With spring comes the bugs, and if you're anything like me, you don't like the bugs.

Of course, there are some bugs that are better left alone. But sometimes it can be difficult to know which bugs to leave alone, especially when they remind us of the ones we dislike the most.

Mosquitos will soon return to Ohio, and with them return similar insects that can be just as annoying even if they don't pose the same threat. Odds are, you've seen this horse with wings before.

Ron Clausen via Wikipedia Commons
Ron Clausen via Wikipedia Commons

This creature is known by many names in different regions. Some call them Mosquito Hawks, my family called them Pteradactly Mosquitos, and "Skeeter-Eaters" is a popular one too. Others just see a giant, mutant mosquito from the Fallout universe and reach for a flip-flop to take them out.

They are actually called Crane Flies and the only thing they have in common with mosquitos is that they look like giant replicas of them. Despite what myths you may have heard or chosen to believe, they don't eat mosquitos and they don't bite humans. In fact, most species of the crane fly don't have the mouthparts necessary to consume much of anything at all.

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According to Ohio State University, crane flies "serve a valuable function as the 'clean-up crew' converting large pieces of organic matter into smaller particles on the way to enriching the soil." Essentially, they are beneficial insects to the environment. Their only true crime is being annoying in the heat of the summer.

There is one species of crane fly not native to Ohio that has white pigmentation on its wings that can be a bit more harmful to the environment. You can learn more about how to tell the difference and how to report sightings here.

For the most part, though, you really needn't worry about these bugs. Take out the mosquitos and let the crane flies do their thing.

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