What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Mosquitoes don’t actually sustain themselves on blood alone. In fact, male mosquitoes will not draw blood at all, and female mosquitoes feed on blood solely for the purpose of reproduction. Their diet changes depending on their life stage:
- As larvae, mosquitoes feed on bacteria, algae, and other organic material in the water where they hatch.
- In the pupal stage, they do not feed at all.
- Both male and female adult mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowering plants.
- Female mosquitoes feed on blood from birds, small mammals, snakes, and more, in addition to humans.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat Besides Blood?
Many are surprised to learn that only female mosquitoes feed on blood, and that it only makes up a small portion of their diet. Mosquitoes require a steady sugar intake to sustain themselves. Just like other insects, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar, honeydew, and plant sap.
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Male vs. Female Mosquito Feeding Habits
Male mosquitoes also have a proboscis, but they do not use it to draw blood from humans or other animals. Male and female mosquitoes differ in the following ways:
- In order to reproduce, female mosquitoes must first find a blood meal. This renders them able to breed and lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes also feed on nectar, which is a substantial part of their diet.
- Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood. Instead, they sustain themselves solely on sugar from plant nectar. They use their proboscis to draw up the nectar from plants. Because they do not feed on disease-carrying animals, they cannot spread disease themselves.
Can Mosquitoes Live Without Eating?
Mosquitoes already have a short lifespan, and this is further shortened if they fail to find food. If a female mosquito is unable to locate a food source, she will likely die within days. However, if they decide to hibernate, mosquitoes can conserve energy and go for much longer stretches without feeding. In general, though, mosquitoes will die off when they don’t have a food source.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat? in El Paso TX
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