Mosquitoes live around the world in almost every type of ecosystem. More than 2,500 species are known and 150 of these species are found in the United States.
Mosquitoes belong to the Diptera order of insects, as do gnats and flies. The word mosquito is derived from a Spanish word meaning 'small fly.'
Mosquitoes are one of the worst insects for spreading diseases. They can carry encephalitis, malaria and yellow fever. They also transmit West Nile Virus, which infects birds and is carried to humans and horses.
Only adult female mosquitoes bite people and animals. They need the blood to develop their eggs.