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6 Types of Mosquitoes in the US (with Pictures)


Mosquitoes are some of the most universally loathed creatures on Earth, with over 3,000 known species1 in the world. In the US, over 100 are known, but some are more common than others. All mosquitoes are known to spread deadly diseases to both humans and animals, but the disease varies by mosquito type. Let’s check out some of the most common mosquitoes you might run into across the US.

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1. Anopheles Mosquitoes

Spreads: malaria

These are some of the most common mosquitoes in the continental US, and they carry the deadly disease malaria. In fact, they’re the main disease vector for the disease. Anopheles mosquitoes are some of the most prevalent in the entire world (except Antarctica) because female mosquitoes can produce thousands of eggs in their lifetime. Most specimens are small and black, but they can be red as well.

2. Aedes Mosquitoes

Spreads: zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya

Sometimes called yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes mosquitoes are invasive species from wet, tropical regions. They became infamous during the Spanish-American War, where they spread deadly yellow fever on both sides.

Female Aedes mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in small bodies of stagnant water and can lay hundreds during their lifetime. Because of the number of diseases they carry, Aedes are some of the most dangerous mosquitoes out there.

3. House Mosquitoes

Spreads: West Nile virus, Saint Louis Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis

These little brown mosquitoes are some of the most prevalent throughout the US, spreading a variety of diseases along their path. They carry the dreaded West Nile virus and several types of encephalitis. Like most mosquitoes, house mosquitoes are most active at night and females will lay up to 300 eggs at one time in standing water. Most commonly, bird baths and puddles. This is why you’ll often see clouds of mosquitoes gathering around stagnant or polluted water.

To minimize these around your home, keep your soil well-drained and don’t allow bird baths to accumulate stagnant water.

4. Asian Tiger Mosquito

Spreads: dengue fever, equine encephalitis, Cache Valley virus

Technically a member of the Aedes genus, Asian Tiger mosquitoes are known for their black and white stripes along the thorax, abdomen, and legs. These mosquitoes are notorious for burgeoning populations when it rains because their eggs hatch faster with water exposure.

Asian Tiger mosquitoes are invasive and have inhabited 20 states so far, with more to come. Females of the species will even bite in the daytime, which adds to their poor reputation.

5. Eastern Saltmarsh Mosquitoes

Spreads: dog heartworm, equine encephalitis, West Nile virus

Although native to swamplands and marshes along the Floridian and Texan coasts, eastern saltmarsh mosquitoes are known to travel as far as 40 miles from their breeding grounds in search of food.

In Latin, their official name translates to vexing or disturbing, which is apt considering how ferocious females are. They bite aggressively during all hours of the day and aren’t choosy about what animals they bite.

6. Pitcher Plant Mosquitoes

Spreads: malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus

Among the deadlier mosquitoes, pitcher plant mosquitoes can spread up to three diseases with just one teensy bite. They get their name from their preferred breeding grounds—pools of water that accumulate in pitcher plants and other small pools. They prefer pitcher plants because ants and other bugs that fall in the plant will end up feeding the mosquito larvae.

Notably, some females of this species bite a lot, and others don’t bite at all. Biologists are currently looking for a way to modify the species so that none of them bite.

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Everyone hates mosquitoes, whether it’s the malicious Asian Tiger or the common house mosquito. All of them look for stagnant water to breed, so the best way to keep them away is to prevent water accumulation around your home. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, consider applying a DEET bug spray to prevent them from infecting you with nasty diseases or viruses.

Featured Image Credit: FotoshopTofs, Pixabay


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