What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Close-up picture of mosquito biting human skin

Close-up picture of mosquito biting human skin

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.

What do mosquitoes eat besides blood?

Surprisingly, for both male and female adults, nectar is a mosquito's main food source — which makes them plant pollinators.

Do mosquitoes eat plants?

Mosquitoes enjoy feeding on plant nectar like juices from flowers and fruits, plant sap, honeydew and other fluids from plants. This sugary mosquito food gives them the energy they need to fly, reproduce and sustain themselves.

Do mosquitoes need blood to survive?

Male adult mosquitoes do not feed on blood, while females do to aid in egg production. A few species of adult females do not feed on blood at all and maintain a diet of plant nectar and other sugars, just like males.

What do female mosquitoes eat?

To successfully reproduce, female mosquitoes require a specific protein found in the blood of mammals and humans to help generate their eggs. Since females enjoy blood meals as well as mosquito nectar, they’re able to store their blood and sugar consumption separately.

What do male mosquitoes eat?

Males prefer flower nectar as their primary food source. Since a male mosquito diet does not require blood meals, it is not responsible for diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes bite animals?

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.

How does a mosquito eat?

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.

How to Control Mosquitoes

To keep mosquitoes 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 an Orkin Pro for help with identifying and reducing issues with mosquitoes feeding around homes and yards.

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