What do mosquitoes eat? Feeding on human and other animals including birds is a major part of a mosquito’s daily diet, but besides this mosquitoes also consume nectar in large amounts thereby increase pollination. To help them reproduce, make their off springs and to fulfillment the nourishment of their lives in order to sustain a healthy and better life, mosquitoes do consume a large amount of blood without which their survival isn’t possible. In order to fulfillment the requirements of iron and proteins in their diet, female mosquitoes have much higher necessity of consuming the fresh blood than males so that their eggs could be formed and hatched properly.
Irrespective of the common beliefs about blood consumption of mosquitoes, their diet actually doesn’t depend on the blood only. Rather only female mosquitoes consume blood, the males have other things to feed upon.
The female mosquitoes have to depend upon the blood as it is necessary for development and nourishment of their eggs and the production of their off springs. Through sucking blood, the female partner gets its body ready for the upcoming reproduction process.
Based on the initial and later stages of a mosquitoes life, a mosquito’s diet changes in the following ways:
When mosquitoes are in the stage of being larvae, they live in water. In this environment the major constituent of their diet consists of bacteria, algae, and other small living things present in the water.
In the stage of being pupae, mosquitoes really don’t feed on anything present in the water. As soon as they enter in their adulthood, they start feeding on the living matter present inside water.
Male as well as female mosquitoes, both feed on the nectar present in angiosperms.
The major constituent in a female mosquito’s diet is blood which it sucks from the bodies of egg-laying mammals, snakes, some birds, humans, and other living animals.
A male and female adult mosquito have the same eating habits is blood is excluded from a female mosquito’s diet. A female adult mosquito has to consume blood to develop its eggs while a male adult mosquito feeds on nectar to fulfill the hunger.
When mosquitoes enter their adulthood stage then they start consuming blood. This blood is especially consumed by the female mosquito because it has to prepare its body for the upcoming reproduction process.
At larval stage, the baby mosquito doesn’t suck blood from either living body.
As soon as the larva hatches, it depends on the surroundings to fulfill its food requirements. The water in which the mosquito larva hatches, it searches for the food there.
The major constituent of its food consists of microbial bacteria (microbial contamination), algae that are present in the depth of that water, and other small living organisms.
When the larva enters the stage of being a pupa, it doesn’t need anything to eat in-order to maintain its survival.
Both the male and female mosquito partners depend on the nectar, which is the reproductive part of a plant.
Although the female mosquito sucks the blood of living organisms as a major part of its diet, but the most important chunk of their diet is the nectar which they obtain from different plants, especially the flowering plants. This makes them the greatest source of pollinating plants.
The suckling action of blood of a mosquito threatens the life and health of a human. This happen s when the mosquito comes in contact with the skin of either a human or an animal.
The harmful and diseased pathogens that are present in the blood of a mosquito are rapidly transferred to another human or an animal to which the mosquito injects its sting for sucking blood.
As soon as the mosquito sucks blood or injects its sting in the host for the purpose of fulfilling the food requirements, it inserts the saliva present in its mouth, in the body of host from which the sucking of blood takes place.
If the mosquito is already at the risk of being a carrier, then the chances of being carrying pathogens in its saliva are greatly increased.
These pathogens are acquired from the blood of the host who is already infected and then transferred in the body of the host to which the mosquito comes for its second dose of blood.
This process of acquiring diseased pathogens from an infected person and then transferring them in the body of a healthy person becomes a source of spreading the West Nile Virus as well as Eastern Equine Encephalitis along with a number of other harmful diseases.
Yes, we can keep mosquitoes away from biting us and sucking the blood, thereby we can stop the transfer of diseased and harmful pathogens from entering our bodies.
To keep the mosquitoes away from our bodies, we have to stop them entering our houses. We can do this by closing all the doors, windows, screens, and other open spaces where the chances of their entry are most likely to occur.
We can seal those places with either of the possible things to stop them from entering. Also, maintains those entrances in good condition to stop the incoming mosquitoes is essential.
The most important factor where the birth and nourishment of mosquitoes takes place is water to anything in which the water can be filled.
