Crane Fly - Daddy Long Legs, General + Control


Crane Fly - Daddy Long Legs, General + Control

They like to live near water and fly awkwardly through the garden with hanging legs. It's that time of year again, the crane flies (Tipula) are everywhere. And if you think that every crane fly you see is the same over and over again, then you are thoroughly wrong. In Belgium and the Netherlands there are about 90 different species, which may or may not be difficult to distinguish from each other.

Crane flies are mainly nocturnal and twilight active and are attracted by light, which means that they often enter the home at night. They have only 1 pair of wings, the second pair is reduced to two small antennae-like stumps that act as balance organs.

Crane flies have an average size of 25 mm and a wingspan of 3 to 4 cm. They have a thin and a long brown body that is clearly segmented which makes them look a bit dire. They have 3 pairs of very long legs that are twice the body length. Females have a sharp ovipositor at the end of their long body which is often seen by laymen as a stabbing organ. Crane flies are completely harmless and don't bite unlike the annoying mosquitoes that buzz around our room at night.

Crane Fly - Daddy Long Legs, General + Control

Photo of the crane fly or TiuplaNot the mosquitoes, but the larvae of the mosquitoes, leather jackets, cause the greatest damage. The larva grows in a few steps and each time undergoes molting. It is a gray-colored, legless larva that can best be compared to a large maggot.

Leatherjackets can occur all year round and live from the young green parts of the plants and not from the roots is sometimes claimed, also leaf litter and wood dust are on the menu. It is true that this voracious larva hides underground during the day.

Leatherjackets can cause considerable damage in the vegetable garden. The root necks, just above the ground, of young planting material can be completely eaten, causing the plant to die. In grassland the emelt can still be of some significance because they are fond of the young weed germs there.

Crane Fly - Daddy Long Legs, General + Control

The damage to lawns due to leatherjackets is therefore more caused by animals that have this nutritious larva on the menu, such as hedgehogs, moles and various garden birds.

To prevent such damage to the lawn, we must of course combat the blackjack without targeting birds, hedgehogs and moles. This can be done using biological nematodes or various other pesticides

Did you know that crane flies live an average of 14 days and that some species survive in those 14 days on what they have eaten as a larva. In the Netherlands this large insect few microbrews nicknames like spekkebijter, window cleaner or spekkedief . That sounds more fun as a crane fly or flying hay wagon… or how about Daddy Long Legs .

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