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What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?

There are more than three thousand mosquitoes worldwide, and, for the most part, they share many characteristics. Common mosquito characteristics include the following.

  • Adult 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 species in Tennessee can be gray or brown in color with white stripes and iridescent, hair-like scales.
  • Two long wings rest atop all mosquitoes’ slender bodies, which 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.

Mosquitoes vs. Other Insects

Other bugs and insects are frequently misidentified as mosquitoes. So what sets a mosquito apart? There are two unique characteristics that help to identify mosquitoes: 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. The best way to identify a mosquito versus another insect is to look at the behaviors.

What Insect Looks Like a Mosquito?

It is extremely common to misidentify a crane fly, midge, gnat, or mayfly as a mosquito. Here’s how they differ:

  1. 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.
  2. Mayflies: The mayfly has larger, upward slanting wings and does not possess the proboscis. Mayflies do not bite or sting.
  3. Midges/gnats: Although somewhat related to mosquitoes, midges rarely bite and do not transmit disease. They appear in large swarms and lack a proboscis.

Mosquitoes Found in East Tennessee

There are about 150 species of mosquitoes found nationwide. There are three frequently found here in East Tennessee, and they can look very similar. These are the Culex mosquito, Asian tiger mosquito (aedes), and yellow fever mosquito. 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 Sevierville TN

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