LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The rainy winter and warming temperatures have made Southern California a great place to live for more flying bugs.

An influx of large, rather intimidating flying insects have many worrying about an increase in mosquito activity, but according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, the bugs are not mosquitoes and are actually harmless.

The insect that seems to be showing up inside more L.A. County homes and buildings is likely the common crane fly – a non-biting species that is roughly larger than the size of a quarter. According to the vector control district, they emerge from the soil and have a short life span.

(credit: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District)

(credit: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District)

If the insect spotted is smaller than a quarter and bites, however, it is most likely a mosquito.

“Nuisance insects, along with mosquitoes, can be expected when temperatures warm in late winter and early spring,” Susanne Kluh, Director of Scientific-Technical Services at GLACVCD, said in a statement. “The insect of real concern is the one that bites, and that is the mosquito.”

Officials recommend eliminating standing water around homes to help prevent mosquito breeding.

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