Warmer weather creates crane fly invasion in Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Warmer weather creates crane fly invasion in Texoma


GRAYSON COUNTY -- If the warmer weather doesn't signal the startof spring, bugs do.

Already, Texomais seeing some of its first swarms of the season and these insects, inparticular, are difficult to miss.

They look like giant mosquitoes.

Common nicknames are mosquito eater and mosquito hawk.

"Big mosquitos is what we call them," Sherman residentHelen Lake said.

But its real name is a crane fly and whatever you call them, there'sa good chance they're outside your front door right now.

"They're definitely out. There's no doubt about that,"Denison resident Morris McCann said.

"They're just pests," Lake said. "When you open thedoor to the house or whatever, they want in real fast, you know."

Chuck Jones is with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office inSherman.

Despite the nicknames, Jones says a crane fly isn't a mosquito atall.

In fact, he says they're harmless to people and plants and don'teven eat other mosquitos, like many believe.

"Yes, I've hear that," Lake said.

"What most people don't realize is you're seeing the adultversion and they don't have a mouth part, they're not even feeding. All they'rewanting to do is to mate," Jones said.

As larvae, Jones says crane flies feed on decaying vegetation.

"They're kind of the natural cycle of decomposing," hesaid.

If crane flies are harmless to humans, why do they seem to like usso much? Swarms greet us outside our front doors and cling to us when we walkby.

"They're not attracted to us, they're in such high numbers that when we raise a window, open a door, here they come," Jones said.

Jones says a long winter may be the reason there seems to be morecrane flies this year than in the past.

"We're seeing a bigemergence all at once," he said.

When a crane fly becomes an adult, Jones says its life span lastjust a few days or less.

Predatorsincludes spiders, fish and birds but inside homes, a fly swattermay be they're biggest threat.