Snakefly Larva In House – What To Do?

Have you spotted a snakefly larva in house and are worried about what harm it can do? We share below all the information you need to know about snakefly larvae.

Most of us would not like a strange insect in our homes. So if you find a black-colored fly with a long neck and netted wings flying around your house, we’re sure you will be concerned!

But there is nothing to be worried about. It is most likely a snakefly that has come in from the outside, and this creature is harmless to you.

While they are rare to see inside the house, snakeflies or snakefly larvae are common insects in gardens and yards.

Here is what you should know about them and how you can get rid of them.

Snakefly Larva In House - What To Do

Are Snakeflies Harmful To Humans?

Snakeflies are not known to pose any kind of threat to humans. Sometimes larval snakeflies might bite us, causing a little bit of skin irritation. However, they are not poisonous, and both larvae and adults usually only feed on insects.

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Do they bite or sting?

There are almost no instances of snakeflies biting people. The mouthparts of adult snakefly are forward-facing, and they use them only to feed on aphids and weaker prey. They do not have any kind of stingers on their bodies.

Larval snakeflies have sharper mouthparts at the front. These larvae can bite people, and the bite may leave behind an itchy, painful rash and skin irritation.

However, it is very rare for a snakefly to bite a human. Unless they are threatened, they have no reason to attack you.

Are they poisonous or venomous?

No! Snakeflies are a part of the insect class Raphidioptera, which are insects that mainly feed on wood. They do not contain any kind of poison or venom that affects humans or other animals.

Snakefly Larva In House - What To Do

Do they spread any diseases?

While snakeflies are a common insect that can make their way into your house, they are not known to spread any disease.

Where Do They Live?

Snakeflies are natives of western parts of North America, going as far down as southeastern Mexico and as far up as Canada.

Among all the 206 insect species of snakeflies that scientists have identified, 21 of them live around North America and Canada.

Snakeflies are insects whose habitat is limited to wooded areas. They stay around places with cold temperatures, an estimated 3,000 meters above sea level.

Larval snakeflies live under the bark of trees or the top layer of soil. There are also some species that live in the crevices between rocks.

Snakefly larvae are small insects with segmented bodies which feed on aphids and insect eggs. They have three pairs of legs and are reddish-gray in color.

You can spot these insects in and around your plants, feeding on small aphids and termites.

Female snakeflies lay eggs in small depressions on the surface of a tree’s bark. The larvae overwinter here and feed off whatever is available on the tree.

After they pupate and emerge in warmer climates, the adults move out to search for prey. You can find them in gardens and orchards all through the year.

Snakeflies reproduce only one generation every year, but they can live for around two to three years.

Snakefly Larva In House - What To Do

How Do They Enter Homes?

Snakeflies are typically garden insects that you can find on tree bark and plants. If they have made their way into your home, it is usually by accident.

It is possible that female snakeflies may have laid eggs on windows or plants very close to your house. When these eggs turn into larvae, they might crawl into the house through cracks in the windows, ending up inside your home.

How To Prevent Them From Entering Your House?

While snakeflies or snakefly larvae do not pose any serious threat to humans, you would prefer to keep these insects outside the house. And there are a few ideas you can use to limit snakeflies in the garden:

  • Put up window and door screens to keep the insects from entering the house
  • Try to cover small openings in the window that could be an entrance for the insects
  • You can plug in any ventilation holes around the house to keep the insects away. Using screens on the holes might be a better idea.
  • You could try pest control once in a while if you feel the problem is getting out of hand.

Are They Beneficial?

Snakeflies, whether as larvae or adults, are important beneficial insects in your garden. These insects can be used as biological control of aphids, beetle grubs, and other soft-bodied insects.

Adult snakeflies also feed on eggs and larvae of many different kinds of pests.

Snakefly larvae are effective predators that many gardeners introduce to their plants as pest control. In fact, they are even available for sale at most gardening shops.

Along with ladybugs, beetles, and lacewings, snakeflies can be a good alternative to using pesticides and chemical insecticides on your plants.

Snakefly Larva In House - What To Do

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Snakefly larvae eat?

Snakefly larvae have a varied diet of tree bark and insects. Usually, they feed on wood, insect eggs, and small arthropods.
They can feed on most small soft-bodied insects, including aphids and pear psyllas.

How long do snake flies live?

Snakeflies reproduce seasonally, with one generation born per year. The lifecycle of these insects lasts over two and three years.
They do not have a pupal stage. The insects gestate from a larva to the fly after overwintering in the soil. Most snakeflies will live to around six years.

What kind of bug looks like a snake?

Though they are mostly harmless, snakeflies are insects that look typically like snakes.
They got their names because of their long and slender head, which looks like the hood of a snake. Adult snakeflies also have transparent wings that are longer than their main body.

What did snakefly evolve?

Snakeflies come from a long line of fly species. They are relatives of the dobsonflies and alderflies, which evolved from a species called Mecopteran or Scorpionflies. These flies date back almost 50 million years.

Wrap Up

You do not need to be scared of snakeflies. These are important insects in the ecosystem and are probably good for your garden.

If you run into a problem with them, you can always try to seal cracks in your doors, windows, and window screens to keep them out. 

Overall, these bugs are not going to cause you any problems, so you can simply place them outside your home if you find one or two in the house.

Thank you for reading!

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

3 thoughts on “Snakefly Larva In House – What To Do?”

  1. My daughter has found 4 of these in her bedroom. Pretty sure it’s the snakefly larvae based on the pictures above. How are they getting in her bedroom and how do we get rid of them? Any special pesticide?

    Reply

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