Mosquitoes do develop in an environment or place where the availability of water occurs. No matter whether the water is in much larger amounts or is a little, it is enough for the mosquitoes to grow.
Therefore, any disposable plastic container, especially cups, bowls, or other items which are in the form that water can stay in them, get rid of them immediately. This can stop the growth and nourishment of mosquitoes.
Stagnant water should be swept immediately. Places where water is allowed to stand for days or even hours, there is a likelihood of the growth of diseased and harmful mosquitoes which in turn prove themselves to be extremely dangerous for the living beings.
See around your homes, the yards, gardens, parking, and other larger spaces that there shouldn’t be water allowed to stand neither in any container so that the growth of mosquitoes could be prohibited.
If there are issues or problems related to the fed of infectious mosquitoes around your homes, immediately make a contact with companies such as Orkin so that a much better solution could be provided of how to overcome that problem.
Mosquitoes are widely and popularly known as the great agents of sucking blood from living bodies. Keeping mosquitoes away from biting the living organisms especially humans, and letting them stop obtaining the major chunk of their food which is the blood itself, it is extremely difficult and the most challenging game.
To keep in mind that a female mosquito is there only to suck the blood and leaving itchy skin is the right case. Male mosquito doesn’t bite either of the living being; rather the most important chunk of their food ids the nectar which they obtain from the flowers.
Female mosquitoes do bite us in order to maintain their body for the process of reproduction and bringing their off springs. They have to make their body health through the blood suck, so that their eggs could be properly developed.
But when it comes to males, there is no essential factor for which a male mosquito has to bite human being or other living organisms for its survival. Rather, it gets the nutrition for its survival from plants.
The difference between a male and female mosquito depends on their size and the way they appear. Male mosquitoes obtain nectar as a major part of their diet. They don’t absorb blood for the nourishment to take place’ rather it is done through the plants from which they take nectar.
As all living organisms need something to eat for their survival, same is the case with male mosquitoes. They also need something better to eat in order to help themselves maintain a good survival.
When mosquitoes reach the stage of their adulthood, both the male as well as the female mosquito partners, they obtain nectar as a much important part of their diet.
Apart from eating nectar, the male and female mosquito parasites feed on the sap of plants, or take honeydew to fulfill their food requirements and obtain proper nourishment.
This suckling action of blood by a mosquito is performed only by the female partner, as it needs blood to develop and nourish its eggs so that a good development of offspring could occur later on. T
he sucking of blood by a female adult mosquito enriches its body with some special proteins which are essential for its reproductive process.
By keeping the blood as a separate chunk of their food, the other food items are almost all the same as they are taken but both the male and female adult mosquitoes.
Though being tiny in size, not all mosquitoes are of the same size. The average of all the adult mosquitoes reveals to be somewhere around 0.4 inches.
This size is the maximum in which we could encounter a male mosquito be lying upon. Apart from the fact that a male as well as a female adult mosquito do have the same size, it is true that the female adult partner, are more often a bit larger in their size as compared to the male adult mosquito.
Also, after a short interval of time when a female adult mosquito sucks blood, its body starts expanding
Therefore, after feeding upon blood, there is a much larger likelihood of the expansion in a female adult mosquito’s size. The increase in size is not very large but a smaller one and lasts for a shorter time only.
Although the male mosquito is almost similar in their size as a female mosquito, and do exhibit the same behavioral phenomenon as shown by its female companion, male mosquito is often identified by its antenna.
Antenna is the most important factor which can help distinguish a male mosquito from a female one.
Apart from antenna there are a number of things which differentiate a male mosquito from a female one; some of these key features are given below:
|Key features||Male mosquito||Female mosquito|
|Antenna function||Help to obtain a wing beat||Suck blood|
|Mouth parts||Not special designed proboscis||A specially designed proboscis to extract blood|
The female mosquitoes have a plain antenna to help them better able suck the blood from the host body without any difficulty. The plain structure of the antenna makes a female mosquito suck blood straight enough without any interruption.
This is a specially designed form helpful for the process of feed. The male mosquito, on the other side has an antenna which is like the shape of a feather.
