What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Image of a Mosquito Feeding

The Mosquito Diet

Blood is essential for mosquito reproduction and survival. Female mosquitoes take blood meals to get the protein and iron needed to produce eggs that will properly hatch. Not all species of mosquitoes prefer to feed on humans, and some species prefer birds or reptiles. Still, conditions and competition may force them to feed on other hosts.

What Do Mosquitoes Eat Besides Blood?

What Do Mosquito Larvae Eat?
Mosquito larvae consume algae, bacteria and other microorganisms present in the water where they hatch and develop. In the pupal stage, the pests don’t need to eat at all.

Adults
For both male and female adults, nectar is a large part of their diet, which makes them plant pollinators.

Humans and Mosquitoes

Mosquito blood feeding habits allow disease pathogens to be transferred among people as well as animals. When a mosquito takes a blood meal, that mosquito injects its saliva into the host. If that mosquito is a carrier then the saliva likely contains pathogens obtained from an infected host the mosquito previously fed upon. If the same female mosquito feeds on another host, disease pathogens are introduced into a new, previously uninfected host. As a result, bites can spread West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis in addition to other diseases.

Control

To keep the pests out of homes, ensure all screens, windows, and doors are in good repair. In yards, empty or dispose of anything that collects water, regardless of how small and unimportant the item may seem. Contact Orkin for help with identifying and reducing issues with mosquitoes feeding around homes and yards.