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What Do Mosquitoes Look Like?

There are more than 3,000 subspecies of mosquitoes in the world, but they all look very similar. Mosquitoes have the following appearance:

  • Mosquitoes are quite small, only growing to about ¼ – ½ of an inch long and 2.5 mg in weight.
  • Mosquitoes vary in color depending on their species. The ones you’ll find in the U.S. are usually gray or brown in color with white stripes and iridescent, hair-like scales.
  • All mosquitoes have two wings, wiry bodies with a hunched back and slender legs. 
  • Mosquitoes have a proboscis, which is a pointed tube protruding from the mouth that allows the insect to suck fluids.

How Can You Tell if It’s A Mosquito?

Mosquitoes are often mistaken for other insects. However, they can be distinguished from other bugs by two distinct body parts: their scale-covered wings and their long proboscis. Mosquitoes can be much smaller than you think, which is why people often confuse them for much larger bugs, like crane flies. It helps to know mosquitoes’ behavioral tendencies to tell them apart from similar-looking insects.

What Other Insects Look Like Mosquitoes?

It is very common to mistake a crane fly, mayfly, midge, or a gnat as a mosquito. Here’s how you can tell them apart from mosquitoes:

  1. Crane flies: Also called mosquito hawks, these insects look like giant mosquitoes, and can be over double their size. They are not predatory and will not harm us.
  2. Mayflies: The mayfly has larger, upward-slanting wings and does not have a proboscis. Mayflies also do not bite or sting.
  3. Midges/gnats: Although partially related to mosquitoes, midges almost never bite, and do not transmit disease. They move in large swarms and lack a proboscis.

What Kinds of Mosquitoes are Found in El Paso?

About 150 species of mosquitoes have been found nationwide. The ones frequently found here in El Paso can be difficult to distinguish from each other. To help identify what type of mosquito you are encountering, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional mosquito exterminator.

What Do Mosquitoes Look Like? in El Paso TX

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