Master Gardener crane fly survey was a pilot project in 2001 that
new Master Gardeners used to earn volunteer hours. This project was
developed by Scarlet Tang and Todd Murray in order to address water
issues in Lake Whatcom. Two courageous volunteers sampled 45 lawns
for crane fly larvae in the Lake Whatcom watershed in 2001. In 2002,
fourteen Master Gardener volunteers joined in this important service
to their community. The 2002 MG's were able to survey 78 lawns! In
2003, we had 30 participants.
For 2004, the survey is open to all Whatcom County lawns! Go to
sign up information to get on the Master Gardener's list to have
your lawn evaluated for craneflies.
How do they perform the
The Master Gardeners sample a 6-inch by 6-inch area of lawn, and
then multiply the number of crane flies found by 4 to determine the
of crane flies per square foot of lawn.
own amazing Master Gardeners, Sharon and Sandra (of 2001) developed
the handy "Lindsay Cranefly Sample Kit." The Kit contains
a sample board, steak knife and level rake. The sample board has
6" x 6" square cut into it, and provides a comfortable
platform to kneel on.
The sample board is laid on the turf, and using a steak knife, the
Master Gardener cuts along three sides of the square. Only three
of the sample area are cut because the turf will recover much quicker
than if the whole square was cut out.
Using the handheld level rake, the crane fly sampler can then carefully
peel back the turf and count the number of crane fly larvae in the
from the bottom of the turf can be teased from the roots by shaking
and twisting the turf vigorously. This dislodges any crane flies
out in the thatch layer of the turf.
counting larvae, the MG simply rolls back the square, leaving little
evidence that any sample was taken!
The method used by the Master Gardeners is a low-impact way to get
a realistic idea of whether or not you have a crane fly problem
in your lawn. And best of all, it is FREE to have your lawn sampled
by our Master Gardeners!