12 Common Types of Mosquitoes and Their Behaviors
Regardless of where you live in the world, you no doubt have come into contact with mosquitoes. With the exception of Antarctica, mosquitoes are found on every single continent, with over three thousand types of mosquitoes spread throughout the world. They have even been found in the Arctic!
Mosquitoes can be categorized into thirty-nine different genera, all of which have varied breeding, behavioral, and feeding patterns. In the United States, the most common types of mosquitoes are southern house mosquitoes, Asian tiger mosquitoes, yellow fever mosquitoes, and house mosquitoes.
By understanding the differences between various types of mosquitoes, you will be better prepared to get rid of them and deal with signs of infestations.
What Do All Mosquitos Have in Common?
There are countless types of mosquitoes that live in the United States, as well as other countries. While they all differ in behavior and appearance, they all have one thing in common- they are annoying!
In addition to this pesky trait, all groups of mosquitoes contain biting females. Female mosquitoes obtain blood from a host in order to lay eggs.
Most mosquitoes are usually less than an inch long, with immature mosquitoes even smaller (about half an inch in size). They have slim bodies and long legs, with scaled wings and a noticeable head. Mosquitoes vary in color depending on their species, but most are light gray to black or brown.
Not all mosquitoes feed on human blood, and not all mosquitoes carry diseases. It is important to know those that do spread disease and those that target humans so that you can be properly prepared to deal with them.
Types of Mosquitoes
#1. House Mosquito (Culex)
House mosquitoes are some of the most common mosquitoes species in the United States, containing several types of subspecies, such as Culex Pipiens and Culex restuans.
The former type of mosquito can be found in the northern part of the United States. These mosquitoes are usually lite brown with white stripes and are found in polluted, stagnant bodies of water, such as pet dishes, old tires, or storm drains.
These mosquitoes are prolific breeders, with females laying up to four hundred eggs at one time. The eggs generally take about two weeks to hatch, depending on the weather.
Culex restuans is a similar species in terms of its appearance and behavior but tends to reside in the eastern and central portions of the United States. Both types of mosquitoes can be harmful, transmitting several types of dangerous viruses and parasites to humans.
#2. Southern Mosquitoes
Southern mosquitoes, or Culex fatigans, are common in the tropic and sub-tropic regions of the United States.
They are similar to house mosquitoes in many ways, but are more common in the southern areas of the United States, such as Florida. This mosquito feeds voraciously at night and carries dangerous diseases such as the St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile virus.
This species is highly aggressive, feeding on large mammals in southern states such as Florida. It is the primary carrier of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and tends to emerge in large numbers in the early spring and late fall.
These larvae tend to occupy spaces near aquatic plants, like water lettuce and cattails. The larvae receive oxygen by piercing the roots of these plants. Coquillettidia will travel extreme distances to feast on blood.
#4. Asian Tiger Mosquito
Aedes albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito, is named as such because it is striped with bright white and silver bands. These bands are most prevalent on the mosquito’s abdomen, legs, and thorax. These daytime-feeding mosquitoes are highly aggressive.
The female species of Asian Tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs in clean water. They prefer smaller containers and their eggs can hatch very quickly under proper temperatures. These mosquitoes tend to stay in one place for most of their lifespans, traveling less than half a mile to breed and feed.
This mosquito can carry over thirty viruses, but luckily, only a few affect humans. These include Cache Valley virus, dengue, and St. Louis encephalitis virus.
This mosquito’s name is hard to pronounce, but they’re easy to find. These mosquitoes are typically found in temporary pools of water, such as rain puddles, as well as in swamps or ponds. They feed hungrily on human blood and are the primary vector of malaria in many locations.
#6. Yellow Fever Mosquito
As the name suggests, this mosquito is the species most responsible for spreading yellow fever. In fact, this mosquito caused more American casualties during the Spanish-American war than the fighting itself.
The mosquito has breeding and feeding habits that are similar to the Asian Tiger mosquito. The population has declined, however, in many areas, as a result of the introduction of the Asian Tiger mosquito.
This mosquito is usually found in urban areas of southern states, such as cities in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, but has also been spotted all the way up the East Coast- even as far as New York!
#7. Culiseta Mosquito
This mosquito is most notable for carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Luckily, it does not like to feast on human blood, and will instead spread this disease from bird to bird. They tend to occupy wooded swamps and are light gray to green in color.
#8. Mansonia Mosquito
This mosquito is highly aggressive and feeds on large mammals. It is most active at dusk and associates itself with aquatic plants, like water hyacinth and cattails, to obtain oxygen. It isn’t known for carrying any major diseases.
#9. Psorophora Mosquito
These mosquitoes are some of the most aggressive around, and feed on larger mammals, including humans. They will travel long distances for a blood meal and are usually found in temporary floodwaters. You might see them in pastures, roadside ditches, or stagnant pools.
These mosquitoes are exceptionally large, and while they bite viciously, they aren’t known to carry any disease. They will bite during the daytime and early evening hours.
#10. Urotaenia Mosquito
This mosquito is usually found in ground pools and grassy edges of lakes. They don’t usually bite humans, preferring instead to feast on reptiles and amphibians. They do not carry any kinds of disease.
#11. Wyeomyia Mosquito
This mosquito tends to hang around unique plants such as pitcher plants and bromeliads. They inhabit these plants and lay their eggs inside, where the larvae then emerge and develop. They do not bite aggressively and are not typically vectors for diseases.
#12. Deinocerites Mosquito
These mosquitoes are colloquially known as “crab hole” mosquitoes because they inhabit the top portions of land crab burrows for larval development. They aren’t known to bite or infect humans with any diseases, but their horrific appearances can be quite appalling!
While this is an absolutely necessary habit for mosquitoes to exist, the mosquito bites can be irritating, and their saliva can spread dangerous diseases.
Make sure you know the difference between the various types of mosquitoes that may live in your area so that you can take the proper steps to prevent and eliminate their populations.***