The antennae are designed in this way as it helps the male partner to mate with its female adult mosquito for the process of reproduction. Apart from the difference in their shape of antennae, the mouth parts of both a female a male mosquito differ from one another.
Proboscises are present in the mouth of both a female as well as a male adult mosquito to help them feed on their meal, the female one has a specially designed proboscis to help her suck the blood from the host’s body.
Both the male and female adult mosquitoes do exhibit the similar behaviors and their diets are also the same with one exception of having blood as a much larger constituent in a female’s diet, the female adult mosquito needs to feed on the availability of blood to help her survival and so that it could lay her eggs well.
Having a smaller body mass as compared to a female mosquito, and feeding on the nectar, honeydew, and sap of plant, you won’t ever hear the buzzing type sound of male mosquito near your auditory channels.
The reason is that the male mosquito has nothing to do around your skin and so it is absent around the place where you are present.
If you ever see or hear the sound of a mosquito which is quite very low and you would be able to hear the vibrations only of the mosquito is too close to your auditory passage, you just have to bring a spray and get rid of them as early as possible so that they won’t be able to harm you or suck your blood.
The chance of the transfer of harmful pathogens would be reduced and you can sustain a better healthy life.
What is most frequently eaten by a mosquito? The answer might be surprising that blood only makes a portion of a mosquito’s diet.
Mosquitoes have a reputation for blood-sucking worms or ectoparasites (insects that visit their hosts and attach themselves to their bodies for food), but these insects are not animal nests. It may seem surprising to know that mosquitoes mainly eat only vegetables and occasionally indulge in food cravings.
The eating habit of a mosquito gets changed as it enters in the later stages of life or starts gets mature. Mosquitoes needs of hunger are changed according to their taste sometimes blood or sometime foods like human ate.
All mosquitoes start from larvae that hatch from eggs deposited on or near the surface of a body of water. These tiny mosquitoes thrive underwater and feed on algae, which form the base of the mosquito’s food pyramid.
Once they leave the larval stage through molting (the stage of shedding their skin), mosquitoes pupate. Mosquito pupae do not feed at all. On the contrary, all the fuel for this stage of its life must be obtained in the larval stage.
Over time, the pupa will surface, grow wings, and become a familiar adult mosquito. Here, the food pyramid for mosquitoes expands rather than shrinks. Why is that so? It all stretches down to the features that distinguish a male adult mosquito from a female one.
Adult mosquitoes are male or female. Like butterflies, bees, and many other insects, all male and female mosquitoes need sugar, and the nectar from flowering plants can provide sugar.
However, once they are adults, female mosquitoes can reproduce and lay eggs. To do this, they need proteins and lipids, both of which are found in the blood of other animals.
At the same time, male mosquitoes still need sugary food which is rich with sucrose. Hence the reason behind the female sucking blood is just the reproductive method; they lay egg and produce their generation.
Female mosquitoes preparing to lay eggs do not need to feed exclusively on human blood. Birds such as crows, jays, robins and sparrows must also protect themselves from mosquito bites. The same is true for waterfowl, such as ducks, geese and herons.
Outside the realm of birds, small mammals like raccoons have a place in the mosquito food pyramid, as do some snakes, lizards, frogs, and fish.
Although some mosquitoes, such as tiger mosquitoes, like to drink human blood, the real reason mosquitoes bite is because they are often the most attractive targets when their preferred food source is in short supply.
Mosquitoes use a variety of factors (including movement, odor, carbon dioxide emissions from the source, etc.) to alert to nearby food sources.
Compared to squirrels, ordinary people exhale more carbon dioxide and send out a larger signal on the radar than hungry female mosquitoes, making them more likely to be the overall target.
The human body also has chemicals that produce odors that, although unpleasant or imperceptible to us, can make female mosquitoes drool. Chapter
Are People a Mosquito Coil?
It might be so.
But many of us know that our position at the top of the mosquito food pyramid does not mean that they rarely bite us.
Mosquitoes begin to reproduce within a few days of maturity, and females can live for more than a month and lay thousands of eggs.
So, although the group of mosquitoes may not bother you now, the mating that the group of mosquitoes may represent is not a good sign.
