Not all mosquitoes suck blood. Only female mosquitoes do (some female species don’t as well), Male mosquitoes don’t have specific mouth-parts to pierce skin and excess blood vessels.
A female grown mosquito requires protein from blood to nurture and develop eggs before laying it into the water. Once the eggs are laid, will seek for another blood meal to lay the next batch of eggs; and this process can be repeated for multiple times in one summer.
Like you and I, many actually thinks that the mosquitoes only feed on our human blood. You might be surprised (like we did) to know that the nasty mosquitoes are actually vegetarian.
Before diving into what the mozzies eat, let’s take a quick overview at their eating diet in its lifespan.
Overview – Mosquito Diet Over Its Lifespan
Mosquitoes begin their life as larvaes, which are hatched from the eggs laid on the surface of the water where they feed on algae.
The mosquitoes leave the larvae stage and become molts. This is the stage where they shed their skins and move slowly towards maturity – becoming pupae. At this stage, they only require very limited amount of nutrition and don’t feed on anything at all.
Baby mosquitoes live off microorganisms underwater where they live. Their mouths are specifically designed to suck in tiny ‘food’ like living bacteria (which they can digest).
After maturing into pupae, they reach to the surface of the water and eventually sprouts wings (start of the adult stage). From there, their food options become broader and they start feeding on other food sources.
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So, Just What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Although different genders of mosquitoes differs in a way that the females suck blood and the males don’t, they both consumes nectar from sources like flowers and fruits.
Here’s a video of how mosquito actually suck our blood:
All species of mosquitoes survives by feeding on sweet nectar from plants, juices from fruits and other natural juices that are rich in sugar. They feed on different types of flowers depending on the season; but generally abstract and consume nectar from all flowers that are easily found in the wild (i.e. poppies, sunflowers, mint, goldenrod, rosemary, roses, bluebells, sedums and common yarrows).
The abdomen of a mosquito stores the sugary liquids, enabling some species of mosquito to live in areas with a low population of people and little animals, where they survive simply by abstracting nectar out of flowers and plants.
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>> Some Fun Facts
Survival In The Winters
Some females species hibernate during the winter time while most males will die off. Females prepare for hibernation by stopping of feeding on blood during the fall and start feeding on sugars again in order to increase their weight. Female mosquitoes can also tune their genes with the reduction of sun’s UV rays as the days become shorter during the cold seasons. They also ingest lesser amount of protein and store more sugars that produce fats enabling them to survive winter and reproduce during spring.
Animal v.s. Human Blood
Some female species actually prefer blood from other animals over humans (they actually will not bite humans when those animals are around). On top of animals and humans, mozzies also suck blood from reptiles, birds and amphibians. The reason they still prey on humans is that we are often occupied with stuff, have large skin surface exposed and most obviously, have thinner skin than most animals.
Male v.s. Female Mosquito Lifespan
Male mosquitoes have a much shorter lifespan than the females. Male mosquitoes live for approximately 1 week, while their female counterparts can live for up to a month long. Some mosquito species hibernate during the winter and continue reproducing in the next spring. As such, the female mozzies requires more energy from sugar to live.
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Over To You…
Knowing what mosquitoes eat, you now know that preventing them from sucking our blood will eventually lead to them not being able to reproduce.
Question is, what can be done to stop them? Or more accurately, what can you do to protect yourself from them?