Do Mosquito Hawks Eat Mosquitos?
There’s nothing worse than looking up from enjoying your patio to find some sort of giant mosquito headed your way. We’ve all been there. The first time I saw a mosquito hawk, I was ready to try out all the karate moves that I’ve only ever seen on TV. Then, my friend told me that those giant mosquitos are actually called mosquito hawks and that they eat mosquitos. But, as I learned more about them, I realized that my friend was wrong—they’re not the mosquito eaters I thought they were. Do mosquito hawks eat mosquitos? No, they don’t.
If you have giant mosquitos around your house, there’s a good chance that you actually have mosquito hawks or crane flies. Though these bugs look like the mosquitos of your nightmares, they won’t cause those itchy, red bites we all know and hate. However, they also aren’t going to take control of the mosquitos in your yard. While it’d be nice if they ate them, mosquitos just aren’t a mosquito hawk’s idea of a delicious meal. So, let’s dispel some myths about what these mosquito hawks really do.
But first, if you’ve got a mosquito or mosquito hawk problem and need mosquito yard treatment, give us a call at 972-855-8469 or email us at email@example.com. You can also click here to get an accurate price quote for your mosquito treatment needs.
What Do Mosquito Hawks Eat?
Contrary to popular belief, you won’t find mosquito hawks munching on those mosquitos in your yard. These bugs don’t eat many bugs, if any, at all. The larvae of these bugs feed on things like grass seedling and other forage crops. When they grow up into the familiar giant-looking mosquitos, they feed on small amounts of nectar. Since they only live for a few days as adults, they sometimes don’t eat anything at all. Unfortunately, mosquito hawks are not a natural form of mosquito control.
The real problem with mosquito hawks is that their larvae feed on your grass and other plants. They can actually destroy the seedlings, roots, and stems, wreaking havoc on your hard. Whether you do your lawn care yourself or pay someone to do it for you, it’s not okay for it to be destroyed by mosquito hawk larvae. So, while you can count on these bugs staying far away from you and mosquitos, they can cause issues with your green lawn. If you’re sick of swatting mosquito hawks and don’t want to kiss your green grass goodbye, you’ll have to get rid of those bugs once and for all.
What Is a Mosquito Hawk?
A mosquito hawk is actually a crane fly. They may look eerily similar to mosquitos in your yard, but they aren’t even in the same family of bugs. Crane flies have long legs and skinny bodies, and at first glance look like mosquitos, but upon further notice, they are easy to tell apart. If you are seeing mosquito hawks that are adults, the reality is that you probably have an actual problem with the larvae in your yard.
See, while mosquito hawks may be harmless to you, they are not harmless to your plants. This includes your grass, and if you don’t kill off the larvae, your grass could suffer permanently. All mosquito hawks start off as larvae. These larvae may look like brown slugs crawling through your grass, but they are much more harmful to your garden. These bugs are out to eat the roots and stems of your plants, which causes the rest of the plant to not get enough nutrients, eventually causing it to die. While they may be harmless to you, they are not harmless to your property.
Do Mosquito Hawks Bite?
One of the biggest concerns that most people have is whether or not mosquito hawks bite. We get it—those things look pretty scary. Their giant bodies look like they can cause serious harm. Whether you’re looking out for your little ones or just worried about yourself, it’s a valid question. No one wants to get an itchy bug bite if it can be prevented! These crane flies may look similar to mosquitos, but you can count on them being as harmless as a fly. They can’t bite humans or animals, so your skin (and blood) is safe with mosquito hawks.
Do Mosquitos Hawks Sting?
No, we’re not playing tricks on you. A bug sting is different than a bug bite! Of course, some bugs will bite people (like spiders) and other bugs sting (like bees). Both bites and stings are annoying, and they can be dangerous depending on the bug. Thankfully, mosquito hawks don’t do either of these things. They really are harmless, but they’re annoying. Regardless of whether or not the bugs can sting, they still fly around you and land on your body, which is gross. It’s best to get rid of them.
What Do Mosquito Hawks Look Like?
The real question we know you’re waiting for is what these strange bugs look like. If you’re on the mission to get rid of those mosquito hawks, you have to know what you will see. Imagine a mosquito, but ten times bigger. We’re kidding, but there are a few similarities that can help you identify whether you’re looking at a mosquito or the frustrating mosquito hawk.
First things first, mosquitos are pretty small. They are about the size of a dime with their legs and wings extended, which makes them hard to see at times. Most times, mosquitos are out during dawn and dusk, so they like the low light.
