What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?
There are over 3,000 kinds of mosquitoes worldwide, but they all look quite similar. Mosquitoes have the following characteristics:
- Adult mosquitoes are only about ¼ – ½” long and weigh less than 2.5 mg.
- Different mosquito species have varying colorations. Mosquitoes seen in the U.S. can are usually brown or gray in color with white stripes and iridescent, hair-like scales.
- All mosquitoes have slender, curved bodies, two wings, and characteristically long legs.
- Mosquitoes possess a long proboscis, which is like a thin needle protruding from its mouth. It is made up of mouthparts that enable the insect to suck fluids.
How Do You Know You're Dealing With Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are easily mistaken for other bugs. However, they have two special features that can be used to tell them from other bugs: their needle-thin proboscis and scaled wings. Mosquitoes can be smaller than you think, which is why some people confuse much larger insects for these blood-suckers. Learning about mosquito behaviors can help you to identify them.
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What Other Bugs Look Like Mosquitoes?
It is easy to mistake a crane fly, mayfly, midge, or gnat for a mosquito. Here’s how they’re all different:
- Crane flies: Also called mosquito hawks, these insects look like giant mosquitoes, often at over double their size. They will not draw blood or harm you in any way.
- Mayflies: The mayfly has larger, angled wings and no proboscis. Mayflies also cannot bite or sting.
- Midges/gnats: Although they are related to mosquitoes, midges only bite rarely and do not pass on diseases. They group together in large swarms and lack a proboscis.
What Kinds of Mosquitoes are Found in Iowa?
There are about 150 species of mosquitoes found in the United States. Only a small portion of those have been found here in Iowa, and they all look similar. For help identifying what type of mosquito you’re seeing near you, it’s best to trust in a professional mosquito exterminator.
What Do Mosquitoes Look Like? in Des Moines
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