What do mosquitoes eat?
Mosquitoes have gained a reputation as blood-suckers or ectoparasites (i.e., insects that encounter hosts and are bound to the bodies of the hosts to feed), but these insects are not vampires. You can be shocked to hear the fact that mosquitoes are predominantly vegetarians, and they only indulge in carnivorous cravings occasionally. To understand why we need to know precisely what mosquitoes eat and how their diets change as they mature. Acuity Pest Control will give you the series of Mosquito facts that will shock you about mosquitoes and on what they feed on.
The beginning of the mosquito life cycle – Food
We all know the fact, mosquitoes’ life cycle starts as larvae. They hatched from eggs laid either on the surface of a body of water or near it. These baby mosquitoes thrive just below the surface of the water. And feed on algae which form the basis for the food cycle of the mosquitoes to live.
After the larval stage is left by molts — stages in which they shed their skins — the mosquitoes become pupae. Mosquito pupae totally do not feed. Instead, it is necessary to acquire all of their fuel for this stage of life during the larval stage. Many larvae of mosquitoes eat algae and other microscopic organisms that abound in water. Therefore the larvae are an important food for many marine species, including fish which eat larvae of mosquito.
The pupae finally emerge to the surface of the mud, sprout wings and become the adult mosquitoes we ‘re all familiar with. There the food ladder of the mosquito broadens, not narrows. Why? Why? It all boils down to the disparity between male mosquitoes and female.
Why only female mosquitoes drink blood
Adult mosquitoes are masculine or feminine. Like butterflies, bees, and many other insects, all male and female mosquitoes have a nutritional need for sugar to live on that the nectar of flowering plants can provide.
Nevertheless, after the female mosquitoes reach maturity, they are able to mate and lay eggs. To do so, they include protein and lipids—both present in other animals’ milk. Male mosquitoes, meanwhile, clearly still require sugar meals. Hence female mosquitoes live on human blood.
Do mosquitoes drink blood from animals other than humans?
A female mosquito preparing to lay eggs doesn’t have to feed on human blood exclusively. Birds will also ward off biting insects, such as crows, jays, robins, and sparrows. The same is true of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and herons.
Outside the kingdom of birds, small mammals like raccoons have a place in the food pyramid of the mosquito, as do some snakes, lizards, frogs, and fish.
So why do mosquitoes drink human blood at all?
While some species of mosquitoes, like the tiger mosquito, prefer to drink human blood. The real reason why mosquitoes bite humans is that they often present the most attractive target when their preferred food source is in shortages.
Mosquitoes are alerted by a variety of factors to the presence of local food supply. Which includes movement, scent, carbon dioxide ( CO2) emissions from the supply, and many more. The normal human being exhales more CO2 than, say, a mouse, which makes a bigger blip on the radar of the hungry female mosquito and an ultimate target simpler. The human body also features odor-producing chemicals that make the mouth water of the female mosquito while unpleasant or undetectable to us.
Are human beings a delicacy to the mosquito? Perhaps so. Yet all of us know first-hand that our place at the top of the mosquito food pyramid doesn’t guarantee we get bitten occasionally. Mosquitoes start breeding only days after maturity and female mosquitoes will live for more than a month, laying thousands of eggs.
And while the cloud of mosquitoes does not worry you now, it doesn’t work particularly well for the mating the swarm may mark. Aggressive and opportunistic, a bloodthirsty mosquito will not hesitate to feed on anything — or anyone — it can.