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200 billion crane flies to descend on U.K. this fall

Monday, September 20th 2021, 2:19 pm - Bugs, bugs, and more bugs.

Persistent humidity in the UK, bookended by alternating bouts of heatwaves and torrential rain, has created the perfect conditions for an insect boom. A recent article from The Telegraph says readers have been writing into the publication, reporting an explosion of wasps, spiders, flies, and mosquitoes.

And while several species are enjoying the weather, experts are keeping a close eye on crane flies. The favourable conditions have created the potential for a potential 'siege', The Telegraph says, with 200 billion set to hatch in the fall.

There are about 300 species of crane flies in the UK, and warm September weather is giving the insects more time to spread across the country.

Crane flies can't survive the cold, winter months - so they're likely to try and enter homes and buildings as the temperature drops.

Most of the crane flies in the UK are the 'Tipula Paludosa' species, which grow to about an inch in length. There is also the Tipula Maxima species a non-native insect that can have a leg span of up to four inches.

crane fly 2 - wikipedia Tipula Paludosa. (neurovelho/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0.


But the insect invasion is an anomaly. A 2017 study found that globally, insect biomass has declined by about 75 per cent over the past three decades, a reduction that appears to be present in all habitat types.


Insects enter homes every year as summer winds down and temperatures cool. They're most likely to enter through cracks or open entrances. You can, however, make your home a less appealing space for pests by:

  • Cleaning and vacuuming regularly.
  • Removing crumbs from counters and the floor.
  • Storing food in air-tight containers.
  • Sealing cracks and openings in windows, doors, and walls.
  • Fixing leaky faucets and cracks in your plumbing.
  • Removing moisture with a de-humidifier.

Thumbnail image: head of a cranefly. (Thomas Shahan/Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0

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