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How to Distinguish Mosquitoes That Cause Dengue And Malaria From Common Mosquitoes

Medically reviewed by Regina Victoria Boyles, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Mar 09, 2023

How to Distinguish Mosquitoes That Cause Dengue And Malaria From Common Mosquitoes

What are the types of mosquitoes that cause dengue? Perhaps everyone knows that dengue is caused by mosquitoes that transmit the disease to humans. But many people still do not know how to distinguish between mosquitoes that cause dengue fever and normal mosquitoes, and why they are capable of transmitting disease.

Cause of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is caused by a virus, but the virus that causes this disease does not naturally spread to humans. Mosquitoes are the main vector of disease transmission. Among the preventive measures, the most effective way is to prevent mosquito bites and repel mosquitoes. It is important to eliminate this disease carrier is to understand the characteristics of the same mosquito species as well as how to distinguish it from other types of mosquitoes.

Types of Mosquitoes

Dengue fever and disease-causing mosquitoes

Dengue fever is listed on the list of common and dangerous diseases because of the high risk of outbreaks, and there is no specific treatment or vaccine. It is a disease cause by the dengue virus, specifically this virus has 4 different serotypes: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, DEN-4. Many people mistakenly believe that if they have had this disease before and cured it, they will not have it again. In fact, when infected for the first time, the person is still at 3 times more risk of getting sick from the remaining strains of the virus.

Anyone can be the subject of dengue fever, but the most worrisome is children because of their relatively weaker resistance. According to statistics, children between the ages of 4 and 9 are most likely to have the disease. For babies under 1 year old, if infected, it will be extremely life-threatening.

Signs that distinguish mosquitoes that cause dengue fever from other types of mosquitoes

Besides the mosquito that causes dengue fever, there is also another type of mosquito that is quite common, which is the anopheles mosquito that causes malaria. You can distinguish whether anopheles mosquitoes are different from other mosquitoes and midges through the following attributes.

Anopheles mosquitoes

If the mosquito is the causative agent of dengue fever, the anopheles mosquito specifically transmits the parasite that causes malaria, which is equally dangerous.

Adult anopheles mosquitoes are usually dark brown and black, the body is divided into three parts: head, thorax and abdomen. Unlike other mosquitoes, when resting, the abdomen will face up, not down. The length of the mosquito’s body is equal to the length of the proboscis, on the wings there are black and white scales.

This malaria mosquito usually breeds in freshwater areas. Mosquito eggs are able to survive in cold temperatures. Female mosquitoes mate many times in their life cycle, even though they only live a few weeks to a month, they feed on blood to supplement nutrients for eggs.

Anopheles mosquitoes are active from sunset to sunrise. They usually sit in the house for a few hours after stinging people. After that, they reside in bushes and crevices.


Mosquitoes that cause dengue fever are aedes aegypti. Because we don’t know much about the exact characteristics of mosquito life and activity, the prevention of dengue at home is still not always easy.

To identify this type of dengue mosquito, check that it is black with white spots on the body and legs. Female mosquitoes of this will bite people and they are active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon. Their habitat is dark places such as corners of the house, on clothes, and blankets.

Mosquitoes breed in ponds, puddles, or water containers around the house such as water tanks, jars, wells, flower vases, or even in household items. Ironically, they thrive in clean, stagnant collections of water.

Mosquito eggs will hatch when exposed to water. Mosquito eggs can survive in dry conditions for months. In her life cycle, female mosquitoes can lay eggs up to 5 times, each time up to dozens of eggs.

How does the mosquito transmit dengue fever?

The route of transmission begins after the female mosquito aedes aegypti sucks the blood of a person infected with dengue fever and carries the disease. The incubation period of mosquitoes is 10-12 days. This is the time for the virus to multiply and move to the mosquito’s salivary glands. Then, the mosquito transmits the disease to a healthy person through their next bite.

How long does it take for a mosquito bite to develop to dengue fever?

The infected person is also the source of the virus to other mosquitoes. Especially when the mosquito changes hosts frequently, it runs the risk of transmitting the virus to even more people. That is also the reason why the disease became a big epidemic.

Dengue fever is a relatively dangerous disease that can cause many serious complications if not detected and treated properly. However, this disease can be completely prevented if we take effective measures against mosquitoes that cause dengue fever.

Hopefully, through this article, you have gained a little more knowledge about distinguishing different types of common mosquitoes. 

Learn more about Infectious Diseases in Children here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Regina Victoria Boyles, MD


Written by Hello Bacsi · Updated Mar 09, 2023

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