These medium to large insects undergo simple metamorphosis, with the nymph stage (“naiad”) living in water, where some species feed on small insects while others feed on algae, bacteria, or vegetative matter. They are most commonly found in creeks with rapidly flowing water and rocky bottoms, where they hide under the rocks. The larvae are an important food resource for fish. The adult insect has well developed wings, but is a poor flyer and remains near the aquatic habitat it came from. They may also be attracted to lights at night. These insects are harmless to people, and some species do not feed as adults, resulting in very short life spans.
Control is not necessary for stoneflies. They are beneficial insects in the environment. If they are present in a structure they can be removed by hand or with a vacuum, and steps should be taken to prevent their ability to fly in. Exterior lights around doorways should be changed to yellow bulbs or turned off at night when not needed.