You know it’s springtime in Los Angeles when giant flying insects like the one pictured above can be found all over town either hanging out on walls and plants or wobbling through the air in a topsy-turvy flight pattern that calls to mind Snoopy’s avian sidekick Woodstock.
Subsequently it is also that time of year when these rather hapless creatures make the mistake of getting inside your homes to flit along walls and ceilings forcing horrified occupants to exclaim “That’s the biggest fucking mosquito I’ve ever seen!” while simultaneously reaching for a can of Raid or a magazine to roll up.
Truth is, what ends up sprayed or splatted is not the corpse of some humungus blood-sucker, but rather the nectar-drinking giant crane fly, which can neither bite nor sting. And at this last stage of its life pretty much all it wants to do before it dies is make more giant crane flies.
Because I’m all-creatures-great-and-small crazy like that, I’ll actually go to the trouble of catching the wayward critters up and getting them back outdoors to continue their quest for a mate, but I can’t say that I blame anyone who’s more willing to whack them dead than make that catch and release effort. But should you chance upon one outside minding its own business, consider leaving it alone. The giant crane fly might look menacing but it’s entirely harmless.