eggs on the grass in late summer or early autumn. The larvae live underground from early October until September. The larvae are large maggots with finger-like appendages at their posterior end. They lack a head, and they eat the roots of plants. By late fall, they are the largest and do the most damage. However, they are not permanent pest.
The young larvae of these flies develop rapidly through the third instar and overwinter as leatherjackets. This is a temporary solution because they will continue feeding on your lawn during the winter. However, the problem can quickly escalate to the point that a lawn is completely destroyed. As the larvae grow, they migrate over the surface of the soil in search of fresh grass.
You can also use nematodes and microscopic worms that are sold in garden centers and online. Nematodes are safe for pets, children, and people. They do not harm the environment in any way. They kill larvae by attacking their nervous system, causing them to die within 24 hours of being infected.
You will need an outdoor container that is large enough to hold about 2 cubic feet of soil or more (a 5-gallon bucket works well) with holes on all sides so that you can bury it on a sunny part of your lawn where there is no vegetation or mulch layer nearby.
Fill the container with water and then add 1-2 tablespoons of dechlorinated water (from a swimming pool) per gallon of tap water to reduce chlorine levels before adding nematodes; stir well until they’re completely dissolved in solution; let stand for at least 24 hours before using, this allows time for them to breed inside their eggs cloacae; after that time period has elapsed use a hose attachment with a spray nozzle attached which makes it easy since otherwise, you’d have difficulty filling up containers if using buckets. Then spray evenly over the area where crane fly larvae exist, keep away from grassy areas because these insects feed off plants only when hatched from the pupae stage; once sprayed thoroughly wait at least one hour before watering again so as not to dilute concentrations too quickly, this will help ensure effectiveness without harming beneficial organisms like earthworms etc.
Use diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that can be used as a pesticide. It’s made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms (a type of algae), which are sharp and abrasive to insects’ exoskeletons. When the insect ingests or breathes in diatomaceous earth, its tiny spikes damage their digestive systems and cause them to die.
There are several ways you can use this substance:
- Sprinkle it around your lawn where you see grasshoppers or crickets
- Sprinkle it around your houseplants if they’re infested with spider mites or other bugs
- Use it in bird feeders as an ant deterrent (keeps ants from crawling onto the feeder)
Spray with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water.
Mix 1/4 cup of dish soap with 1 gallon of water. Spray the mixture onto the lawn, avoiding plants and other areas you don’t want to get sprayed.
You can kill crane fly larvae with some simple garden solutions.
You can kill crane fly larvae with some simple garden solutions. You can use a pesticide solution to kill the insects, but you must choose a product specifically tailored to your region and climate. In addition to pesticides, there are natural alternatives that you may want to try as well.
Natural products like diatomaceous earth and nematodes can help eliminate common pests in your yard without chemicals. Diatomaceous earth is made of fossilized algae that kill insects by absorbing their body fluids while they walk through it; it’s effective against many kinds of bugs including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, not just crane flies! Nematodes are tiny worms found naturally in soil that eat other insects’ eggs or larvae; when applied as directed, nematodes will effectively control pest populations for up to two years without harming beneficial insects such as bees or butterflies (unless those beneficial happen by chance).
If using these more natural means seems too difficult for you then spraying with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water on affected areas is another option worth considering if done correctly every few days until all signs of life disappear from beneath lawns where cranes were known to dwell only yesterday.
In order to kill crane fly larvae in your lawn, you need to use a pesticide. The most effective way to do this is by applying a systemic insecticide to the soil. This can be done by using a drill and injecting the chemical into the ground just below the surface.
The best time to apply pesticides is during late spring or early fall when it’s warm enough for them to work effectively but not so hot that they will burn your plants.
There are several effective ways to get rid of crane flies and their larvae. Some natural treatments include using citronella oil, which comes from the citronella plant. You can use citronella scented candles or use it in outdoor events. Essential oils such as lavender or peppermint are also effective. If you don’t want to use chemicals, try using essential oils that are effective against crane flies.