Lawn Insect – Crane Fly

(Tipula paludosa)

The Crane Fly is a turf damaging insect that can cause damage in all species of cool season turfgrass. Crane Flies can be found in parts of the American Northwest, Northeast and also parts of Michigan.   

Identifying the Crane Fly -

Adult crane flies look like giant mosquitoes. They have slender bodies that are brownish-tan in color and feature one pair of long, smoky-brown wings. They also have very long legs.

Crane Fly larvae are small and wormlike, ranging in color from olive-gray to greenish-brown. The tail end of the abdomen bears six fleshy, finger-like lobes. They also have a black-pointed head that withdraws into the front part of the body when disturbed.

Most of the lawn damage caused by Crane Fly larvae and adults occurs in the spring, when larvae are feeding on roots, rhizomes, crowns and leaf blades. The result of these feeding habits is areas of sparse turf, missing foliage and general bare areas in affected lawns and landscaping. Closer inspection of these areas may reveal large numbers of larvae in the thatch and upper soil.

Crane Flies are considered a pest of turfgrass in the northwest part of the country but only considered a nuisance pest in other parts. Large numbers of the adults can be seen congregated on walls of buildings.

Crane Fly Life Cycle -

Crane Flies produce one generation per year. The eggs are laid just under the soil surface and require adequate moisture to survive. These insects overwinter as larvae, but this only slows down its life cycle during cooler periods. Crane Fly larvae cause the most damage in the spring.

Lawn Insect - Crane Fly

Crane Fly Control -

Scotts LawnService controls Crane Fly larva through the use of professionally applied pest controls designed to prevent excess populations that can cause damage to the turf.

It's best to kill insects, grubs and other pests before they have a chance to cause damage to your lawn. Scotts LawnService recommends our exclusive Scotts® GrubEx® and Ortho® Max™ Pro insect control products, which will kill a wide variety of lawn damaging pests. Ortho® Max™ Pro eliminates destructive, bothersome insects, without disturbing the earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn's health.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Crane Fly control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.