Insects That Look Like Mosquitoes

Raleigh and Durham are home to many insects that closely resemble mosquitoes. Many of these insects emerge in large numbers in the spring. Some customers mistake them for mosquitoes, and email us to come out and control them. These insects can be annoying at certain times of year but unlike mosquitoes, they do not bite and cannot transmit disease. Carolina Organic Lawns does not attempt to control these insects because, while annoying, they are impossible to control, and they are not a threat to public health.

Mosquito Hawk

Mosquito Hawks

Mosquito Hawks, otherwise known as crane flies, are tan in color with long legs and slender bodies reaching 1 to 2 inches in length. The larvae live in moist soil, muddy water or decomposing material. Mosquito Hawks do not eat adult mosquitoes. Some species of mosquito hawk feed on nectar while others do not feed at all. These non-biting insects do not constitute a health problem but can create an annoyance when found inside homes or in large numbers.

Mosquito vs. Gnat

Fungus Gnats

Mosquito on Left; Gnat on Right

Fungus gnats are common in fall, spring, and summer. They have long, segmented antennae and slender legs. Fungus gnats have light grey or clear wings and are generally 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. Fungus gnats rest on foliage, potted plants, and leaf litter and are weak fliers. Female fungus gnats lay their eggs in potting soil and moist organic material. The larvae feed on fungus found in leaf litter and decaying vegetation. Adult fungus gnats can be very abundant and annoying but are harmless to people, plants and animals.


Midges are small flies that look like mosquitoes. While these insects do not pose a health threat, they can be a serious nuisance, especially in neighborhoods with retention ponds. Adult midges have a short life span and are weak flyers. Massive swarms of midges can cover houses, cars, and other structures. Outside lighting will attract large numbers of midges. Move lights away from areas such as doorways, windows, and patios to discourage large congregations of midges. Replace mercury vapor lights with yellow or sodium vapor lights to help reduce concentrations of these insects. Bug zappers will kill midges, but often attract more midges than they kill.

Midges have such a short life span that the three week intervals of our treatments will not control them.

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