What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Blood isn’t the only thing mosquitoes feed on, believe it or not. In actuality, only female mosquitoes require a blood meal in order to reproduce. What mosquitoes feed on depends on what stage of life they’re in:
- As larvae, mosquitoes feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material in the water within which they live.
- In the pupal stage, they do not feed whatsoever.
- Adult mosquitoes, male and females alike, feed on nectar from flowering plants.
- Female mosquitoes feed not just on human blood, but also blood from birds, small mammals, snakes, and more.
Do All Mosquitoes Feed on Blood?
You may be surprised to learn that blood makes up for a small percentage of a mosquito’s diet. In fact, female mosquitoes feed on blood in order to reproduce, while male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood whatsoever! Mosquitoes require frequent sugar intake in order to survive. Just like other insects, both male and female insects feed on nectar, plant sap, and honeydew for nourishment.
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Male vs. Female Mosquito Diet
The only mosquito that bites to feed on blood is the female mosquito! But why don’t the male mosquitoes feed on blood as well? Here’s how they differ:
- To reproduce, female mosquitoes must have a blood meal. Afterward, they are able to breed and lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes also feed on nectar, which is a large part of their diet.
- Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood. Instead, they rely on sugar from plant nectar. They use their proboscis to retrieve the nectar from plants. Male mosquitoes thus are not responsible for transmitting diseases.
How Long Can Mosquitoes Survive Without a Meal?
Mosquitoes already live a short lifespan, and thus cannot live for very long without feeding. mosquitoes cannot live for very long without feeding. If a female mosquito is unable to obtain a food source, it may die within days. When in a dormant stage during the winter, they can go for months without eating. However, in general, mosquitoes will die off when they don’t have a food source.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat? in Sevierville TN
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