Quick Mosquito ID Tip: Smaller than a quarter + it’s biting = Most likely mosquitoes!

Do you have “giant” mosquitoes flying around your home? Are you getting “swarms” stuck to your window or door? These insects may not be mosquitoes. There are many insects in LA County and some of them are harmless. Here are a few insects that are commonly mistaken for mosquitoes.

The good news is that nearly all of the “mosquito imposters” have very short life spans. Give them time and they’ll be gone.


Insects-mistaken-midge midge •About the same size as a mosquito
•Cannot bite
• Can swarm in areas with mud on bottoms of lakes, ponds, spreading basins, and flood control channels
• A problem from spring to fall
• Common complaint from people living near rivers
Insects-mistaken-cranefly crane-fly • Much larger than a mosquito
• Harmless! Cannot bite
• Does not eat mosquitoes
• Develops in moist soil or water
• A problem from early spring to fall
Insects-mistaken-fungusgnat fungus_gnat • About the same size as mosquito
• Cannot bite
• Develops in fungus or moist decaying vegetation
• A problem from winter to spring
• Known to swarm

This is what a mosquito looks like:

Quarter_mosquito_generalAdult Mosquito_topview
The local Los Angeles County mosquitoes are small, but they do not swarm. As you can see, they are frequently confused with other insects.

Don’t be fooled. Get more info on mosquitoes HERE.