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What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Many people are under the impression that all mosquitoes feast on blood, and that is their only source of food. However, that is surely not the case.

First of all, not all mosquitoes enjoy the appetizing taste of blood. In fact, only female mosquitoes are known to bite humans for a little taste. On the other hand, Males are on a no-blood diet, and when fed blood in a laboratory setting, scientists noticed it reduced their survival from a couple of weeks to just a few days.

Furthermore, unlike the ladies, males lack the specific mouthparts needed to pierce human or animal skin to draw blood, so the mosquito men couldn’t feast on blood even if they wanted to. 

Finally, female mosquitoes snack on blood to nourish and prepare their bodies for reproduction. However, despite what many people may think, it’s not their primary food source — so what is?

Mosquitoes 101: What’s on the Menu? 

If you ask us, the only good mosquito is a squashed mosquito, but the truth is that we really don’t need to worry about the males so much. You see, male and female mosquitoes have quite a few differences, including their diet. 

That being said, like all living things, the pesky pests require some form of sustenance in order to survive. What’s that sustenance, you ask? Well, believe it or not, both male and female skeeters actually feed on sweet sugary plant nectar for nourishment. Yes, just like animals that we love, like hummingbirds and butterflies. Mosquitoes, while annoying, are an important part of pollination cycles and serve as a critical aspect of the food chain. 

If you’re scratching a super itchy bug bite while reading this, we’re sure you’re raising an eyebrow. After all, mosquitoes are little vampires that want nothing more than to drink your blood, and you have several bug bites to prove it. 

While you’re not wrong, blood is just an itty-bitty component in a mosquito's diet. You see, they don’t bite us because they’re hungry or because they hate us. In fact, females actually need blood to produce their eggs, and without it, they can’t reproduce.  

This is why males don’t bite people: they simply don’t need blood because they don’t lay eggs. Blood meals aside, males and females have the same diet. 

OK — But How Do They Find Us?

Mosquitoes can sense the carbon dioxide we naturally exhale when breathing, making it super easy for them to track us down. They can also find mammals based on body heat which is why you may notice substantially more mosquitoes bugging you when you’re on a bike ride or out on a run. 

When we sweat, our bodies naturally produce lactic acid, which gives off a specific scent that the little bloodsuckers can easily pick up on. This tantalizing scent essentially rings the dinner bell, telling them food is nearby. Our genetics are responsible for how much lactic acid and carbon dioxide we emit, which is why the winged pests are drawn to some not-so-lucky individuals more than others. 

Why Do Skeeter Bites Itch? 

When a female bites, she’ll use her long, straw-like mouthpiece to extract your blood. Before she starts to feed, though, the hungry insect will inject her saliva directly into your skin. Mother Nature — being the clever queen that she is — blessed these little bloodsucking vampires with saliva that’s enriched with powerful numbing compounds. This prevents the mosquito’s victim from feeling anything while being a tasty snack for a winged nuisance. 

But it doesn’t stop there: to ensure they get their fix of blood, the compounds in their saliva prevent blood clotting while they feed, allowing them to dine until their little buggy hearts are content before dashing off to find their next victim.  

It’s these compounds in the mosquito’s saliva that are solely responsible for that relentlessly itchy sensation that lingers long after the first bite. Thankfully, we can easily put an end to the itch with MagicPatch from The Nature Patch. Co.!

A powerful (yet safe) patch infused with gentle but powerful essential oils, our all-natural patches increase lymphatic flow to help drain the mosquito’s saliva from the skin. Created with you and your tiny tots in mind, instantly stop the itching — naturally

Stop the Dine and Dash 

The best way to prevent itchy bites on your little monsters is to keep the bloodsuckers far, far away — and with BuzzPatch, you can do just that!

Made using non-woven fabric patches infused with a powerful combo of kid-friendly essential oils like citronella and lavender, our innovative mosquito repellent patches are designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your kids from their senses. 

Non-toxic, DEET-free, and made with all-natural ingredients, BuzzPatch is not only easy to apply but environment-friendly as well.

Tell those pesky bloodsuckers to fly far, far away and check us out today to keep itchy bites at bay!

 

Sources:

American Mosquito Control Association | Mosquito.org

Toxic Effect of Blood Feeding in Male Mosquitoes | NCBI

Is DEET Bad for You (and Your Kids) | Health

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