Similarities and Differences between Mosquitoes & Flies

Quite possibly the most despised creatures on Earth, mosquitoes and flies have been hassling humans and animals for thousands of years. These pesky winged creatures can be confused with each other at first glance: common house flies and mosquitoes are both small in size and have similar dark coloring. Both are quite common in the U.S., frequently hanging around homes, businesses and other areas filled with people. People also go to great lengths to eliminate mosquitoes and flies from their homes and yards.  

Misidentified Flies

Some species of flies are often mistaken for mosquitoes, such as the large crane flies. These large flying insects are often called mosquito hawks and are considerably larger than the average mosquito, though they do not bite like mosquitoes do. Mayflies and midges are also often mistaken for mosquitoes.

Closer in diet to the mosquito, sand flies bite to obtain blood and leave welts and itchiness behind. So when determining sand flies from mosquitoes, they are very similar indeed.

Mistaken identities aside, these two insect species share some similarities as well as some differences.

What are the Similarities between Flies and Mosquitoes

The first similarity between mosquitoes and flies is that both insects are a part of the Order Diptera. This means that they have “two” (di-) “wings” (-ptera). Other members of this order include midges, sand flies and blowflies. One of the most distinctive characteristics of Diptera insects is that they use only one pair of wings to fly — rather than the more common two pairs. Some of them possess a second pair of wings; however, these wings function as club-like balancers rather than performing as fully functioning wings.

Some of the other common characteristics of Diptera insects include a large, moveable head, oversized compound eyes and an enlarged mesothorax, which is the middle segment of the thorax. These insects also have mouthparts that are designed to suck, pierce or sponge their liquid diets. They also all go through complete metamorphosis and begin as legless larvae that become pupae in hardened cases.

What are the Differences between Flies and Mosquitoes

The most notable difference between mosquitoes and flies is how and what they eat. Mosquitoes' mouths are equipped with a long, needle-shaped protrusion called a proboscis. The proboscis is used to penetrate the skin of fruits, vegetation and humans to extract the interior juices and blood. Because female mosquitoes need the rich nutrients found in blood in order to form eggs, female mosquitoes use the proboscis to penetrate the skin of humans, mammals and birds in order to access their blood.

Unlike mosquitoes, flies secrete digestive juices onto their food sources, liquifying their food. They then suck the partially digested juices up through their own proboscis. They land on fruits, vegetables and other organic matter and then secrete digestive juices. The juices partially digest the food outside of the fly's body so that the fly can easily lap up the product with its spongy mouthparts.

Mosquito Control and Fly Control

Flies and mosquitoes are both carriers of a variety of different serious illnesses. While these insects are relatively harmless on their own, they can carry dangerous bacteria, parasites and viruses that can infect your family and your pets. Mosquitoes pass these illnesses to humans and animals through their proboscis’ penetration into unwitting victims; flies carry contaminants on their feet, spreading germs everywhere they land. This is especially bad news if they're in your home, landing on and crawling all over your food.

Eliminate Flies & Mosquitoes with MosquitoNix®

The best way to take care of these pests is be eradicating them altogether. By enlisting MosquitoNix, we’ll install our effective repellant system that will help keep these nuisances out of your yard and away from your business. Our fly control service includes a multi-layer approach that utilizes fly traps as well as "kill on contact" spray, providing a one-two punch for effective fly elimination. This pest control service is ideal for residential homes as well as commercial establishments such as restaurants.

Our mosquito control service includes fogging treatments, green services, misting systems and portable mosquito control. We also offer home mosquito control products to aid the effectiveness of your mosquito service. At MosquitoNix, we offer state-of-the-art products and services that allow you to experience No More Pests. Period.


learn the difference between mosquitos and flies