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What Do Mosquitoes Do with Blood?

a mosquito

A perfect night at home with friends can quickly go south when mosquitoes intrude on the party. These pests not only leave itchy bites but can also transmit diseases.

But, what do mosquitoes do with blood, anyway? Believe it or not, they don’t bite just to annoy you. Female mosquitoes need animal or human blood for reproductive purposes.

If mosquitoes are taking over your property, let pest control specialists help. They know how to manage the mosquito population on your property. You can also schedule regular treatments with them so they can deal with any lurkers and help prevent future infestations.

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite and What Do They Do With the Blood?

Only female mosquitoes bite animals and humans. They have a long mouthpiece called a proboscis that they use to pierce our skin and suck blood. They then secrete saliva into our system to prevent the blood from coagulating. Our bodies will identify the saliva as a foreign chemical and release histamine to fight it. That explains the itchiness and swelling we experience.

So, what do mosquitoes do with blood? The females require a blood meal before they can lay eggs. Our blood is a rich source of protein, amino acids, iron and other nutrients they need to have healthy offspring. The males don’t consume blood and are perfectly content with flower nectar and fruit juices. The females feed on these, too, when they don’t need to produce eggs.

While mosquito bites can be harmless, they can also potentially spread diseases like dengue, Zika, chikungunya, malaria and the West Nile virus. Some people might not get sick after an infected mosquito bites them, but some may develop a mild, short-term illness.

Here are some tips to keep female mosquitoes from making you their source of blood meals.

Use Insect Repellent

EPA-registered insect repellent is the key ingredient to driving mosquitoes away.

Make Your Home Unattractive to Them

Keep mosquitoes out of your home by installing screens on your doors and windows and sealing off cracks and other openings. Inspect your screens regularly and patch up any holes if you see any.

It also helps to turn on the fan or AC when possible. Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so the breeze will make it harder for them to land on you. The moving air will also keep them from detecting the carbon dioxide you exhale.

Most importantly, eliminate any standing water sources. That way, female mosquitoes will have nowhere to lay eggs on your property. Inspect your indoor and outdoor spaces for any containers with water and empty them. If possible, make it your weekly routine to empty and clean items that hold water, including flower pots, buckets and toys.

If you’ve tried everything, but mosquitoes are still invading your space and biting you, it’s time to call in pest control specialists. These pros have the tools and expertise to manage the mosquito population on your property. You can enjoy barbecues in your backyard again without being eaten alive by these pests.

a female mosquito

Everything You Need to Know About Female Mosquitoes

There are over 3,500 mosquito species worldwide, and 175 are in the U.S. But did you know that you should only be wary of female mosquitoes? While the males live on fruit juices and flower nectar, the females are out for animal and human blood, in addition to fruit juice and flower nectar. They need the nutrients in the blood to produce healthy offspring, requiring a blood meal before laying eggs.

Female mosquitoes feed at different times depending on the species. The Asian tiger, which is a mosquito that is black and white, is a daytime biter, active between dawn and dusk. Meanwhile, others, like the Culex mosquito, start to bite at dusk and continue for a few hours at night.

Female mosquitoes don’t bite animals and humans with teeth. Instead, they have a long, needle-like mouthpiece called a proboscis. They use it to pierce the skin and suck blood. They also have sensors around their mouthpieces to detect the warmth of blood, helping them find the best capillary to tap. After feeding, they inject saliva into their victim’s bloodstream to keep the blood from coagulating.

Female mosquitoes can lay as many as 300 eggs at a time. They are typically in clusters floating on the surface of stagnant water, but they might also lay them in areas with regular flooding. Their eggs require as little as a quarter of an inch of water to hatch successfully. Female mosquitoes produce eggs every three days, so you can only imagine how many babies they put out into the world.

Mosquitoes have an average lifespan of less than two months, with females lasting longer than males. If the conditions are right, female mosquitoes can live up to six or eight weeks. Female mosquito species that hibernate can live as long as half a year.

While male and female mosquitoes look similar to the naked eye, they have notable differences. Here are some ways you can tell them apart:

  • Females are heftier than males. The mouthpiece makes up for most of the size difference, as the females have a longer one used for sucking blood. The females also have a larger abdomen to house their reproductive system and eggs.
  • Males have significantly bushier antennae that help them detect the females. The females have much less hairs on their antennae.
  • The females create a higher buzzing noise, flapping their wings 500 times a second. The males will find the higher frequency of the females’ wings when looking for a mate.

Contact pest control specialists before mosquitoes take over your property. They will target the mosquitoes at each stage of their life, which is the best control method for these pests.

a dragonfly

Do Dragonflies Eat Mosquitoes?

If you can’t hang out in your yard without getting mobbed by mosquitoes, some homeowners turn to trying to attract dragonflies. They are natural predators of mosquitoes, able to gobble up around 100 daily. In addition, they consume mosquitoes at every stage of their lifecycle.

While there are ways to make your property attractive to dragonflies, there will not be enough to significantly control a mosquito population. You can try planting tall, wispy water plants like eelgrass, fanwort or floating plants. Dragonflies begin their lives as nymphs, staying in that phase for around three years. They will molt several times and eventually emerge as adults, ready to devour mosquitoes.

However, it’s unlikely that homeowners can attract enough dragonflies to control the mosquito population on their property. Also, not everyone is fond of creepy crawlies and wants more insects flying around. Professional treatment is still the best way to manage mosquitoes. Contact pest control specialists to assess the level of infestation in your home and provide a custom treatment plan. They know how to target mosquitoes at all stages, whether as larvae, pupae or adults.

Let Professionals Handle Your Mosquito Problem at Home

Mosquitoes may be tiny, but they can cause massive distress to homeowners. If you have a hundred responsibilities and don’t have time to deal with these pests, leave it to pest control specialists. They will minimize the mosquito population on your property and put measures in place to help prevent future infestations. That way, you can relax and enjoy your home again.

ABC Can Reduce Mosquito Populations on Your Property

Don’t let pesky mosquitoes ruin your time outdoors. For a multi-tiered approach to mosquito control, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. We will create a pest treatment plan that best suits your yard and needs. They can also provide you with advice on mosquito prevention for your yard.

Holt Myers

Holt joined ABC in 2021 as the Electrical & Appliance Operations Manager before transitioning to Division Manager for Pest Control. Before ABC, Holt worked as a Project Manager and Superintendent in Construction. Holt also served in the US Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. Holt is a member of NPMA’s PestVets, Stewards of the Wild and Texas Wildlife Association. Holt is an avid outdoorsman, who loves to travel and spend time with his wife and daughter.

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