LANCASTER—With mosquito borne diseases like Zika and the West Nile Virus driving public fear, the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is informing the public that what may appear to be a mosquito, probably isn’t; it’s most likely a harmless insect known as a Crane Fly.

“This is something we experience every year, some worse than others, and we can assure residents that those are actually not mosquitoes, but rather crane flies,” said District Entomologist Karen Mellor in a statement released on Tuesday, April 4. “Crane flies look similar to mosquitoes, but are quite a bit larger. The good thing is that they don’t bite or cause any diseases. But they can be very annoying, especially in large numbers.”

Due to the increased rainfall, the region is experiencing a “bumper crop” of the inch-long insects, but because of their short lifespan, they should be gone in a few weeks, officials said.

While the innocuous Crane Fly is not a mosquito, the district advises that residents remain vigilant as mosquitoes have already been found in other areas of southern California, as far south as the San Fernando Valley.

“We are gearing up for a very busy season. We have some technicians checking hotspots and pools that were dry last year,” Mellor said. “Now is the time for everybody to prepare by cleaning up pools, removing standing water, and vaccinating horses.”

For additional information or to report a problem, the public is urged to contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District at (661) 942-2917, or visit their website at