Just when you thought skeeter season was over, your property appears to have been invaded by mammoth mosquitoes. But don't be fooled; these look-alikes are actually nothing like the real deal.
To the untrained eye, these might look like GIANT mosquitoes. But don't stress - these guys are European Crane Flies, and they've been out in force for the last few weeks.
In their larval stage, European Crane Flies are known as Leatherjackets. A common lawn pest with a very tough skin, Leatherjackets like to feed on your lawn and plants, and can cause quite a bit of damage to your turf. They typically stop feeding in May, and emerge as adult flies in August and September.
European Crane Flies in their adult stage are fairly harmless, but might fool people into thinking they're a particularly large species of mosquito. They commonly congregate around your property in late Summer and early Fall, right around the time that mosquitoes start to diminish.
Thankfully, the adult European Crane Fly doesn't bite or sting, and really only poses an issue for homeowners in it's larval stage, when it feeds on your lawn. If you want to protect your lawn, they can be controlled by lawn care professionals using nematodes or pesticides, but if you see them flying around your home, there's no need to worry about them in the same way you would for mosquitoes.