What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Blood doesn’t actually play an essential role in sustaining a mosquito’s diet. In fact, only female mosquitoes feed on blood, and they do so only to prepare their bodies for reproduction. What they eat depends on the stage of their life they are in:
- Mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material in the water.
- Mosquito pupae do not eat at all.
- Once they reach adulthood, mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowering plants.
- Female mosquitoes feed on blood from small animals as well as humans.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat Other Than Blood?
Many are surprised to learn that mosquitoes don’t actually sustain themselves on blood. In fact, mosquitoes only feed on blood in order to reproduce. Mosquitoes actually require frequent sugar intake in order to live. Like many other insects do, both male and female insects feed on nectar, plant sap, and honeydew for nourishment.
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Female vs Male Mosquitoes' Diets
Only female mosquitoes bite people to feed on blood. But what do male mosquitoes do? They are different in these ways:
- Female mosquitoes must ingest an animal’s blood in order to reproduce. Afterward, they can breed properly and lay eggs. Female mosquitoes also take a lot of nectar from plants.
- Male mosquitoes do not drink blood. Instead, they drink plant nectar. They use their proboscis to retrieve the nectar from plants. They will never try to bite a human or pass on a disease.
How Long Can Mosquitoes Live Without Eating?
Mosquitoes already have short lives, and if they can’t find food, they will be even shorter. Mosquitoes will die within days if they can’t find food. However, when in a dormant stage for the winter, they can go for months without finding a food source. Mosquitoes will usually die off very quickly without sufficient nutrition, though.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat? in Southern Louisiana
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