Identifying Mosquito Impostors

Have you noticed an increase in swarming, buzzing bugs, particularly near Aliso Creek? While there’s no denying that crane flies, midge flies and fungus gnats are very annoying, they’re not mosquitoes. Here’s how to tell them apart.

Crane Fly (pictured above)

  • Cannot bite
  • Develops in moist soil or water
  • Don’t fly well
  • Larger than a mosquito (about 1.5 to 2 inches long) 

Midge Fly

  • Cannot bite
  • About the same size as a mosquito; body longer than wings
  • Develops in water with mosquitoes
  • Often seen in large numbers on exterior walls and window screens

Fungus Gnat

  • Cannot bite
  • Spiny legs
  • Develops in fungus or moist, decaying vegetation
  • About the same size as a mosquito

If these pests become a nuisance, residents can submit a tip online or call 714-971-2421 and the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District will assess the issue. For more information on mosquitoes and their look-alikes, click here

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