Mosquito adults are small, flying, midgelike insects. Female mosquitoes can be differentiated from similar insects by the presence of a long slender proboscis that is adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood, and long slender wings that are covered with small scales. Male mosquitoes have scale-covered wings, but their probosces, or beaks, are shorter and thicker than the females’, and are adapted for sucking plant juices and other sources of sugar rather than blood.
In the immature stages, called larvae or wigglers, mosquitoes are usually black or dark brown and occur in nonmoving or nearly still water. Most mosquito larvae have a distinctive siphon or air tube at the rear of their bodies. The next stage is the pupal stage; pupae, called tumblers, are also aquatic and are small, roundish forms, usually black in color.
Mosquito control is accomplished by searching out mosquito larvae in standing water and treating the water with a material that kills the larvae. Many materials currently in use are biological or physical in origin and are highly specific for mosquitoes, with little or no effect on other organisms.
Mosquitoes found inside a building have entered from the outside in almost all cases. Therefore, barriers preventing access to the building are the first line of defense. Cracks around windows and doors where mosquitoes may enter should be sealed. Well-fitted screens will also limit their access to buildings.