Why do mosquitoes suck your blood? The brazen little bugs that buzz off with a belly full of your blood, and can even ruin a nice picnic in the park, or the moment when you are camping out with your friends. Mosquitoes are the single worst thing about summer.
Why do mosquitoes have to bite? and why does it itch like crazy? This and many more are questions that we are set to answer in this mind thrilling article.
What Do You Need To Know About Mosquitoes That Suck Your Blood?
Mosquitoes are innumerable and often come in swarms just about anywhere you go. First of all, mosquitoes are ancient creatures thought to have evolved between 50 and 100 million years ago.
That means even the dinosaurs were not free of their irritating presence. (imagine a T-Rex trying to swat one away with his tail, poor thing).
Mosquitoes prove to be a highly adaptable species, and except for Antarctica, they live on all continents in a variety of climates, from tropical sub-Saharan Africa to the cold Forest of Siberia Russia.
There are about 3,000 different species of mosquitoes all around the world and all they need for survival is some water and a warm meal.
Speaking of a warm meal does not necessarily mean food that we cook or eat, but the blood that is pumping through your veins.
What are the Differences Between the Male Mosquito and the Female Mosquito that Suck Your Blood?
Just to get things straight not all mosquitoes suck blood. we are not talking about different species of this insect, but about severe differences between the female and male mosquitoes.
The females drink blood while the males feed solely on nectar. It is as if all the men on Earth were exclusively vegetarian by nature. Such a critical difference in feeding behavior between males and females!
Male mosquitoes are a bit smaller than females in size. If you see a mosquito nearby with a fancy-looking feathered antenna, do not rush to smack it just yet as it is only a harmless male.
The wings of female mosquitoes move so swiftly that they resonate on a very high frequency from 300 to 500 beats per second. This makes that annoying high-pitched buzzing that can have you scouring your house with a slipper in hand.
The male’s featherhead pieces are specifically atoned to locate this resonating sound so that they can find a mate. As for the antenna of the female mosquitoes, they are smooth.
The mosquitos’ lifespan is only about a month or two (well that is for the females) but the guys specifically live a lot shorter around two weeks.
How Do Mosquitoes that Suck Your Blood Reproduce?
They (female mosquitoes) must keep busy especially since their job is a lot harder.
They need to find a source of blood meal to be able to produce eggs. Once their eggs are ready, it is time to find a nice place with standing water to release them since they are in a race against time.
They look for a source of blood usually within one to two miles of the breeding ground and that is exactly why you should not have any standing water near your house if you don’t want a mosquito Invasion.
But what about that bug zapper you have on your front porch? well, sorry to say but mosquitoes do not search for their prey looking for lights. Well, if they do not use light, then how do they find you?
Read more: Are Mosquitoes Attracted To Light?
How Do Mosquitoes that Suck Your Blood Locate You?
They have a variety of methods, but they mostly use scent by sniffing for body heat, and the one thing every living breathing produces constantly, is CO2.
Every time you exhale, you are able to lure loads of mosquitoes flying by, as a mosquito can sense a tiny concentration of pure CO2 in the air, from more than 75 feet away.
At closer distances, they will go towards the heat and anything that moves. They have a couple of things to help them with that:
- Compound eyes with hundreds of lenses that give them a wide field of vision.
- They have tiny hairs all over their bodies that guide them toward the movement of big animals.
So when you’re out mowing the lawn, your body is moving the air around you and the tiny hairs on a mosquito’s body can sense.
How Do Mosquitoes Suck Your Blood?
The true mystery of mosquitoes is in their feeding habits and what you perceive only as a short stinging feeling is in fact a long and ingenious process.
When a mosquito finds its prey, it approaches carefully, although the buzzing kind of gives them away, I guess they can’t do much about that since the sound comes from their Flapping wings.
The task is even more difficult since they need 3 minutes to fill their belly (that is 3 minutes of the constant threat of being smashed by their prey).
Has anyone ever told you that waving your hands and swatting at mosquitoes to scare them away is pointless? well, that is a lie as proof has shown that mosquitoes can remember the scent of particularly aggressive prey and avoid them for 24 hours.
That means if a mosquito tries to bite you and you decide to brush it off or swat at it, it will probably choose someone else to bite.
Even if it manages to land undetected, it would not be able to sting immediately as a mosquito’s mouthpiece for a proboscis is far more complex than just a sharp straw to suck blood through.
It consists of 6 separated long and thin parts called style which is covered by an outer lip of sorts. Yes, they stick not one, but 6 needles in you.
Parts of a mosquito’s feeding equipment serve different purposes, as some find blood vessels in the skin while others inject the mosquito saliva.
Injecting the saliva is the most crucial in the whole process. Remember they need around 3 minutes to get enough blood, but the most dangerous part is the moment they pierce the skin because that’s when the prey can feel the bite.
So what does the mosquito do to avoid alerting its prey? Well, after piercing the skin they immediately chip in saliva consisting of more than 100 different components (most of which are organic substances called enzymes).
The enzymes serve one purpose which is to stop blood from clotting and improve its flow. There are also other components used in local anesthesia. From the moment they are in, the prey won’t feel anything, that is until the mosquito leaves and the bite mark starts itching.
What causes the itching? well, the reason for that reaction is simple: Most people are allergic to these enzymes (we say most because there are those rare individuals who won’t itch at all).
Why Do Mosquitoes Suck Your Blood?
Why do mosquitoes suck your blood, especially if the males can just live off nectar? As we touched on earlier, females need blood to develop eggs. More specifically, she needs loads of protein and iron, which blood happens to be rich at.
After a good meal and a bloated belly full of the red stuff (blood), a mosquito will need a day or two off just to digest it, and then she lays her eggs and a whole new cycle starts again.
It’s a good thing we do not take first place on her menu of preferred meals and we humans are well prepared for their invasion no matter how many of them come.
How Do I Get Rid Of a Mosquito Invasion In My Home?
Our only advice is to use methods that mask your scents like candles, herbs, and sprays.
The best traps are probably the ones that properly use science to lure mosquitoes in masses to their demise by producing the carbon dioxide they see.
Still, any repellent will do the trick so that you are not left itching like the chickens.
All right how about you? What do you do to keep mosquitoes at bay? Leave your tips down in the comment section below and if you have learned something new today, do well to share this article with a friend.