What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes sustain themselves on more than just blood. In fact, only female mosquitoes suck blood, and they only do so to prepare their bodies to reproduce. Mosquito diet varies by life stage:
- Mosquito larvae eat algae, bacteria, and other organic material that they can find in the water.
- As pupae, they do not eat whatsoever.
- Both male and female adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar primarily.
- In addition to human blood, female mosquitoes draw blood from birds, small mammals, snakes, and other animals.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat Other Than Blood?
Many are shocked to discover that blood is only a small percentage of a mosquito’s diet. Beyond that, only females feed on blood, and males don’t draw blood at all! Mosquitoes survive off of a constant intake of sugar. Like plenty of other insects, both mosquitoes feed on nectar, plant sap, and honeydew.
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Female vs. Male Mosquito Diets
So, if male mosquitoes don’t draw blood, how do they sustain themselves? Male and female mosquitoes differ in the following ways:
- In order to lay eggs, female mosquitoes must consume blood. Afterward, their bodies are properly prepared for reproduction. Female mosquitoes feed on nectar, too—it is a large part of their diet.
- Instead of blood, male mosquitoes rely on sugar from plant nectar. They use their proboscis to draw nectar just as female mosquitoes do to draw blood. This means that male mosquitoes cannot pass on diseases.
Can Mosquitoes Live Without Eating?
Already frail creatures, mosquitoes cannot live for very long without finding a source of nutrition. If a female mosquito cannot find a source of food, it may die within days. When lying dormant during the winter, they can last for months at a time without eating. However, mosquitoes generally die off without a food source.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat? in Virginia
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