Mosquito Hawks- The Big Reveal

I was recently enlightened, and so I pass this information on to the good people everywhere who are inundated this Spring with those gangly flying things that look and act sort of like drunken spiders.

Misquito Hawks do not eat mosquitoes. We grew up calling them Daddy-long-legs, you may have grown up calling them something else. Whatever the case, I'm outing them for the silly creatures they really are. They are really called Crane Flies and they breed in mud, particularly in the Spring. They can't bite, they aren't dangerous, they don't do anything productive. They don't contain the most poisonous venom known to man (or any venom at all), and they pretty much exist only long enough to procreate and be killed.

They are the house fly's stupid and overgrown little brother.

I learned this all from an exterminator who attends our church. It rocked my world so much, I actually had to go research the thing for myself, and sure enough, he was dead right. I feel tricked. All those years as a little girl where I'd run shrieking from the bathroom being chased by what I thought was a lethal bug capable of killing misquitos. When I was older, we'd catch them and release them outside to go do their deadly assasin work. At some point in time, I was told they had venomous poison capable of killing humans, but that they just don't have large enough fang-things to puncture human skin. Lovely. Very reassuring when someone leaves the front door open too long on a Spring night and your kitchen is suddenly filled with tons of them.

So I've been had--grew up believing all of that hook, line and sinker. Now that I know the truth, it makes sense. Crane flies can't even fly properly. I'm sure you've noticed how easy they are to kill. They throw themselves at light bulbs, and then fly hapharzadly around in drunken circles until they hurl themselves at the same light bulb again... over and over until you put it out of its misery. How did I think something that slow and stupid could kill a misquito? Mosquitoes are one of the world's fastest and strongest insects and have been responsible for altaring human history since one of them killed the illustrious King Tut. Mosquitoes are the small Italian sports cars of the flying insect world, and crane flies are a beat up shag wagon.

It's really not the Crane fly's fault. It's wing structure, and body length make it really difficult for them to fly and steer properly.

All the more easier to dispose of them. Happy Spring.

5 sprinkles of fairy dust:

I always called those things May flies.

That's a daddy-long-legs.

Yeah, Jim makes fun of me for calling ever calling crane flies "Daddy long legs", but if you look on your wikipedia link, it says that both the crane fly and that spider are known as daddy long legs. It also says the same thing on the crane fly wikipedia page, so I remain justified. I'm not the only one in the world who didn't realize daddy long legs were spiders. :-P

I hate those things. They just creep me out. And they get into the house so darn easily! Ugh.

I don't think I can express in words how much I hate those things. When I was a teen, my dad was really big on leaving the air off in the spring and turning on the attic fan. Consequently every time we opened the door, tons of them were sucked in. I would get up early to write and essay or something and the computer screen would be the only light on in the house and suddenly BOOM I would have 3 of those dumb things land on the screen bouncing around. It would take everything in me to not wake up the whole house with a scream.

Thanks for finally clearing up what they are. I was told they were female mosquitoes. Obviously they aren't all female since they breed like nobodies business.

I recently had one of these in our bedroom.. I knew they didn't bite or do anything at all but I didn't want to lay in the dark and *hear* it flying around.. with vaulted ceilings I was having a hard time trying to kill it. So I grabbed an aerosol can of hairspray and spritzed it. It flew around like a drunk bug.. and went a bit too close to our torch lamp and in a puff of smoke it vanished... :)