Is it a mosquito, or something else? Experts explain some key differences in these pesky bugs

Need some mosquito relief? We have you covered!

This summer, you might find yourself asking: That is a mosquito, right?

Well, maybe yes and maybe no.

Turns out, quite often there’s some confusion between what IS a mosquito and what IS NOT a mosquito, the team at Mosquito Hunters said.

The most common insects mistaken for a mosquito are: No See Ums, Biting Midges, Sand Gnats, Sand Fleas (Ceratopogonidae), Crane Flies, Mosquito Hawks (Tipuloidae) and Water Midges / Blind Mosquitoes (Chironomids).

“It’s OK -- many people confuse them,” Mosquito Hunters said. “But it’s important to learn the differences.”

Here are some notes on ...


Well, first off, they bite! The female mosquito bites humans and other small animals because they need a certain protein from the blood to effectively reproduce.

They do not bite people as a food source, because nectar is their food source.

Because they bite, they are a vector for disease-causing pathogens. Secondly, when looking at a mosquito, you’ll see they have a long tube in their mouth that they use to inject saliva, then draw blood. Gross!

They are similar in size to the Water Midges, but smaller than the Crane Fly, and bigger than No See Ums / Gnats.

Mosquitoes live and feed on vegetation and live on the underside of broadleaf plants. They move slower than the other smaller insects they are often confused with, but faster than the Crane Fly. Quite often, they land on your body, and you can view them as they draw blood -- if you don’t smack and kill the bug first.

Mosquito Hunters said the group’s treatment for mosquitoes includes spraying their habitats/food sources (vegetation), and their transit spots: sides of houses, sides of fences, patio and porch areas -- pretty much anywhere they land, except for the grass and ground.

No See Ums, Biting Midges, Sand Gnats, Sand Fleas

There are multiple names for this insect, but it’s pretty much all the same, Mosquito Hunters said. They are small, fast, annoying, and they bite.

As soon as you feel the bite, look, they are often gone!

This insect lives in the grass and ground, unlike mosquitoes, who live on the underside of leafy plants. This insect is much smaller than a mosquito and significantly faster.

Just like mosquitoes, the females need a certain protein from blood to effectively reproduce, and that is why they bite. Because they bite, they are also a vector for disease-causing pathogens.

These insects live in the grass and on the ground, so Mosquito Hunters apply treatment there to eliminate them, the group said.

Crane Fly and Mosquito Hawk

Most people either think this is the world’s largest mosquito, or it is a mosquito killer. Both are wrong -- it’s neither, the group said.

Although similar in body type, it is much larger, and does not have a biting tube.

In fact, these insects cannot eat because they do not have a mouth. They are born with all the nutrients needed for their very short lives. Their role in life is to reproduce, as their life span is typically only 10 to 15 days.

They move significantly slower than mosquitoes, who already move slowly in comparison to the others mentioned above. They often seem to be a “big dumb insect” as they slam into walls or light fixtures, because they are attracted to lights like most insects, and they move much slower.

It’s not necessary to treat these insects, as they aren’t much of a nuisance, especially once you know what they are.

At Mosquito Hunters of Jacksonville South & St. Augustine, the team said it can help take care of not only your mosquito problem, but also your No See Em/Sand Flea insects, as well. They can eliminate these two biting insects for you, so you can take back your yard!

The group serves throughout northeast Florida; primarily Southeast Jacksonville, St. Augustine and St. Johns County by providing residential and commercial mosquito, flea and tick control.

“For example, did you know the Culex mosquito is the mosquito out in the evenings -- and the Asian Tiger mosquito is the pesty creature out during the day?” the team asked. “The more you know about each relevant species, the better you can target them and provide the precise treatment necessary.”

Most products on the market today, especially ones you can buy at the store, only kill the adult mosquito.

The group said its products also treat the mosquito larvae, so that they don’t become adult mosquitos.

Nothing they use is harmful to pets or children. It’s the same active ingredient found in most flea and tick shampoos, according to Mosquito Hunters.

To learn more, visit Mosquito Hunters online.