An aggressive and opportunistic mosquito will not hesitate to feed on anything or anyone when looking for blood.
Male and female mosquitoes have specially designed body parts which meet the requirements of taking food. They have specially designed antennas and mouth parts to help them better suck the blood or nectar. A female mosquito sucks blood while the male partner doesn’t suck or eat the blood at all.
|Features||Male mosquito||Female mosquito|
|Size/weight||Less than two milligrams||Two milligrams (about 1/15,000 ounce)|
|Appearance||Bushier||Not bushy appearance|
|Presence of hairs (Flagella)||Have fine hairs above their antennae||No such hairs on their antennae|
|Receptors on antenna||No odor receptors||Odor receptors present|
|Blood-feed||Don’t feed on blood||Drink blood of living organisms|
|Proboscis shape||Wider, branched, more feathery appearance||Needle like appearance|
|Proboscis function||Helps him find the buzz of female mosquito nearby||Uses it to pierce the skin of host|
|Wing beat||Lower than 500 times in a second||500 times in a second|
|Role in life||Mate||Produce eggs|
People ask a number of questions related to the diet of a mosquito. Some of these questions and their answers are given below:
The most important part of a mosquito’s diet whether it’s a male mosquito or a female one, is the nectar. If there is nectar present from the flowering plants, the mosquitoes do survive irrespective of the availability of blood or not.
There are almost 3,000 species of mosquitoes scientists have known so far. Among these 3,000 species none of the male mosquito is known to be a source of sucking the human or other living organisms’ blood.
Rather, the blood is sucked by the female mosquito partner who comes in the category of these 3,000 species.
The sucking of blood by a female mosquito partner is the essential part of its survival as it prepares the body of an adult female mosquito for the production of eggs, laying them, and then a healthy production of an offspring from the fully nourished eggs.
It is to be noted carefully that a mosquito whether it’s a male or a female one, they can survive without blood but do depend on the availability of nectar. Blood is essential for a female mosquito but it is so to produce the eggs not for her own survival.
So, a female mosquito can survive if there would be no blood, the impact would be only on its eggs not on her body.
Blood is enriched with a number of nutrients that are essential for a female mosquito to feed upon.
Among these important nutrients, some of the most common ones are given below:
These nutrients play an important role in the reproductive process of a female mosquito and the mosquito cannot obtain these essential nutrients from any other source.
If there wouldn’t be a proper blood meal for a mosquito it could affect its life cycle to a significant extent.
Blood is eaten only by female adult mosquito. A male mosquito doesn’t consume human or other living organisms’ blood at all. A male mosquito only feeds on nectar and other related parts of a flowering plant.
A female adult mosquito has to consume human or other living organisms’ blood in considerable amounts to develop and lay her eggs.
Consumption of blood by a female mosquito is concerned with the nourishment of its eggs and the reproduction process. To produce eggs in good amount, a female adult mosquito has to consume good amounts of blood.
A female adult mosquito has specially designed mouth parts which can directly go deep down the skin and suck the maximum amount of blood, efficiently.
Before piercing the skin with its sting or antennae, a female adult mosquito lubricates the skin of its host by injecting some saliva on the skin so that the skin could be able to get pierced efficiently.
Thy itchy sensation and the swelling which is left on the skin after a mosquito bites us is actually the result of the lubrication performed by a mosquito.
Yes, mosquitoes do hate a number of smells which are against their olfactory bulbs.
Among these smell the most common ones which are frequently repelled by a mosquito are given below:
Plants of citrus fruits
Leaves in crushed form, obtained from the citrus plants
Extracts which are obtained from the tress of citrus plants
Apart from these, there are some specially designed oils which act as natural repellents.
Among these oils there come the following:
Oils that are naturally obtained from the orange plant
Oils that are naturally obtained from the lemons, when they are crushed
Oils that are naturally obtained from the lavender plant
Oils that are naturally obtained from the basil plant
Oils that are naturally obtained from the catnip plant
The smells of the above mentioned plants and the oils obtained from them keep mosquitoes away from the places where the presence of these plants occurs.
The smell which is most frequently and greatly disliked by a mosquito is that of the Lantana plant.
