Skeeter eaters belong to the crown group of crane flies, they are known to have existed since the stage of Barremian which is the early cretaceous, and is found in all regions of the world.
In this article, I will run you through everything you need to know about Skeeter eaters, what skeeter eaters are, the facts about them, how to identify skeeter eaters, and the best ways to prevent them.
What is Skeeter Eaters?
Tipulidae insects are referred to as skeeter-eaters by the term. Most writers classify the Cylindrotominae, Limoniinae, and Pediciinae as subfamilies of the Tipulidae, while they are often elevated to family status.
Pediciidae is currently ranked as a separate family in the most recent classifications because of considerations of paraphyly. In colloquial English, Skeeter eaters are sometimes known as mosquito hawks, crane flies, or daddy longlegs.
Opiliones and members of the spider family Pholcidae both of which are arachnids are also known as arachnids They are frequently referred to as leatherjackets, which are the larvae of skeeter eaters.
Crown group skeeter-eaters have been around since the Barremian period of the Early Cretaceous and can be found all over the planet.
However, a particular species tend to have restricted ranges. They are most prevalent in the tropics, but can also be found in the northern latitudes and at high altitudes.
More than 15,000 fly species and subspecies are represented in 525 genera and subgenera of the Tipulidae, one of the largest fly families.
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Skeeter Eaters are insects with lengthy legs, they are commonly mistaken for daddy longlegs or enormous crane flies. There are no wings and they are arachnids like spiders.
The Lifecycle of Skeeter Eaters
During mating, the female adult skeeter eater carries around mature eggs that are ready to be placed. Wet soil is the most common location the skeeter eater deposits their eggs, but it has also been found in dry soil and on the surface of bodies of water.
Within a week or two, the eggs will hatch into larvae, which will search for food sources. Skeeter eaters are most dangerous when they are still larvae.
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When an adult female emerges from her pupa, she normally carries mature eggs and mates with a male right away if one is available.
Males may also conduct their quest for a mate either on foot or in flight. Copulation can take anything from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the species. It takes 10 to 15 days for an adult to live.
The female lays her eggs right away, frequently in puddles of water or algae mats. Eggs can be found on the surface of a lake, on dry soils, or even dropped as the fly.
The eggs of crane flies are almost always black. When found in wet or aquatic conditions, the filament on many of these eggs may serve as an anchor for the developing egg.
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Where Does Skeeter Eaters Live?
There are many different types of freshwater and semi-aquatic habitats in which larvae like that of skeeter eater. From moist to damp cushions of mosses and liverworts are home to certain Tipulinae insects including skeeter eater and dolichopeza curtis.
There are a number of species of skeeter eater that can be found in decaying wood or soggy logs. They can be found on dry soils of pasturelands, lawns, and steppes.
Larvae of the Tipulidae family can also be found in organically rich soil and mud, in humus-saturated wet woodlands, in leaf litter and mud, decaying plant materials, or rotting fruits.
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How to identify skeeter Eaters
An adult skeeter eater which looks like an enlarged mosquito often has a slender body and stilt-like legs that are deciduous, meaning they can readily detach from the body.
Skeeter eaters can be distinguished from other flies by their ability to lay eggs. The wing span ranges from around 1.0 to 6.5 centimeters on average, however certain species of Holorusia can get up to 11 centimeters.
The antennae can include as many as 19 individual segments. In addition to this, it is distinguished by the presence of a V-shaped suture or groove on the posterior aspect of the thorax, as well as by the venation of its wings.
In certain species, the rostrum is so long that it is equal in length to both the head and the thorax together.
Pictures of Skeeter Eaters
Below are pictures of skeeter eaters;
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Do Skeeter Eaters Eat Mosquito?
Skeeter eaters in their adult form are the fragile critters buzzing around your walls and ceilings. Despite the name, they don’t consume mosquitoes aside from nectar, they don’t consume anything else. For some reason, they don’t have the mouthparts to do so.
In spite of this, they contribute to the pollination of plants, the feeding of other animals, and the rapid decomposition of decaying material.
Are Skeeter Eaters Dangerous to Humans and Pets?
So, in summation, they won’t be eating you, pets, or mosquitoes, either birds, dragonflies, frogs, bats, fish, and a variety of other insect-eating creatures.
They give off an impression of being far more menacing than they really are. In point of fact, they only survive for around 10 to 15 days, during which time they reproduce, lay eggs, and eventually pass away depending on the circumstances in their habitat.
How to Get Rid of Skeeter Eaters Naturally
The simplest and easiest way to get rid of skeeter eaters naturally is to attract birds to your yard and feed them.
- Skeeter eaters don’t like the company of birds. Skeeter eaters are a favorite food source for a variety of birds, including starlings, robins, and others like them.
- Place bird feeders in various locations throughout your yard.
- Make available suitable nesting areas, including residences.
- Install a bird bath, but make sure you change the water in it on a regular basis to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Adjust the cutting height of the grass to the appropriate level, which is often between 3 and 4 inches.
- Reduce the frequency of watering to discourage larvae.
- When necessary, remove the thatch from the lawn.
- Consider the use of helpful nematodes like S. feltiae, which will contribute to the maintenance of a healthy lawn.
- The presence of adequate air circulation and drainage will eliminate the conditions necessary for the laying of eggs.
- From the home improvement store, select a nematode spray, mix, or ready-to-use product, read the directions, and apply as directed.
How to Get Rid of Skeeter Eaters Using Insecticides
In most cases, insecticides can provide a speedy solution to your crane fly problem. Simply apply insecticides toward the end of summer or at the beginning of fall.
Both the eggs and the newly hatched larvae will be targets of the pesticides, as will the adult crane flies.
How to apply
- Consider checking for insecticides that contain pyrethroid or imidacloprid, and you should choose a form that is easiest for you to work with, either liquid or granular.
- First, determine the approximate square foot area of your yard, then think about the kind of spreader you’ll need or utilize.
- When using any kind of insecticide, it is important to carefully read and follow the guidelines on the packaging.
It is common knowledge that the larvae of skeeter eaters are harmful to plants, it should be noted that these pests also have some positive effects on the environment.
It has been demonstrated that the biological processes carried out by species that make their homes on land work to both enhance the structure of the soil and increase the amount of organic matter it contains.
In cases where they are found in enormous quantities, they will invite their predators which are considered pests.
Reading to this point, we believe you have learned the facts, identification, and control of skeeter eaters. Do well to drop your view down the comment section.