How Do Mosquitoes Bite?
A mosquito bite is technically not a bite in the literal sense but the access point from which a mosquito injects its proboscis, the stinger-like portion of its head, to draw blood. As the mosquito pierces the skin, it injects its own saliva, which assists the mosquito in drawing blood more easily by widening the blood vessel and impeding hemostatis, which is the body’s ability to clot blood.
What Is the Mosquito Mating Process?
Only the female mosquito feeds on blood. Depending on the species of mosquito, they will feed on mammals, reptiles, and birds. The feeding behavior is part of the mosquito reproductive process. A few days after mosquitoes emerge as adults from the pupae stage, they mate. Males will feed on nectar, mate with females, and die within a few days. Females will feed on nectar, mate with males, and seek blood sources to nourish their eggs. The female will lay eggs and then seek another blood meal to produce more eggs. The female mosquito only needs to mate once to develop multiple batches of eggs. Depending on the species, a female mosquito may live a few weeks to a few months.
Can You Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Other than commercial mosquito repellents, there are very few proven methods to deter mosquitoes. Understanding their habits and preferences is a solid first step in preventing being bitten.
- Wear protective clothing to minimize exposed skin.
- You are most likely to be bitten at dawn or at dusk when the female mosquito is most active.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to heat. Avoid strenuous activities when mosquitoes are active.
- All mosquito species require water to develop through all stages of metamorphosis. Eliminate all sources of standing, stagnant water around your property.