The differences between male and female mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are major pests, it’s true, but not all mosquitoes are bloodsuckers. In fact, only female mosquitoes bite, causing those red itchy welts on your skin. They need the nutrition in your blood to develop their eggs.

So how can you tell the difference between a male and female mosquito? Here are a few key characteristics.

Antennae

Male mosquitoes have more flagella or fine hairs on their antennae, so many so that it appears noticeably bushy to the naked eye. These flagella are important to a male mosquito’s hearing, which comes in handy when the male is looking for female mosquitoes—his primary interest.1

A female mosquito’s antennae are less bushy and contain several odor receptors that help her target blood sources so that she can reproduce—her primary interest.

Size

Male mosquitoes are generally smaller than female mosquitoes.

Sound

Only female mosquitoes make that annoying buzzing sound.2

Lifespan

Female mosquitoes typically live longer than male mosquitoes. Depending on the species and the conditions, a female mosquito’s average lifespan is anywhere from two to four weeks, while a male mosquito usually lives for one to two weeks.3

Proximity to You

Because male mosquitoes have no need for human blood, they will typically avoid human contact. That’s a good thing, as mosquitoes are considered one of the deadliest animals on the planet. Those tiny, buzzing pests carry diseases such as malaria, encephalitis and yellow fever. They’re also known to carry heartworm, which can be deadly to your dog.4 

Prevent mosquitoes from gathering and breeding around your home with Terminix®’s Mosquito Control service. One treatment can reduce mosquito populations in the treated areas by 90 percent in just two to three weeks*, leaving skeeters high and dry.