What Do Mosquitoes Eat?
Mosquitoes don’t sustain themselves on blood—only female mosquitoes consume blood, and this is solely for the purpose of reproduction. What they eat depends on the stage of their life:
- Mosquito larvae eat algae, bacteria, and other organic material found in the surrounding water.
- As pupae, larvae do not eat anything.
- Both male and female adult mosquitoes consume nectar from flowers.
- Female mosquitoes feed on human blood, but also the blood of other small mammals and many kinds of birds.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat Other Than Blood?
Many people are under the impression that mosquitoes sustain themselves on a diet of blood alone. This is, in fact, far from the case. Male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood at all, and female mosquitoes only draw blood so that they can reproduce. Mosquitoes have to keep a consistent sugar intake in order to live. Like many other insects, male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar, honeydew, and plant sap.
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Do Male and Female Mosquitoes Eat Differently?
Female mosquitoes only bite to feed on blood. So, what do male mosquitoes eat? They differ from female mosquitoes in the following ways:
- Female mosquitoes require a blood meal to breed. After feeding on a host, their bodies have the necessary nutrients to lay their eggs. The largest part of a female mosquito’s diet is nectar.
- Male mosquitoes only rely on sugar from plants. They take nectar from plants using their proboscis. As such, male mosquitoes do not bite humans or transmit diseases.
Can Mosquitoes Survive Without Sustenance?
Mosquitoes are frail insects, and with an already short lifespan, they cannot last for long without finding a food source. A female mosquito will die within days without food. If they enter a dormant stage during the winter, they can go for months without finding food, but usually, they will die without finding a food source.