What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?
Worldwide, there are more than 3,000 types of mosquitoes. Most share the following characteristics:
- Adult mosquitoes are about ¼ – ½ of an inch long. They weigh less than 2.5 mg.
- Mosquitoes range in color. Common species 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 are best identified by their long proboscis, which is made up of mouthparts that enable the insect to pierce the skin and suck up blood.
What Sets Mosquitoes Apart?
It’s easy to misidentify other bugs for mosquitoes. There are two characteristics in particular that help to set mosquitoes apart: scale-covered wings that give them a fringe-like appearance, and their beak-like proboscis. Mosquitoes are a smaller size than most people think, which is why many often confuse much larger bugs for these blood-suckers. In general, look at the behaviors of the insect to help identify mosquitoes vs. other bugs.
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Insects Confused For Mosquitoes
Chances are, you’ve mistaken other flying insects for mosquitoes. The most common ones include:
- Crane fly: Also referred to as mosquito hawks, these insects look like giant mosquitoes at more than double the size of mosquitoes. They are harmless and will not draw blood.
- Mayfly: The mayfly has larger, upward slanting wings and does not possess the proboscis. Mayflies do not bite or sting.
- Midge/gnat: Although somewhat related to mosquitoes, midges rarely bite and do not transmit disease. They appear in large swarms and lack a proboscis.
Mosquito Species Found in Wisconsin?
There are about 150 species of mosquitoes found nationwide. Here in Wisconsin, we have identified about 56 total, most of which do not bite people. However, the Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex species have all been found, which are known to bite. To help identify what type of mosquito you are dealing with, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional mosquito exterminator.
What Do Mosquitoes Look Like? in Wisconsin