Lancaster, CA- The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has
received many phone calls about very large mosquitoes in abundance all throughout the Antelope Valley. These ‘large mosquitoes’ are, in fact, crane flies.
Crane flies resemble an oversized mosquito, and are sometimes referred to as mosquito hawks or mosquito eaters (although they do not eat mosquitoes). Typically, crane flies are about an inch in length and have a leg span that can be twice as long as the body. Mosquitoes are only around a quarter of an inch in size. Crane flies emerge in early spring from moist soil. Due to above average rainfall this winter, crane flies will be seen in large numbers now and throughout the coming weeks.
Karen Mellor, Entomologist at AVMVCD states that “although crane flies can be pesky,
especially in large numbers, they are completely harmless and do not spread
disease or pose a threat to public health.”
The AVMVCD recommends turning off lights near entrances to the home at night
since insects are attracted to light. This will keep crane flies and other insects
from congregating and possibly entering.
Although these particular insects are not mosquitoes, the District does advise
residents to check their properties for standing water weekly to avoid mosquito
breeding. District Manager Cei Kratz states that “due to the winter rain and recent
high temperatures, mosquito activity has already been detected in some areas.
We are gearing up for a busy mosquito season, and now is the time for everyone
to prepare by cleaning up unkempt pools and removing standing water from their
To stay up-to-date on mosquito related information, check out our website at
www.avmosquito.org, Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/avmosquito),
and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AVMosquito
For any further questions or service requests, please feel free to contact the
Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District by phone (661-942-2917)