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Mosquito vs. Midge Comparison

There are instances when a homeowner calls to report problems with mosquitoes and what appears to be a mosquito is actually another type of insect. The most commonly encountered look-a-likes are midges (gnats). These insects frequently form swarms and are also attracted to lights in large numbers. These insects do not bite but can still be very annoying. For information on the biology and identification of insects that look like mosquitoes see the diagram below.

Typical Mosquito

  1. Uses its proboscis to bite (needle-like piercing mouthparts).
  2. Wings are longer than body.
  3. Always develops in water.
  4. May carry diseases.
  5. Rests on objects with its body not touching the surface.
May contain: invertebrate, animal, insect, and mosquito
Chironomid Midge

Chironomid Midge

  1. Cannot bite (has no proboscis).
  2. Wings are shorter than body.
  3. Develops in mud on the bottom of lakes and ponds.
  4. Do not carry diseases.
  5. Rests on objects with its body usually touching the surface.