Mosquitos are pale brown with oval wings, typically measuring 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Only the females suck human blood through a distinctive long, thin proboscis. Males feed on plant nectar. Most active at dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are known carriers of viruses and disease-causing pathogens including West Nile Virus, encephalitis and meningitis. West Nile virus kills between 50 and 200 Americans every year. Control measures include removal of stagnant and standing water sources where mosquitoes breed, such as old tires and pools. DEET-based insect repellent is an effective preventative.
Dragonflies and bats are natural predators of the mosquito. Dragonflies can eat hundreds per day where as a brown bat may eat thousands daily.
A larger fly species, the Mosquito Hawk is often mistaken for a big mosquito. The Mosquito Hawk, also known as the Crane Fly can measure up to 2 inches long. Both the males and females do not bite humans and animals and thus pose no threat.