What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Mosquitoes don’t only eat blood. In fact, female mosquitoes only feed on blood so they can reproduce. The main source of sustenance for mosquitoes is nectar.
Mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material found in the water within which they live. In the pupal stage, they do not feed. Once adults, both male and female mosquitoes sustain themselves on nectar from flowering plants.When they need to breed, female mosquitoes will feed on blood from humans, birds, small mammals, snakes, and more.
Do Mosquitoes Eat Plants?
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 only so they are able to reproduce, while male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood whatsoever! To survive, mosquitoes require a frequent intake of sugar. Similar to other types of insects, both male and female insects feed on nectar, plant sap, and honeydew for nourishment.
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Male vs. Female Mosquito Diet
Male and female mosquitoes have very different functions and roles. Their diet, in particular, is very different in the following ways:
- In order 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 Do Mosquitoes Live Without a Meal?
Mosquitoes already have a short lifespan. Not feeding for consecutive days, then, can be life-threatening. 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 source of food or water.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat? in Vermont
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