What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Many people believe that mosquitoes sustain themselves on blood alone, but this is actually a misconception. Only female mosquitoes feed on blood, and they do so strictly for the purpose of reproduction. Mosquito diet varies by their stage of life:
- Mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and organic material in the water.
- Pupae do not eat at all.
- Adult males and females eat nectar from flowering plants.
- Female mosquitoes feed on the blood of mammals, small birds, snakes, and more to supply their bodies with nutrients necessary for reproduction.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat Other Than Blood?
It surprises many to learn that only female mosquitoes feed on blood, and that they do so sparingly. This means that you will only ever be bitten by a female mosquito! Most of the mosquito diet consists of nectar, plant sap, and honey dew, because mosquitoes require frequent sugar intake to sustain themselves. This is why you’ll often find mosquitoes living around your garden.
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Female vs. Male Mosquito Diet
If female mosquitoes are the only ones that feed on our blood, what does the male mosquito diet consist of? They differ in these ways:
- Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to supply their bodies with the necessary nutrients for reproduction. After a blood meal, they can properly breed and lay eggs. However, nectar makes up most of their diet, keeping up their sugar intake.
- Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood at all, relying solely on sugar from plant nectar. They draw this nectar from plants using their proboscis. Because they don’t bite, male mosquitoes are not responsible for spreading vector-borne diseases.
Can Mosquitoes Survive Without Sustenance?
Mosquitoes have a short lifespan that becomes even shorter without frequent meals. A female mosquito can die within days if she can’t find a food source. However, in rare cases, mosquitoes have been found to enter a dormant stage to survive through the winter without food. In general, though, mosquitoes will die off quickly without a food source.