Intelligent Pest ManagementMosquitoes

Mosquito Feeding – Different Hosts and Different Times

Mosquito Feeding Schedule

Knowing the mosquito feeding schedule of the pests on a property can inform your IPM plan.  There are about 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, with about 175 in North America.  What do all these mosquitoes feed on, and when do they feed?  Let’s take a look.

Mosquito Feeding - Bite Graphic

6 Mosquito Feeding Fun Facts

  1. Most species never bite people. They prefer instead to feed on large mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.  One type of mosquito feeds on earthworms and leeches!
  2. One species, the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, takes >95% of its blood meals from humans. This is part of the reason why it is such an efficient vector of several viruses including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika and Mayaro.
  3. Mosquitoes such as the Northern house mosquito Culex pipiens, will feed on birds and humans so they are dangerous vectors of some viruses such as West Nile virus, which is normally maintained in birds.
  4. Only female mosquitoes bite, as they require blood to produce eggs. However, both male and female mosquitoes require multiple sugar meals per day for energy.  They usually get these meals from plants.
  5. The majority of species bite during the early evening and at night. However, some of the most vicious biters and most efficient disease vectors, including the Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito, bite mostly during the daytime.
  6. PMPs should always ask their customers what time of the day they are being bitten. This information can drive appropriate control efforts and save time and money.

Captain Stan Cope (aka the Mosquito Man) is our Vice President of Technical Services, learn more about him here: https://catchmaster.com/stan-cope-phd/

Additional Resources

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Finally, learn more about mosquitoes from the NPMA here: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/mosquitoes/

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