This article seeks to discuss bugs that look like mosquitoes but aren’t.
A lot of times, people mistake certain bugs for others due to perceived similarities. However, a closer inspection reveals clear differences. This is important as it saves you from applying incorrect treatments.
Nevertheless, most treatments have the same effect on a wide range of bugs.
9 Bugs Commonly Mistaken For Mosquitoes
There are indeed mosquito-like insects that fly around. The sight of these is likely to cause a scare. Whether such fears are legitimate or not remains to be seen.
Mosquitoes are notorious for spreading a wide range of diseases. As such, the scare caused by sighting similar-looking bugs isn’t out of place. Common diseases spread by mosquitoes include malaria, Zika virus, dengue, West Nile virus, and Chikungunya virus.
All these are deadly diseases that could cause death, hence the notoriety of mosquitoes and the need to protect yourself from them.
Are There Any Dangers Beyond the Looks?
You’re likely reading this article not only to know the different mosquito look-alike bugs but also to find out if they pose any health risks. That’s a valid reason to seek clarification.
Luckily, most buts that look like mosquitoes do not pose any health risks.
Most of these insects will only buzz around without biting which is fair enough. In order not to bore you with the introductory notes about mosquito look-alikes let’s jump right into the main discussion.
How Mosquitoes Look
To better appreciate the differences between mosquitoes and other look-alike bugs, it’s necessary to refresh our knowledge on how they look.
The easiest ways to identify mosquitoes are through their long, ringed wings, proboscis, and humped body.
Long Fringed Wings
On close examination of a mosquito, you’ll notice it has long wings which are usually longer than its body. Such wings have edges that look fringed due to the scale-like structure.
Mosquitoes cannot feed without the proboscis. This part of their body is where they pierce into your skin to draw blood. It’s elongated and projects from the mouth. Most other mosquito look-alikes won’t have proboscises.
When they’re not feeding, female mosquitoes are seen to have a humped back. As a result, their bodies do not touch the surface they rest on. These key features can be used to compare with look-alike bugs.
9 Bugs that Look Similar to Mosquitoes
When it comes to bugs that look similar to mosquitoes, there are several! These include dixid midges, midges, wood gnats, winter crane flies, and owl midges. Others include crane flies, dance flies, fungus gnats, and mayflies.
If you live in surroundings with lots of vegetation and moisture, you’re likely to see mistaken dixid midges for mosquitoes. Slow-moving water provides the perfect breeding ground for these insects as their larvae are seen at the surface.
Unlike mosquitoes, these bugs do not bite. As such, you shouldn’t panic at all whenever you spot them. So, what do they feed on? Dixid midges feed solely on phytoplankton and algae. These are found in water bodies around.
Another bug you’re like to confuse with a mosquito is the midge. However, a close examination will reveal a difference in size. These are typically smaller than mosquitoes. Also, there is no proboscis, they have smooth-edged wings and their bodies remain straight when resting.
However, their legs look similar to those of mosquitoes. Midges are likely to be spotted in areas with standing water. You’ll find them resting on walls, porches, and under eaves.
Unlike mosquitoes, wood gnats pose no danger to you. They don’t bite but may serve as a nuisance by flying around your hair or food. Their larvae are mostly found in decaying matter such as plants, sap, and other woody debris.
You’ll also find these bugs around sewage, animal manure, and tree trunks. If you must get rid of these harmless insects, common insecticides should suffice.
Winter Crane Flies
These mosquito-like bugs are among those you’ll mistake for mosquitoes. Their larvae are commonly found in decaying organic matter such as leaves, vegetation, and manure. Their larvae are also found in fungi and roots.
These are hairy bugs that are found wherever there’s water.
Common areas to find owl midges include sewers and shower drains. Owl midge larvae can also be found in soapy water. You’re likely to have issues with your plumbing (leaks) when these bugs are seen around.
Crane flies will hover around your property or yard and can be mistaken for mosquitoes. However, their size alone differentiates them as they’re typically larger, have longer legs, and do not possess proboscis-like mosquitoes.
Other features include a smooth wing and a straight body when at rest. These signs are enough to dispel your suspicions.
Unlike those of the mosquito, dance flies have longer and thicker legs. They’re attracted to moist and damp areas. As such, you’re likely to find them around water sources. There are several species of dance flies you may not know of.
However, the most important fact is that the similarities with mosquitoes are mainly physical. These bugs do not feed on blood as mosquitoes do. If you must get rid of them, then consider getting rid of stagnant water sources around your home.
As the name suggests, fungus gnats feed on fungi and plant roots.
As a mushroom farmer, fungus gnats will pose a challenge as they love to feed on mushrooms too. You may want to seek appropriate treatments to repel these mosquito look-alike insects.
Mayflies are always found around freshwater sources. These bugs look similar to mosquitoes but are distinguished by their pronounced wings. Mayflies can be ignored as they’re preyed on by wildlife and fish.
Mosquitoes are among the most common pests people deal with.
As such, any insects looking similar are mistaken for them. You shouldn’t assume but observe to see if the features they possess are similar to those of mosquitoes.
We’ve seen that several bugs look like mosquitoes but aren’t. These have been listed above. An important thing about these bugs is that they don’t bite like mosquitoes. This makes them tolerable.