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Have a Dobsonfly Problem?


The adult Dobsonfly is a large, winged insect that grows up to 5” long with long antennae and pinchers. They are nocturnal and attracted to bright lights found near waterways. The adults on live only seven days, usually long enough to mate, then the female lays her eggs near water.

The Dobsonfly lives most of its life in its larval stage living underwater, where it grows to about 3” long and feeds on other underwater insect larvae. They are often used as fish bait but have h3 pinchers and can bite humans.

After a few years the Dobsonfly larvae move onto land to pupate into adults. They remain in a cocoon for the winter, emerging in spring or summer as adults. The adult female’s pinchers are h3 and can leave a painful bite. The adult male’s pinchers are large but are rarely able to bite. Both will release a stinky anal spray to deter predators.




up to 5”


Adult dobsonflies are some of the largest non-Lepidopteran insects of temperate zones such as the United States and Canada, with a wingspan of up to 180 mm in some species of Corydalus.

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Control Advice

Use to yellow ‘bug’ lights in outdoor lighting areas.

Active Seasons

The Dobsonfly is most active in spring and summer.

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