Main Differences Between Gnats and Mosquitoes

Mosquito Control

In some cases, gnats and mosquitos have a level of resemblance that may make some people confuse one for the other. Here are some tips on how to easily tell apart a mosquito and a gnat.

Appearance
Mosquitos are either black or brown. They have stripes on the belly, wings, or legs. Their bodies are elongated, and their antenna looks like a feather. Tiny hairs protrude from their antennae. Mosquitos have long wings that stretch out in a teardrop shape. The wing streamlines to their body shape.

A gnat’s appearance varies with its type. Some look like a mosquito, while others will look distinctively different. A gnat is usually smaller than a mosquito. Their bellies are circular, and their heads are rounder.

Behavior
When gnats perch on an object, they lay their bodies parallel to the surface. Mosquitos, on the other hand, will raise their tails in the air. Another unique behavior is that gnats mate in groups, so you can witness them dancing during the season.

Mosquitos prefer to mate in secluded pairs. Additionally, most gnats do not bite, and biting gnats do not bite through clothes. Mosquitoes, as most of us know, find a way to bite our body no matter what we wear.

Their feeding habits are also different. Male mosquitos will feed on honeydew, nectar, and fruits, while females feed on blood. Gnats find their foods in plants – fresh or decomposing – and insects.

If you are having trouble with any of these pests, it’s important to first tell them apart as a control method for gnats can be entirely different to the methods required for eliminating mosquitoes. Gnats, in general, tend to be easier to eliminate as they come from a source that’s more obvious, such as unclean drains or rotten fruits.