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What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Blood isn’t the only thing that mosquitoes feed on. In fact, female mosquitoes only require a blood meal in order to reproduce! What a mosquito consumes depends on what life stage they are in:
- Mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material in the water within which they live.
- In the pupal stage, mosquitoes do not feed whatsoever.
- Male and female adult mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowering plants.
- Female mosquitoes feed not just on human blood, but also blood from birds, small mammals, snakes, and more.
Do Mosquitoes Feed on Plants?
Just because mosquitoes feed on blood doesn’t mean they don’t feed on anything else! In fact, nectar is the main component of a mosquito’s diet. Female mosquitoes feed on blood in order to reproduce, while male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood whatsoever! Mosquitoes require frequent sugar intake in order to survive. Just like other insects, both male and female insects feed on nectar, plantsap, and honeydew for their main source of nourishment.
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Mosquito Diet Differences
Only female mosquitoes feed on blood, and they do so to be able to reproduce. Male mosquitoes do not bite and thus do not feed on blood. Here is how mosquito diet differs depending on whether the insect is male or female:
- 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 have no need to 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 Feeding?
Mosquitoes do not live for a long time to begin with. So not having a meal for several days may lead to the mosquito dying off quickly. 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.