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What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes do not nourish themselves with blood alone. In fact, males will not ever draw blood, and female mosquitoes only feed on blood for the purpose of reproduction. What they eat depends on their stage of development:

  • As larvae, mosquitoes feed on algae, bacteria, and other organic material in the water where they were hatched.
  • In the pupal stage, they do not feed at all.
  • Full-grown male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowering plants.
  • Female mosquitoes feed not just on human blood, but also blood from small mammals, birds, snakes, & more.
What Do Mosquitoes Eat in Illinois and Indiana; Anderson Pest Solutions

Do Mosquitoes Feed On Anything Besides Blood?

Many are surprised to learn that blood makes up only a small percentage of a mosquito’s diet. Female mosquitoes solely feed on blood in order to breed, while male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood at all! Mosquitoes require a sustained sugar intake in order to survive. Like many other insects, both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar, honeydew, and plant sap regularly.

Mosquito Diet: Male vs. Female

Female mosquitos are the only ones that bite humans to draw blood. But what about male mosquitoes? Their diet is different in the following ways:

  • In order to breed, female mosquitoes must have a blood meal. This renders their bodies prepared to reproduce and lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes also feed on nectar, which is a large part of their necessary sugar intake.
  • Male mosquitoes will not feed on blood. Instead, they rely on sugar from plant nectar. They use their proboscis to draw the nectar from plants. As such, male mosquitoes are not responsible for transmitting diseases.

How Long Can Mosquitoes Survive Without Eating?

Mosquitoes are fragile creatures with a short life span, and cannot live for very long without feeding. If a female mosquito is unable to obtain a food source, it could possibly die within a few days. When in a dormant stage during the winter, mosquitoes can sustain themselves without eating for months by conserving energy. However, they will typically die off when they can’t find a food source.