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Adult European Crane Flies are a beneficial insect that are a good food source for birds and other animals. However, the crane fly larvae feed on the shots and stems of the grass plant and over a short period of time they can completely strip turf areas. The grass areas affected will look very thin and there will be a shiny mud appearance. Also, starlings will be present in larger numbers as they feed on the larvae. Fortunately, if caught early, crane fly larvae can be controlled and your lawn protected from their damage.
The treatment consists of one or two applications of a registered insecticide being applied to the entire turf area depending on your specific needs. It is best if the treatment is made during wet weather so rainfall can drive the insecticide down.
After treatment it will probably be necessary to overseed the thin areas to help re-establish a healthy turf.