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How to Get Rid of Mosquito Hawks

About Mosquito Hawks

The mosquito hawks or mosquito eaters are actually called crane flies. These insects unlike their name and resemblance to the mosquito do not harm such blood of humans. However, they are considered a pest. It annoying noise and search for breeding sites, including tendency to destruct the roots, plants, fruits, grass and stunting the growth of plants wreaks havoc to the entire landscape of the garden, agricultural and tropical areas.

The crane flies got the name mosquito hawks because the larva of the crane flies feed on the larva of the mosquitoes which hinders the lifecycle of the mosquito. Most adult crane flies prefer feeding on nectar, pastures and lawns. While searching for breeding sites they may cause trouble inside the home as well.  

However, most of the damage is caused by the larva of the crane flies. It looks like a black slug called leather jacket or grubs. It feeds on the turf, roots, grass, flowers and other plantation causing major destruction. So, even if the crane flies may not be eating the mosquitoes these insects are definitely a pest.


  1. Preventive measures for the crane flies

The crane flies breed and thrive in damp and moist areas. Make sure the pool is freshly cleaned and exchanged. Cover it up. Make sure the soil is not to damp and there are no puddles or stagnant water. Remove all foliage, debris and all decayed leaves from the garden. Fix all the leaks from faucets and plumbing pipes. Clean the drainage system all these areas are breeding sites for the crane flies.

The doors and windows should be screened to prevent the crane flies from entering. The holes and cracks should also be caulked.

  1. No lights for the mosquito hawks

Mosquito hawks are attracted to the lights at night time. Make sure the lights are closed. If the lights are used the curtains should be drawn.

  1. Electrifying crane flies

Use a bug zapper. It is an electronic device with a light that is hung next to doors and windows. Once the mosquito hawks try to enter the premises they get electrocuted by the bug zappers.

  1. Dethatching the lawn

The muddy dense part of the solid gets pudgy for healthy growth of grass and plants. The decayed leaves and grass get moist and the plants are forced to grow over it, producing spongy plants. Thus the thatch must be removed for healthy grass to grow and to allow the soil and fertilizer to get air

  1. Aerating the lawn

Lawn aerating tools not only helps in thatching but also use lawn aerating tools to allow airflow to circulate through the soil, roots and turf.

  1. Landscaping the lawn

The soil should be kept dry and should only be watered when required. Trim the grass short making it less difficult for leather jackets to hide. Applying nitrogen to the soil during summer it prevents or rather curtails the feeding of the leather jackets.

  1. Predators of the mosquito hawks

Animals like skunk and birds like sparrows and other kind of birds can be kept at home. Bird feeders and birdbaths would be a great way to invite the sparrows and other birds that feed on the grubs or leather jackets. Colorless round worms are pest that feed on jackets and some feed on the adult drain flies. Keeping such pets around will ensure the control of the crane flies larvae population.

  1. Insecticides for the crane flies

There are various kinds of insecticides available to control and manage the mosquito hawks and the leather jackets. These insecticides are as follows:

Imidacloprid and Pyrethrin: Come in granular and spray form. It helps in eradicating the grubs and the crane flies. It works best when applied in summer or soon after the eggs are hatched.

Reclaim IT: Insect killer for lawns. This product is most effective in early to mid April. It kills the larva of the crane flies.

Insecticidal soap and Pyrethrin: The potassium salts and fatty acids weakened the shell making it for the pyrethrin spray to attack the nerves and paralyze it and eventually lead to its death.

Other products are Bifen LP Granules.


Crane flies that have been named the mosquito hawks do not prey on the mosquitoes or suck blood but it does cause major disaster to the landscape and agricultural areas. Such pests must be eradicated from the garden and also from the indoor areas where they might be looking for breeding sites.


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