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Mosquito Imposters

Giant mosquitoes? Swarming mosquitoes?

There are thousands of insects that can look and act like mosquitoes. Rest assured, most insects are harmless. Get the scoop on what's really a mosquito and what you can ignore.

Crane Fly

crane fly

These long-legged insects will terrify anyone who thinks they're bloodsuckers. Contrary to popular belief, these are not mosquitoes. Crane flies (Tipulidae) are also called "mosquito eaters" or "mosquito hawks." But when viewed under a microscope, crane flies do not have any biting mouth parts!

They do not bite. They drink nectar for sustainance.

Crane flies usually emerge out of the soil when warm weather follows a rain event.

Next time you see a crane fly,  wave it outside. Let’s save those wing-crushing blows for the real threat: mosquitoes.



Swarmers, not biters - This small insect is often confused with mosquitoes, but does not bite. They are routinely seen hovering in swarms on warm summer evenings. Our local mosquitoes in cities do not swarm in the same spot. Fortunately, midges do not make people sick, but are considered nuisances.

In our area, control measures are only necessary in extreme cases when numbers of adult insects are high. This insect also breeds in flowing waters, and tends to prefer the shallow, nutrient rich waters found in the storm drain systems in our area.

As they are physiologically and genetically very similar to mosquitoes, the larvicidal agents used for mosquito control (insect growth regulators) also work well to control midge populations.

Water boatman bug

The Water Boatmen Bug is from the family of insects called Corixidae. They typically feed on algae, plants, and debris. Homeowners have reported swarms of boatmen bugs in pools. 

Water Boatmen are not dangerous and pose no health threats. During the spring and fall; the adults migrate to and from their homes and their overwintering sites. When there is an increase in rainfall this can increase the availability of resources for this bug to survive and reproduce, leading to a population explosion.

They cement their eggs underwater objects, sometimes forming a dense mat. The adults are drawn to reflective surfaces such as windows, cars and pools. They perceive these reflective surfaces as sources of water leading them to “fall from the sky” onto cars.

How long will these bugs be here?

Water Boatmen migration is seasonal and their activity should subside with the cooling winter temperatures.

What You Can Do: Reducing Water Boatmen

•   Remove any algae and check your water chemistry for proper chlorine levels.

•   To prevent them from laying eggs remove floating objects and debris from pool.

•   You can also cover your pool to prevent them from landing in your pool.

•   Keep lights off at night to prevent adults from flying towards your pool.