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Mosquito Imposters

Is it a giant Mosquito? Will it bite me?

Crane flies AKA Mosquito Eaters fool people every year into thinking they are mosquitoes. Crane Flies are harmless, flying insects that do not bite or carry disease. Also, contrary to popular belief, they do not eat mosquitoes (darn).

HINT: If it is bigger than a quarter, it is NOT a mosquito.

Image of a crane fly

Crane flies are long-legged insects and are much larger than a mosquito. They’re commonly referred to as “mosquito killers” or “mosquito hawks” but these harmless insects don’t feed on mosquitoes or humans . In fact, they don't eat much as adults at all! Yes you heard right – CRANE FLIES DON’T BITE. Crane flies develop in moist soil or water and mostly emerge in early spring to fall, especially during warm weather after a rain event.

Next time you see a crane fly,  simply wave it outside.


Mosquitoes in LA County DO NOT SWARM. If you see small insects swarming, they're most likely midges.

Picture of a Midge

Midges are swarmers, not biters - This small insect is often confused with mosquitoes, but does not bite. They are routinely seen hovering in swarms on warm summer evenings. Our local mosquitoes do not swarm together in a big cloud. Fortunately, midges do not make people sick! Next time you see a swarm of insects, know it is most likely not mosquitoes!

The Chironomidae (informally known as chironomidsnonbiting midges, or lake flies) comprise a family of nematoceran flies with a global distribution.  Many species superficially resemble mosquitoes, but they lack the wing scales and elongated biting mouthpart.