The uninvited: Mosquito hawks invading homes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

The uninvited: Mosquito hawks invading homes

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

They are a little early. It should be no surprise, since they come with the warm weather, not necessarily the spring.

Yes, we're talking about mosquito hawks, those uninvited guests that hover at your door just waiting for an opening.

They have got to be the most mindless insect next to the June bug. Spindly, aggravating, slow moving, well at least until you swing at them and miss, then they go into random warp drive and ram anything giving off light.

How can these clumsy beasts be accurate enough to catch and eat a mosquito?

"I haven't seen a mosquito hawk dive bomb a mosquito and as far as anyone knows, they don't actually feed on mosquitoes. The adults don't feed. It's the larvae of the species that will feed on decaying organic matter," said Joel Lowry of Best Pest Control.

Apparently they fill up so much on mulch in the larval stage; they stay full their entire adult lives, which is only a few days. And, oh yeah, there's no such thing as a mosquito hawk.

"They are actually crane flies, and they come from decomposing material like you might have in a flower bed. They could be in a drain ditch, "Joel stated.

During the day, they do their reproductive duties and avoid the light. At night they do their reproductive duties and fly into the light. They really have grass is greener syndrome.

Crane flies are called mosquito hawks because of their looks, but I have my own theory.

"Maybe the term mosquito hawk comes from breathing them in, and then hawking them back up?" I asked Joel. "That's a thought," he laughed.

The zombie flies are dumb, they're elusive, they like white things like light and pillows, but they don't bite and it won't be long until they stop hanging out at your front door.

There is another insect that is sometimes called a mosquito hawk: the dragonfly. The main difference between these critters is the fact that dragonflies do actually eat mosquitoes.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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