On the other hand, mosquito hawks are quite large. Unlike their vampire lookalikes, they don’t mind the blaring sun and daylight. In fact, they sometimes prefer it. Plus, mosquito hawks are big. You can count on them being the size of a quarter with their legs and wings. Mosquito hawks also lack a mosquito’s proboscis, which is their mouth with six tiny needles to suck your blood. Here are the telltale signs you’re dealing with a mosquito hawk:
- Color: While mosquitos are mostly brown, gray or black, mosquito hawks are black, red, or yellow. If you’re on the lookout for their larvae, they are usually underground. If they come up from out of the dirt, you may mistake them for a worm or a slug. They are a brown color. When a mosquito hawk deposits its eggs into the ground, you will see eggs that are dark brown or black. They are much longer than other insect eggs, but they are still rounded.
- Size: Mosquito hawks have long legs and are about the size of a quarter give or take depending on whether they are male or female. Sometimes, they can reach up to 2.5 inches in their wingspan.
- Wings: A mosquito hawk’s wings are mostly transparent with a brownish-yellow coloring to them.
- Stinger: Mosquito hawks do not have stingers, but some people mistake a female mosquito hawk’s back as a stinger. Thankfully, this is just where they hold eggs.
- Area: You will find mosquito hawks in areas rich with wetland, so they are very popular around Dallas—especially if you are near a lake.
- Activity: You’ll notice that the mosquito hawks are most annoying and active when it is late winter or early spring. That’s when the mosquito hawk adults are most active, and you’ll often find them hanging around your windows.
How To Get Rid of Mosquito Hawks
Now, we’re all wondering the same thing—how can we get rid of these pesky bugs? Sure, they might be harmless to you, but they are still annoying and hurt your lawn. No one wants to deal with swatting mosquito hawks out of their face all day long. Not to mention, if you love your yard, you may have to kiss it goodbye if you can’t get rid of these bugs. While they only live as adults for a few days, their larvae are around for months, and they are in that form eating up all of your grass. The larvae can survive for over a year if they are allowed to.
That’s why it’s imperative to get rid of these mosquito hawks as quickly as you can. Thankfully, there are a couple of solutions that you can try.
Get Rid of Standing Water
One thing that mosquito hawks love is moisture. That’s why you often find them in the Dallas area—they are especially prominent in areas that have a lot of humidity. And while you won’t be able to get rid of the humidity in Dallas, you can prevent standing water and try and prevent your yard from being too moist.
Lots of people have broken sprinklers or areas with poor drainage. No one has a perfect yard, so it’s understandable that there may be some trouble spots in your area. However, the more you can get rid of these trouble spots, the better. Fix the areas that are not draining properly. This may require releveling the yard with more dirt or fixing your drainage system that is currently in place.
Another thing to check on is your sprinkler system. If your sprinklers are constantly going off, this can actually help the larvae grow. You want to stop watering once the eggs are laid until the first larva develops. This can be a few days.
Introduce Natural Predators
Another thing that can help to get rid of the mosquito hawk larvae is if you introduce natural predators. Natural predators will eat the larvae, which will stop the destruction of your lawn and prevent the adult crane flies from ever bothering you.
Some of their natural predators are birds and skunks. Since we’ll assume you don’t want to be attracting skunks into your yard, let’s talk about bringing more birds in. Birds can help you get rid of a lot of bugs, including mosquito hawks. To try and bring more birds into your yard, there are a few things that you can do.
First, you’ll want to install some bird baths. This is where birds will cool off and drink, and it’s a nice place to rest for the birds. However, you need to make sure to change the water often, otherwise, this will attract mosquitos and other bugs. Another thing you need to do is install a bird feeder. If you put bird food in the feeder, it will attract birds to come into your yard. While they will eat that food, the birds will also look for other bugs to eat. Birds love mosquito hawk larvae, so it is a good way to lower the number of larvae in your yard. Some people also like to build birdhouses or other nesting sites for the birds to live. If the birds are living in your yard, they’re much more likely to want a snack and eat the larvae in your yard.
While this can be a passive way to get rid of mosquito hawks, it can take a while for the population to decrease. It’s always important to introduce natural predators like birds into the yard, but it is especially helpful when combined with a fast-acting treatment with a pesticide or insecticide.
Get A Pest Control Treatment
If you’re still seeing mosquito hawks around your home and in your yard, it’s time to get a pest control treatment. Applying a pesticide will kill off the mosquito hawk larvae. These products can be applied in granular form, which is a sand-like product that will kill larvae but not your grass, or a liquid form that can be sprayed.
The good news is that this pesticide will get rid of mosquito hawks in addition to other bugs. So, if you’re dealing with mosquitos as well, a mosquito yard treatment can get rid of your mosquito hawk larvae too. Many companies offer a mosquito lawn treatment, and if you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Charleston, or Greenville, SC areas, we’re happy to do it for you. One of our specialties at Vinx is getting rid of mosquito hawks. Whether you’re dealing with the adults or you’ve spotted larvae in your yard, our pest control treatments can get rid of it all.
We stand behind our work and will work with you to get rid of these pests once and for all. With years of experience dealing with these pesky mosquito hawks, we have the expertise to get the job done. Get a free quote today by filling out the form below, giving us a call or clicking here to get a quote.