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Old 04-23-2012, 12:44 PM
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Thumbs down Have any of you ever had the European Crane Fly come to visit?

http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/cepublicatio...56/eb0856.html

I remember at my first house when I was married in south Everett, Wa, we got an infestation of these critters. They destroyed the lawn. It completely disappeared. Looking across the yard of dirt, you could see the whole ground moving from these larvae. Disgusting! We had some big, burly, masculine guys doing some kind of work there and when they saw this, they leaped up into the air, flailing their arms and squeemishly saying in high pitched voices, "Eeeewwwwwwwwww!"

I had forgotten all about these icky insects because they don't have them in north Idaho because of the cold winters. Now, being back in Washington, I see these crane flies doing their thing, flying at a low altitude, close to the new sod. Grrrrr. So, now I have to do a test to find out how many there are per sq. ft because if there are not too many, it won't damage the grass and in fact, actually can aerate the soil. But too many can totally wreck the lawn. I think I'm too late in the season to do anything about it.

Have you ever seen these things or have you ever had to treat for them? Lawn is like one of my favorite crops. LOL. I hate to have it wrecked.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:09 AM
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There are millions of them at my parents' house, but their lawn looks fine. I thought they were skeeter hawks. Further google research seems to indicate that's an honest mistake since the species look similar.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:16 AM
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I though it was a mosquito hawk too, are they not? We have tons of those types of things in our grass. Creepy...do they bite?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:22 AM
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Mosquito hawk is another name for the crane fly. And no, they don't bite or sting or do any kind of damage to homes or humans. They can ruin a lawn though, if there is an ample number of them. If not, then they don't. If the lawn is very healthy, that helps so that not all of the roots are eaten.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:39 AM
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Chickens? lol. My aunt had a horrible infestation, and got two pet chickens. Just as pets, but there was the nice side effect of them eating every bug that entered the yard. I don't know if they got the grubs, or if they just ate the adults and prevented a reinfestation, but it worked and her grass came back.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:47 AM
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This just made my skin crawl in so many different directions lol!! We have those big mosquito eaters but I don't think we have these.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:58 AM
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I've never really tried to keep a traditional lawn in this state. Usually we start with grass but it quickly turns over to moss/clover/with a few strands of ryegrass thrown in. I've never really had issue with craneflies. There are lots of things that eat them and they're mostly harmless as compared to the other flying bloodsuckers in the area.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristen1980 View Post
This just made my skin crawl in so many different directions lol!! We have those big mosquito eaters but I don't think we have these.
Mosquito eaters is yet another name for the same insect, the crane fly. lol. They're all pesky, icky things.

Well, hmmm...chickens. Now there's a thought. In the city I live in, they actually allow you to have chickens and even roosters if they don't become a problem for the neighbors, which they would. lol. But I don't think I want to have more animals to care for, so....
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kat09Tails View Post
I've never really tried to keep a traditional lawn in this state. Usually we start with grass but it quickly turns over to moss/clover/with a few strands of ryegrass thrown in. I've never really had issue with craneflies. There are lots of things that eat them and they're mostly harmless as compared to the other flying bloodsuckers in the area.

I've always had a pretty good lawn, but it does mean some extra diligence as far as picking out weeds, clover and stuff before it gets a hold on things and frequent applications of fertilizer, some lime (the soil in the n.w. tends to be acidic, which grass doesn't like) and enough exposure to sunlight in spring and summer. Grass doesn't do well in too much shade or under evergreen trees.

Sometimes I even resort to using some products which kill weeds and clover, which I don't like to do too often, but if I want a good lawn, that's pretty much needed at times. On the other hand, clover puts loads of nitrogen back into the soil....if you don't mind clover. If there are just a few weeds, I pick them out with a screw driver. lol. I water deeply in summer, but let it almost dry out, so every 3rd day or so if it's hot. The roots need to be trained to go deeply so letting it dry out a little encourages the roots to go down and prevents thatch build up. And then watering deeply. I see people water their lawns almost every day and only for a short time in each place. That's no good.

If you don't have grass, you probably won't have an issue with crane flies. That's what they love to eat...the roots.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Old 04-24-2012, 12:16 PM
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Her chicken situation was kind of weird. She's super proper and loves having a very proper tidy house, but her chickens slept in the dining room. There was a wooden crate lined with newspapers that the chickens slept in. Every evening they'd come knock on the sliding glass door when it was time for bed. And they were bantam cochins, so they totally looked like little walking tea cozies.
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