Crane flies can best be identified as looking like large, oversized mosquitos. The species found most commonly in Massachusetts have two flights per year. The first adults usually appear in the beginning of May and the second in the first few weeks of September.
Crane flies prefer wet conditions, so making sure your lawn does not get too much water is important. Adults lay their eggs in most soil and their larvae can feed on the roots in the ground, decaying matter, other insects and the lawn itself.
Damage is rare unless populations reach 80 larvae per square foot. The adults themselves are more of a nuisance than anything.