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Mosquito Imposters

Here are the common insects that are not mosquitoes, but fool many people! 

Crane Flies aka "Mosquito Eaters"

If it's bigger than a quarter, it is not a mosquito. 
May contain: invertebrate, animal, insect, and mosquito

These long-legged insects terrify anyone who thinks they're bloodsuckers. However, these flying insects are NOT mosquitoes.  Crane flies are also called "mosquito eaters" or "mosquito hawks." But when viewed under a microscope, crane flies do not have any biting mouth parts! Crane flies usually emerge out of the soil when warm weather follows a rain event.

  • Crane flies are larger than a quarter - at least 2 inches in length
  • They do not bite. 


Seeing swarms of mosquitoes? Mosquitoes DO NOT swarm. The swarming insects you are seeing are most likely midges. 
May contain: invertebrate, insect, and animal

This small insect is often confused with mosquitoes, but does not bite. They are often seen hovering in swarms in the evening times. Mosquitoes in Orange County do not swarm. Midges do not make people sick and are not of public health concern, but can be a nuisance.