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What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Blood isn’t the only thing mosquitoes feed on! In reality, blood makes up a small proportion of a mosquito’s diet. Blood is only necessary in order for eggs to develop. What a mosquito eats depends on the stage of life they’re in:

  • Larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material in the water within which they live. 
  • Pupal mosquitoes 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.
Mosquitoes diet | Knoxville TN | Russell's Pest Control

Mosquito Feeding Habits

Considering how often mosquitoes bite, one would think that blood is the only thing they feed on. However, blood makes up a small percentage of a mosquito’s diet. This is because blood is only necessary for female mosquitoes to be able to reproduce. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, do not bite or feed on blood whatsoever. Instead, they rely on nectar from plants to survive. Just like other insects, mosquitoes need the sugar intake from plant sap, nectar, and honeydew to nourish themselves.

Male vs. Female Mosquito Diet

Female and male mosquito diets vary due to their unique needs. They differ in the following ways:

  • To be able 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.

Can Mosquitoes Survive Without Feeding?

With their already short lifespan, 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 Knoxville TN

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