Mosquito Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from mosquitoes by learning techniques for identification and control.
Types of mosquitoes
What do mosquitoes look like?
Mosquitoes belong to the same group as the true flies, Diptera. As such, they have a single pair of wings. They typically have long, thin legs and a head featuring a prominent proboscis. Mosquito bodies and wings most often are covered in tiny scales. Adult sizes may range from 3 to 9 mm.
Most common mosquitoes
- Asian Tiger Mosquito
- Anopheles Mosquito
Frequently Asked Questions
How did I get mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes in the Home: When mosquitoes find their way inside your home through an open door or window, they usually rest in dark, hidden areas, but will come out at night in search of a blood meal. Homeowners sometimes find mosquitoes under sinks or in closets and laundry rooms.
Mosquitoes in the Yard: Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so properties near ponds, marshes, and depressions that collect rainwater are at risk. Some mosquito species are active at different times of the day, but most emerge just before dusk and are active at night.
How serious are mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes can transmit several dangerous illnesses to humans, including Zika virus. This rare disease affects pregnant women and may lead to birth defects. More common in the U.S. are West Nile virus and several kinds of encephalitis. These mosquito-borne diseases may also have serious side effects.
According to a recent CDC statement, the number of illnesses caused by mosquito bites tripled between 2004 and 2016.
How do I get rid of mosquitoes?
Some of the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes include:
- Locate Where They Come From: A diagram of your property is prepared that indicates actual or potential mosquito development sites.
- Keep Them Out of the House: Providing recommendations to exclude mosquitoes from getting inside the home.
- Eliminate Hiding Spots: Providing recommendations for vegetation management since many species of mosquitoes rest in vegetation around the home during the day.
- Vegetation Treatments: Applying insecticides to vegetation that adult mosquitoes use for sheltered resting sites.
- Water Treatments: Applying insect growth regulators that prevent mosquito development in their water environments.
- Prevent Eggs From Hatching: Applying microbial insecticide products that cause mosquito mortality in their water environments.
What are the signs of a mosquito infestation?
Signs of mosquito activity include the buzzing of the females and their potential bites. People have differing reactions to bites, ranging from mild irritation to intense inflammation and swelling. The presence of standing water can also provide the optimal environment for mosquito reproduction.
Nymphs are found in standing water areas such as water bowls for pets, potted plants, bird feeders, and stagnant ponds.
What is the lifecycle of mosquitoes?
Wormlike larvae, called wigglers because of their wiggling swimming motion, hatch. They feed until ready to molt into pupae. The pupae are called tumblers, again due to their tumbling motion in the water. Adults emerge from the pupae onto the water surface where their exoskeleton hardens.
How do mosquitoes reproduce?
Males have feathery antennae they use to locate females. After mating, females typically seek a blood meal to aid in egg production. She often lays them in standing pools of water, but manmade sources can include bird baths, buckets, and even mud puddles. Egg numbers vary from species to species but can be as many as over 100 eggs in a single laying.
Difference between male and female mosquitoes:
Most of the differences between male and female mosquitoes are hard to see without using a magnifying glass or a dissecting microscope. However, other differences are fairly easy to see if you know what you’re looking for. Differences between male and female mosquitoes include:
- Females Bite: Male adult mosquitoes do not take blood meals, while the females do. However, a few species of female adult mosquitoes do not imbibe blood at all and feed only on plant nectar and other sugars, just like the males.
- Proboscis: The mosquito’s proboscis that extends out from the mouth area is relatively smooth in females and somewhat bushy in males.
- Antennae: The hairs or plumes on the mosquitoes’ antenna assist with the ability to hear. The male’s antennae plumes are very “feathery” and large, while the female’s antennae have a smoother, less feathery appearance.
- Size Difference: Generally, male mosquitoes are smaller than females of the same species and live shorter lives than females.
Understanding mosquito problems
The more you know about mosquitoes, the better you can predict and control their behavior. Here are some quick facts to help you on your way.
Generally, male mosquitoes are smaller than females of the same species and live shorter lives than females.
Encephalitis spread by mosquitoes continues to be a problem in the United States.
Mosquito reproduction usually occurs while the mosquito “couple” is airborne. Experts have researched this behavior and discovered sound and wing beat frequencies produced by males and females are one of the various phenomena that attract them to one another.
Male adult mosquitoes do not feed on blood, while females do to aid in egg production. A few species of adult females do not feed on blood at all and maintain a diet of plant nectar and other sugars, just like males.
A female mosquito’s proboscis that extends out from the mouth area is relatively smooth while the adult males are somewhat bushy.
The hairs or plumes on a mosquito’s antenna assist with their ability to hear. The male’s antennae plumes are “feathery” and large, while the female’s antennae have a smoother appearance.