County: Don't worry, those giant bugs aren't mosquitoes

Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 18:52:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Around this time of the year, pretty much anything tiny with wings - and a habit of buzzing around your face - looks like a mosquito.

The county is letting residents know there's one bug they can safely shrug off: The crane fly.

Crane flies look similar to mosquitoes with its long, skinny legs and pointed body, running into one another and walls around light sources. While the insect is related to the mosquito, it doesn't suck blood or bite.

Crane flies don't even eat all that often, according to Chris Conlan, supervising vector ecologist with the county.

"This is something that people are going to have to kind of expect this year," Conlan said. "You’re going to see a lot more of these things as the weather warms up."

Crane flies are around all year around, but generally come out this time of year in San Diego for their breeding season. They don't transmit disease and, despite their nicknames like "mosquito hawks" and "skeeter-eaters," do not eat mosquitos.

If you get tired of the bug, the county said turning off or limiting outside lighting (or even retrofitting them with yellow bug lights) helps limit their presence. Adult bugs also only live about 10 days, so you can wait them out.