What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?
Although there are more than 3,000 types of mosquitoes worldwide, they all share similar characteristics. Mosquitoes have the following appearance:
- As adults, mosquitoes are only about ¼ – ½ of an inch long. They weigh less than 2.5 mg.
- Mosquitoes range in color depending on their species. Common types found in the U.S. can be gray or brown in color with white stripes and iridescent, hair-like scales.
- All mosquitoes have two long wings, slender bodies that rest in a “humpback” position, and characteristically long legs.
- Mosquitoes possess a long proboscis, which is made up of mouthparts that enable the insect to suck fluids.
How Do You Know if It’s A Mosquito?
Mosquitoes are frequently confused for other insects. However, they have two unique body parts that distinguish them from other bugs: scale-covered wings that give them a fringe-like appearance, and their beak-like proboscis. Mosquitoes are oftentimes smaller than you think, which is why people often confuse much larger bugs for these blood-suckers. In general, look at the behaviors of the insect to help identify it
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What Bugs Look Like Mosquitoes?
It is extremely common to misidentify a crane fly, midge, gnat, or mayfly as a mosquito. Here’s how they differ from mosquitoes:
- Crane flies: Also referred to as mosquito hawks, these insects look like giant mosquitoes at nearly double the size of mosquitoes. They are harmless and will not draw blood.
- Mayflies: The mayfly has larger, upward slanting wings and does not possess the proboscis. Mayflies do not bite or sting.
- Midges/gnats: Although somewhat related to mosquitoes, midges rarely bite and do not transmit disease. They appear in large swarms and lack a proboscis.
What Types of Mosquitoes are Found in North Carolina?
There are about 150 species of mosquitoes found nationwide. These four are frequently found here in North Carolina, and they can look very similar. To help identify what type of mosquito you are dealing with, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional mosquito exterminator.