Do Mosquito Eaters Really Eat Mosquitoes?

Mosquito eaters, also known as crane flies, do not eat mosquitoes. In fact, adult crane flies do not eat at all.

Similar in appearance to mosquitoes, but much larger in size, many people mistake the crane fly for the mosquito hawk. Although, mosquito hawks do hunt down and kill mosquitoes, the prolific crane fly does not. The adult crane fly actually does not eat at all. However, they do have mouth parts and sometimes drink nectar. Its main purpose in life is to find a mate and lay eggs before dying of exhaustion.

These insects do all of their eating in the larval stage. They move through the soil eating the roots of plants, such as grass. The European crane fly larvae is widespread throughout Northeastern America and causes a lot of damage to people's yards and crops. At night, the larvae crawl above ground to eat decaying wood, vegetation, healthy grass, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

When cooler weather hits, the crane fly larvae find a safe place to cocoon themselves and morph into adult crane flies. In spring, the new adults crawl out and live very short lives, between 10 to 15 days, as they hurry to propagate the species.