Few things are as annoying – or dangerous – as a mosquito bite.
You can sometimes feel it instantly. The little pinch on your arm as you sit outside under the sun. Before you know it, you are scratching at your skin constantly and feeling like relief will never come.
As common as they are, most people don’t know a whole lot about mosquitoes. They don’t know why they bite, which genders bite, and what can be done to avoid them.
But there is a lot of information out there about mosquitoes and how to avoid them and why they work the ways that they do.
For example, did you know that only female mosquitoes bite humans?
Only Female Mosquitoes Bite Humans
Male mosquitoes won’t cause you much of a risk of biting because it is only female mosquitoes that decide to feast on humans. When you think about the life cycle of a mosquito, it is quite obvious why.
The reason that only females bite humans is because they need our blood for the creation and production and growth of their eggs.
When a female mosquito feasts on a human, they are able to take the nutrients from our blood and carry them into the eggs inside of them. In that way, we are actually helping with the reproduction of more mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes need a lot of blood from humans because they produce a whole lot of eggs. In fact, it is not uncommon for mosquitoes to develop hundreds and hundreds of years. During mating season, female mosquitoes will produce and deliver hundreds of new little bloodsuckers into the world.
How They Find Humans
What tools do mosquitoes use to find the humans they will suck on and feed on?
A female mosquito will use what is called a maxillary palp. This helps them locate carbon dioxide that all animals and humans exhale. When they are able to zero in on humans who are breathing out carbon dioxide, they head straight to them. This is why mosquitoes don’t only feed on humans, but our pets and animals as well. Any creature that exhales carbon dioxide is at risk of getting their blood sucked.
Female mosquitoes can also focus on things like temperature, scents, and colors too. This makes them very good hunters when it comes to the sort of blood they need to nurture their youth.
After a female mosquito has enough blood to give to its eggs, it will then lay them by an area of standing water. This is why you are often warned to stay away from pools, bird baths, or other locations that have a lot of water that mosquitoes can hang out around.
Mosquito families will even live around standing water for some time after the offspring have hatched. This will create an entire party of mosquitoes that can remain for weeks or even months. If you have ever walked into a large swarm of mosquitoes, it is probably because you are near a breeding ground.
What Do Males Do?
The male mosquito will not go after your blood because they are not the ones carrying the new, young offspring. So what do they do if they’re not carrying human blood?
Typically, males are busy with other tasks in order to keep the mosquito colony strong. They are pollinators and will help impregnate other females too. They are a crucial part of the life cycle and strength of mosquitoes, they just don’t happen to be the ones who make you and your children and family members itchy. Still, they should all be avoided because they are one of the most annoying pests around.