BUFFALO, N.Y. - If you've noticed some giant mosquito-looking insects around, you're not alone. One exterminator we spoke with says they've seen a huge increase in complaints about these things as of late.
Mark Potzler from Buffalo Exterminating says a European-breed of a crane fly was first discovered in Western New York in 2004 and since then the population has been growing rapidly.
Eggs are laid in the soil and the larva then feeds on grass-roots before they emerge as adults in late August or early September. Potzler says the insects pose no physical threat, but the larva could explain why you have brown spots on your lawn.
"As the larva are chewing on the grass roots, they're causing bare spots on your lawn which for a homeowner is a major nuisance and for golf courses is a disaster," said Potzler.
Potzler says you can spray a pesticide on your lawn to kill the larva before they ruin your grass. But he says make sure you get a formula that specifically targets crane flies.
Potzler says the good news is adult crane flies don't have a long lifespan. He says most of them will die off in the next two weeks or so as the weather gets cooler. He also says since the crane fly population has gone up so have the skunk and mole populations. They eat crane flies. Potzler says the calls keep coming in about those animals too.