Can anoyone positivly identify this insect for me?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Evan528, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    The last few weeks while mowing opne of my accounts these flying insects have been swarming every where above the lawn. As the mower disturbs them they are flying up and hitting me in the face.....very anoying. The client noticed this also and emailed me about what it is. Looks alot like a misquito..... But that many on a dry burned out lawn??? Here is a picture. Thanks for your help.

  2. A.T.A.K

    A.T.A.K LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 286

    The crane flies (Tipulidae) are a family of insects resembling giant mosquitoes. Like the mosquito, they are in the order Diptera (flies). They are sometimes called mosquito eaters, mosquito hawks, or skeeter eaters. They are also one of three unrelated arthropods named Daddy long-legs. The other two are the harvestmen and vibrating, cellar or house spider. As such, Crane Flies are wrapped up in the myth of being the most poisonous spider, but unable to bite humans. This is incorrect: they are clearly insects rather than spiders, as they possess only six legs rather than the arachnid eight, and possess wings. Also, Crane flies do not bite humans. They drink only water when young and do not usually feed at all when they are adult, as they only live for a few days to mate.

    In appearance they seem long and gangly, with very long legs, and a long slender abdomen. The wings are often held out when at rest, making the large halteres easily visible. Unlike mosquitoes, crane flies are weak and poor fliers, so they can be caught easily and without effort. However, it is very easy to accidentally break off their delicate legs when catching them, even without direct contact. This may help them to evade the birds who pursue them as prey.

    Temperate species range up to 60 mm in size, while tropical species have been recorded at over 100 mm. They are attracted towards light. The females have swollen abdomen (because of eggs held inside) in comparison to the males. The female abdomen also ends in a pointed ovipositor that looks a bit like a stinger.Adult crane flies feed on nectar or not at all, while their larvae, called leatherjackets, consume roots (such as those of turf grass in backyard lawns) and other vegetation, in some cases causing damage to plants. Therefore the crane fly is occasionally considered a mild turf pest in some areas. Some leatherjackets are aquatic.

    At least 14,000 species have been described (most of them by the specialist Charles P. Alexander), making Tipulidae the largest family of Diptera. The Giant Crane Fly (Holorusia rubiginosa) of the 'West' (Western United States) can reach 38 mm (1-3/8 inches). Some Tipula species are 64 mm (2-1/2 inches). There are many smaller species (known as bobbing gnats) that are mosquito-sized, but they can be distinguished by the V-shaped suture on the thorax and a lack of ocelli. They are the food source of many birds.

    Hope this helps
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    Thank you very much for the detailed information. I my question now is does it make sense to treat for them now? Will the cold temps be killing them shortly??? will they be back next year? thanks
  4. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,648

    I don't see a need to treat for them at all...They are not turf damaging, nor do they bite humans. They may be big and ugly but they are only around for a few days.

    ATAK That was perhaps the best response I have ever read.
  5. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    It says in ATAK's post that the larvae feed on turf roots. I have noticed these flying insects on this particular property for about 3 weeks now.
  6. Garth

    Garth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    I'm rather sure that crane flies feed on decomposing vegetation and root damage by the larvae is usually minimal. Any decent pesticide will take them out of the lawn.
  7. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    We had those in spring .
    Geez , Tim , you sure know your poop
  8. Microbe

    Microbe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    What ever happend to IPM? If your finished mowing for the week or so.... then by the time you get back they'll be gone because you now know that they only live a few days.... Know your pest before jacking up your customers check and make yourself sound educated as well as environmentally sustaining......
  9. Microbe

    Microbe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 172

    EEEK my bad.... well if they have been around for a few weeks and are now a pest, take em out.... lol but they should die off soon because of the weather...
  10. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    They can, in numbers, cause dmg. Study life cycle, u hit them in the larval feeding stage in spring/fall with nematodes or Merit. If the lawn is brown, pull on the brown grass, if it comes right up and has no roots, it may be turf damage.
    The threashold often used is 25 grubs per sqr foot will cause dmg and can justify remedy.

    edit, we call the larvae -leatherjackets-. big and brown.

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