Everyone knows that mosquitoes bite, but many people are surprised to learn that not all mosquitoes do. Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals; therefore, only the females are capable of drinking blood and spreading diseases. But why do only female mosquitoes drink blood, and what can you do to prevent bites?
Do male mosquitoes bite humans and animals?
Male mosquitoes don’t bite humans or animals. Only female mosquitoes bite and drink blood; the males live on flower nectar instead.
Why do only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals?
Only female mosquitoes bite and drink blood. This is because they use the proteins found in blood to make their eggs. After feeding, the female mosquitoes look for a suitable body of water in which to lay their eggs. Up to 300 eggs are deposited on the surface of stagnant or fresh water, which stick together to form a floating raft.
Do mosquitoes die after they bite you?
Mosquitoes do not die after they bite you, unless you swat them before they have a chance to fly away.
Female mosquitoes use the proteins found in blood to make their eggs, so there is no reason why they would die after biting you.
What do male mosquitoes eat?
Male mosquitoes don’t lay eggs, so they drink blood and they don’t bite humans or animals. Instead, male mosquitoes feed mainly on flower nectar to get the sugars they need to survive.
Do male or female mosquitoes spread diseases?
Only female mosquitoes bite, so only female mosquitoes spread diseases. Mosquitoes are notorious disease vectors and their bites can cause serious illnesses, such as:
- Dengue fever
- Zika virus
- West Nile virus
- Chikungunya virus
How to prevent mosquito bites
Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases and itchiness. You can avoid mosquito bites by taking steps to keep them out of your home and off your skin.
Remove standing water from your property
If there are any sources of standing water on your property, dump them out to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in there. This will reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property and reduce your risk of bites. Water may accumulate in plant pots, buckets, old tires, bird baths and feeders, blocked drains, pet water dishes and so on.
Wear long, loose-fitting clothes
Sometimes, you can’t keep mosquitoes off your property, especially if you live in a tropical region or have a pond or lake near your home. If this is the case, you can create a physical barrier between yourself and the mosquitoes by wearing long, loose-fitting clothing. Wearing suitable clothing will keep the mosquitoes off your skin and prevent bites.
Wear insect repellent
Using an insect repellent spray is one of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites. Sprays containing DEET or picaridin will repel mosquitoes and other biting insects for up to 8 hours. Sprays containing natural repellents (such as essential oils) can also effectively repel insects, but their effects don’t last as long.
Use repellent products at home
Mosquito repellent products (such as candles, burners and reed diffusers) are widely available for purchase. Distributing these products around your home and patio can help to stop mosquitoes from bugging you.
Install screens on your windows and doors
Keeping mosquitoes out of your house is critical for preventing mosquito bites. You can keep mosquitoes out by installing screens around your doors and windows, and keeping them closed as much as possible.
Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so setting up fans can help to keep them away from you if the occasional bug sneaks in.
Use bug spray
If you can’t stop the mosquitoes from getting in, use a bug spray to reduce their numbers inside. Insect-killing sprays are widely available and can knock mosquitoes out on contact.
Sleep under a mosquito net
Mosquitoes are often active at night and they may bite you as you sleep. If you live in an area with lots of mosquitoes, sleeping under a mosquito net is the best way to prevent mosquito bites. Nets are inexpensive and easy to set up, but it’s important to make sure they are completely closed or they won’t work effectively.
Retreat indoors at dusk and dawn
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so they are most likely to feed at these times of day. If you don’t have insect repellent, you should stay indoors at these times to avoid being bitten.
Mosquitoes are well known for causing itchy bites, but only female mosquitoes drink blood. Whereas the males can survive on the sugars found in flower nectar, female mosquitoes need a blood meal to develop their eggs.
After feeding, female mosquitoes will seek out a body of standing water where they will deposit a raft of up to 300 eggs. As only female mosquitoes bite, only female mosquitoes are capable of spreading diseases.