Actual Size:  ⅛” to ⅜”

Characteristics: Gray to black; some having white, green or blue markings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant, standing water sources such as ponds, rain gutters, storm drains, old tires, children’s wading pools, and birdbaths.


  • Mosquitoes rest during the day and emerge at dawn and dusk, which is when they’re most active
  • They can develop from egg to adult in just under two weeks
  • Mosquitoes live for only about one or two months

Mosquitoes in Iowa

More than any other animal in the world, mosquitoes pose a huge threat to human life. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has collected data to show that mosquito bites result in the deaths of more than 1 million people every year. The majority of these deaths are due to malaria, but mosquitoes also transmit West Nile, Zika, and many more diseases that are considered to be dangerous.

Thankfully, only a few species of mosquitoes transmit disease. Here in the United States, there are about 200 species of mosquitoes, and they can be found in many regions. The mosquito is able to inhabit a number of environments, from deserts to mountains and even areas below sea level.

Mosquito Habitat

Mosquitoes can be found in areas with stagnant or slow-moving water. This is why they’re frequently found around marshes, lakes, ponds, and more. However, mosquitoes only need a half-inch of water to breed, making any area susceptible. In Des Moines, they can be found in backyards of residents, often in kiddie pools, metal buckets, flower pots, and any object that collects rainwater or excess water from irrigation systems. This underscores the importance of homeowners regularly checking their property for containers that could be collecting water if they wish to avoid a mosquito problem.

Mosquito Behaviors, Threats, & Dangers

Most mosquito species require a blood meal before they can reproduce a batch of eggs. Most species will leave you with a bite mark that goes away in time with little to no symptoms. However, some mosquito bites are worse, and some can transmit disease. Most people infected with mosquito-transmitted viruses show no symptoms or only mild, flu-like symptoms that may not result in a visit to the doctor. However, severe symptoms following infection occur in a small percentage of people. In any case, it’s important to take caution in the presence of mosquitoes. If you have a mosquito problem, always contact your local mosquito exterminator.