The bitter and citrus smell of a Lantana plant is the one which is strongly repelled by a mosquito until or unless they are too much hungry to feed upon it.
Lantana plant is much cheaper and can be kept in home if there are too much mosquitoes and there is an extreme need to keep them away from harming us.
Given below are the ways through which we can protect ourselves from the bite of a mosquito:
Don’t let the stagnant water to stay in or around your home. If you find so, quickly dump it out at the earliest. Stagnant water is the home of a number of mosquitoes where they lay eggs and their babies hatch.
Shut the doors, windows, and cover all the open spaces so that there could be no way for a mosquito to enter your home.
Use sprays which act as repellent for mosquitoes. There are a number of mosquito-repelling sprays in which certain chemicals and smells are added to help keep a mosquito away from us.
When you are at home or go anywhere out, try not to wear clothes having bright colors. Bright colors attract mosquitoes toward themselves while light colors aren’t much attracted by a mosquito frequently.
During the times of dusk and when the sunset is taking place, try to stay in your homes.
Don’t make yourself more appealing for a mosquito to bite you.
Use natural mosquito repellents which are obtained mostly from plant extracts such as the crushed leaves of a lemon plant.
Keep plants in your home which act as repellent for mosquitoes such as Lantana plant, the smell of which is extremely disliked by a mosquito.
There is no such limit for a mosquito to bite you in one night. However, a female adult mosquito keeps on biting you until the time she is full and there is no hunger of biting left.
When a female adult mosquito completely fulfills the requirements of her blood consumption, then the mosquito will go on a rest for about two to three days in which it will complete the process of laying eggs.
This is due to the skin texture and the type of blood which varies from one person to another.
Some people have their skin which produces a specific type of chemical that attracts mosquitoes than others. This specific chemical which attracts mosquitoes towards it is mostly lactic acid, which is liked by mosquitoes.
Studies have shown that the blood group ‘O’ has the most chances of being eaten by a mosquito as compared to other blood types such as ‘A’ and ‘B’. People with ‘O’ blood group will most frequently get a mosquito bite than those having the blood groups ‘A’ and ‘B’.
If you accidentally squash a mosquito with your hands or get it swallowed, you won’t be getting any HIV infection.
This is due to the reason that a mosquito has such a small size that it can’t carry enough HIV infected blood to be transferred in the host’s body and expand the infectious agents.
Scientific research on mosquitoes reveals that sugar is an essential constituent in a mosquito’s diet as it provides the mosquito with energy.
Sugar can even beat the importance of blood as it provides a mosquito with more energy necessary for the survival of a mosquito. Blood is needed for the reproduction while sugar itself is enough for a mosquito to make a good survival.
In case of female mosquitoes, they need to suck blood for producing eggs but male mosquitoes can survive a healthy lifespan by just living on the sugar.
When mosquitoes aren’t in search of a host to feed upon, they are actually taking a nap or doing some rest at that time.
They will keep themselves on rest until the time they aren’t disturbed by anyone around them.
Most of the mosquitoes prefer to take rest during their daytime, while there are some species of a mosquito such as the Asian tiger mosquito which takes some rest at night.
Mosquitoes seem to have pointed antennae and give an itching feeling but they actually do play a very important role in maintaining the ecosystem.
Mosquitoes are an important part of the long food chain. They serve their self as a food source for a number of fishes when they are in the larval stage.
They are also eaten by bats, many birds, frogs, and mature flies. Some species of mosquitoes act as an essential source of pollinating the plants.
A mosquito actually doesn’t feel any pain but they can sense some sort of irritation as soon as they get damaged.
Mosquitoes really don’t sense any emotional pain because there is no such kind of emotions present in a mosquito.
A male and female mosquito has almost the same eating habits if blood is eliminated from a female mosquito’s diet. A female mosquito has to suck the blood in large amounts to lay eggs properly.
Both, the male and female mosquito have specially designed antennas so that the female one could pierce the skin of its host and the male one could mate properly.
The skin and blood group of some people acts as a stimuli which attracts a number of mosquitoes than others.
By keeping our homes shut and closing the open spaces we can keep our self safe from the dangerous bites of mosquitoes.