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AQUATIC INSECTS (Water Associated):
Culicidae Non-biting insects that resemble mosquitoes are present in the County at various times and places throughout the entire year. They resemble mosquitoes so closely that frequently they are reported to the District as being
mosquitoes, even though none of the insects has bitten or attempted to feed on a person. These insects belong to several groups and come from a variety of breeding sources. Mosquitoes DO NOT "swarm" as do many of the following gnat-like insects.
   Midges (Chironomidae):

These are the most widespread and numerous insects
resembling mosquitoes in this area. When present, they
are seen swarming or "dancing" in the air, close to the
ground, and at open porches. Periodically they will rest
in large numbers on walls, screens and buildings,
particularly during the warmer part of the day. When
present in large numbers, they can be annoying.

Gall Midge These gnats can be distinguished from mosquitoes by
the absence of a biting "beak" or proboscis, and by the
presence of two large feathery antennae on the head.
The larvae develop in water, such as lakes, ponds,
streams, and pools. They are often red and are
frequently referred to as "blood worms." Mass hatching
may occur and the spontaneous appearance of large
numbers may cause concern.
  Dixa Midges (Dixidae):

Their larvae also live in water and have a characteristic
U-shape. Adults are slightly smaller than mosquitoes
and are often found in swarms at dusk. Adults live less
than one week.

  Mayfly (Ephemeroptera):

Mayflies are not true flies but belong to the order
Ephemeroptera, which means "short lived." Adult
mayflies live one to two days and do not feed. The adults
molt once, leaving their old cast skin on the wall surface
where it was shed. They are easily recognized by a
triangular wing and two or three thread-like tails. Larvae
are an important food for many freshwater fish. Eggs are
laid on rocks or other objects in the water.

TERRESTRIAL INSECTS (Those that develop in ground):
  Crane Flies (Tipulidae):

Adult crane flies are delicate insects and vary in size from
1/16 inch to as large as 1 1/2 inches. The largest crane flies
are often referred to as "daddy long legs." Some of the group
resemble mosquitoes very closely, but adult crane flies cannot
bite and their larvae are actually beneficial as swamp

  Dance Flies (Empididae):

They are somewhat gnat-like and receive the name dance
flies from their mating "dance" or reactions. Swarms are
found typically in open sunny places, often near water around
houses, shrubs and fences at dusk. Individuals within the
swarm move rapidly up and down, thus the name, dance flies.
Adults do not bite.

There are several other types of insects commonly found
around the house that develop in damp soil with decaying
vegetation high in organic content, such as lawns, stream
margins, decaying wood and compost piles.

  Fungus Gnats (Mycetophilidae):

Adults are common in shaded and wooded areas. The adults
resemble mosquitoes, but have hairy or "spiny" legs. The
insects do not bite.

  Moth Flies (Psychodidae):

Adults are small to minute, hairy, with wings in a typical
roof-like position when at rest. Adults are often found around
drains and sewers. Moth flies do not bite.

  Biting Midges, Punkies (Ceratopogonidae):

These very small insects (some are called "no-see-ums") are
vicious daytime biters, breeding primarily in sandy clay, mud
and seashores. They are usually found close to their sources
due to a limited flight capacity.

NOTE: Most, if not all of these insects, are attracted to light at night and are frequently seen around porch/patio lamps. Although annoying, ALL but the last group (Punkies) ARE NON-BITING, and are not of medical importance.

Information provided by:
Orange County Vector Control District
13001 Garden Grove Boulevard
Garden Grove, CA 92643
(714)971-2421 or (800)734-2421

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 87
Santa Ana, CA 92702

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