What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?
There are over 3,000 known species of mosquitoes worldwide, but they all share similar features. Mosquitoes have the following characteristics:
- Full-grown mosquitoes are only about ¼ – ½”, and weigh less than 2.5 mg.
- Mosquitoes vary in color depending on their species. In the U.S, they typically appear gray or brown with white stripes and iridescent, hair-like scales.
- All mosquitoes have two long wings, slender bodies with a curved back, and notably lengthy legs.
- Mosquitoes have a long proboscis that allows them to pierce the skin and suck fluids.
How Can You Tell if It’s A Mosquito?
Mosquitoes are often confused for other bugs. However, they have two particular body parts that distinguish them from their lookalikes: their scale-covered wings and beak-like proboscis. Mosquitoes can be much smaller than you think, which is why people commonly confuse much larger bugs for these blood-suckers. One key to identifying mosquitoes is noticing their behavior.
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What Insects Look Like Mosquitoes?
It is quite common to confuse a crane fly, midge, gnat, or mayfly for a mosquito. Here’s how they differ from mosquitoes:
- Crane flies: Also called mosquito hawks, these insects look like giant mosquitoes and can grow to over double the size of one. They are harmless to humans and will not draw blood.
- Mayflies: The mayfly has larger, upward-pointing wings and does not have a proboscis. Mayflies do not bite or sting.
- Midges/gnats: Midges are partially related to mosquitoes, but they seldom bite and will not transmit disease. They move in large swarms and also lack a proboscis.
What Kinds of Mosquitoes are Found in Illinois and Indiana?
There are about 150 kinds of mosquitoes found in the U.S. Many of these species are found in the Midwest, but the Asian tiger mosquito and the Culex, or house mosquito, are the most dangerous ones in the area, as they are known to spread diseases. It’s best to reach out to a professional mosquito exterminator to help with the identification of mosquitoes found in your area.