Nothing stops outdoor fun faster than itchy, red bites. With over 170 species in North America, it can get confusing keeping track of all of them. We’ve made a list of the four most common mosquitoes found in the United States.
All mosquitoes, regardless of their species, share a few characteristics. Mosquitoes have a thin body structure consisting of a head, thorax, and abdomen. Their six legs are long and thin. Mosquitoes have a feeding structure known as a proboscis which includes a stylet, which is the piercing mouthpart. All adult mosquitoes feed on nectar or honeydew of plants to get sugar, which provides enough nourishment for both males and females to live. It is only the female mosquitoes that bite us. They need the protein in blood to produce eggs, which they then lay in water. They then begin looking for another blood meal to develop another batch of eggs. Though mosquitoes share basic traits, each species is unique. Check out what separates the species from each other.
These mosquitoes like to hangout in your home, thus their name! They are known as the culex species and there are two common home invaders—the northern and southern house mosquito. The northern house mosquito, culex pipiens, prefers temperate climates. This is why you can find them in the northern United States, especially on the east coast. They are light brown and can grow up to .25 inches. Their abdomens have long, pale bands on them. Southern house mosquitoes, culex quinquefasciatus, like tropic and subtropic areas and tend to stay in the southern United States. They have brown bodies, but their heads are lighter than the rest of the body. These mosquitoes have white bands on their abdomen. Culex species thrive in stagnant water and will lay clusters of eggs known as egg rafts. Though they like avian hosts, they have no problem biting humans. Unlike other mosquitoes, they can overwinter and be active throughout the year. Keep your eye out for them around dusk and after dark since this is when they are most active.
Yellow Fever Mosquitoes
This mosquito belongs to the aedes family. The yellow fever mosquito, aedes aegypti, is native to Africa. However, it is now considered one of the most widespread mosquito species. This mosquito likes tropical or subtropical climates and typically breeds in warm weather. In the United States, they are usually spotted in the south. They have dark brown or black bodies with silver or white patterns. They range in size from .125 and .25 inches. When choosing a spot to lay eggs, they gravitate toward shaded and concealed areas with standing water. This means you are likely to see them in flower pots and swimming pools. Unlike other mosquitoes, they are active throughout the day and choose to feed before evening. Unfortunately, they prefer human hosts, so you’ll want to make sure you protect yourself from them.
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes
This mosquito has a tiger for its sprit animal. The Asian tiger mosquito, aedes albopictus, is known for its signature black and white striped body. Like the yellow fever mosquito, it belongs to the aedes family. These mosquitoes can grow between .125 and .25 inches. They are originally from southeast Asia, but they can now be found throughout the United States. However, they prefer warmer climates and are most common in southern parts of the United States. Like its relative, the Asian tiger mosquito feeds during the day and chooses humans and other mammals as their host. They like places with standing water to lay eggs including birdbaths and flowerpots. Though Asian tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, the eggs can survive dry conditions. Despite its wings, these mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers and won’t travel long distances.
These mosquitoes can be picky when it comes to water which explains why they are also known as marsh mosquitoes. Unlike other mosquitoes, anopheles mosquitoes like their water to be clean. They tend to lay eggs in water that has a lot of vegetation. Marshes, swamps, and ponds are the perfect spots. Anopheles mosquitoes include several different kinds of mosquitoes. One that is commonly found in the United States is the anopheles quadrimaculatus. It is a dark brown mosquito known for the four patches of scales found on its body. This mosquito is found in the eastern United States and large numbers have been spotted in the south eastern states. Mosquitoes in the anopheles family like to search for meals at dawn and dusk. These mosquitoes stand out from the rest because of their resting position. Most mosquitoes rest with their stomach parallel to the ground. However, anopheles mosquitoes point their stomach upward when not in motion.
Mosquitoes are definitely a pest that you want to avoid. One of the best ways to do this is to eliminate sources of standing water. Since mosquitoes need water to lay eggs, removing this necessity will help keep them away from your home. It’s also important to make sure that they can’t slip into your house. A small tear in a screen is all it takes to invite them in. Repair any damage to window and door screens. You’ll also want to check for any cracks and seal any you may find. Sometimes you need help in the fight against mosquitoes and we want to help. Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Mosquito and Tick Killer, Mosquito Fogger, and Natural Insect Repellent are a more environmentally and family-friendly solution to kill and repel mosquitoes.
Nobody wants their outdoor fun cut short. That’s why it’s important to deter mosquitoes from hanging out in your yard. If mosquitoes are bugging you, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective mosquito control products.