Seeing what looks like giant mosquitos around lawns, pastures, or other grassy areas? These are crane flies, rather large flies with slender bodies and long, fragile legs that break off easily. Although similar in appearance to a giant mosquito, they are not a kind of mosquito at all and do not bite, even though some people know them, incorrectly, by the name of “mosquito hawks.” The short-lived adult crane flies are not known to feed on anything and are medically harmless.
The larvae of crane flies can do some damage mostly to lawns. Females mate and lay eggs in grass, and when the eggs hatch, they are small, brown, wormlike larvae that have very tough skin commonly referred to as “leatherjackets”.
Like most flies, adult crane flies are attracted to lights at night and can be a nuisance when they end up indoors, flying around awkwardly, weakly, and bumping into things. If you find one indoors, gently move them outside for the remainder of their very short life.
Learn more about crane flies here.