Find out why do mosquitoes drink blood: the main reasons, how do they do it, how they look for a victim, and what protection methods are available.
Mosquitoes, these small insects, have always been a source of concern for people. One of the most unpleasant things a mosquito can do is feed on blood. Not only does this lead to itching and discomfort, but it can also transmit diseases. In this article, we’ll look at why mosquitoes drink blood, the scientific explanations for this phenomenon, and how to protect yourself from their attacks.
What is known about mosquitoes
Before we discuss the reasons why mosquitoes drink blood, let’s get to know these insects a little better. Mosquitoes belong to the family Culicidae and consist of more than 3,500 species. Female mosquitoes are usually the ones that “suck” blood because they need blood components to develop their eggs.
Why do mosquitoes drink blood
In order to understand why do mosquitoes drink blood, we need to consider their life cycle and physiology. Female mosquitoes that drink blood do so for a specific purpose.
The main function of female mosquitoes is reproduction. To develop eggs, they need nutrients, which they get from blood. After the mosquito drinks blood, it uses these substances to create eggs. The blood contains proteins and iron, which are essential components for creating eggs.
Spread of diseases
Mosquitoes are carriers of many diseases, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and Zika virus. When a mosquito “sucks” the blood of an infected person, it can transmit these diseases when it bites another person or animal. Some species of mosquitoes have excellent disease carrying capacity and can be important vectors for disease spread.
How mosquitoes “drink” blood
Mosquitoes have specially adapted mouthparts that allow them to “suck” blood. The main steps of the process are as follows:
- Search for a victim
Mosquitoes detect their prey with the help of an ejecta sensory organ that senses CO2, heat and odor emissions from each organism. They can sense a person at a distance of several tens of meters.
- The bite
When a mosquito finds a victim, it sucks blood by inserting a curved sprout that contains a sharp stylet. This stylet penetrates the skin and pushes back, allowing the mosquito to enter the bloodstream.
When a mosquito starts drinking blood, it clots quickly, which can prevent the mosquito from getting enough blood. To prevent this, mosquitoes produce a substance called antithrombin, which thins the blood and helps it stay fluid.
How to protect yourself from mosquitoes
Now that we understand why mosquitoes drink blood, let’s look at a few ways to protect yourself from their attacks.
- Use repellents. One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to use repellents. Repellents are special products that repel mosquitoes and prevent them from getting close to you. They may contain active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, ir3535, and others.
- Wear protective clothing. Another way to protect yourself from mosquitoes is to wear protective clothing that covers most of your body. This can include long gloves, long pants, and thick fabric clothing. Such clothing will reduce the access of mosquitoes to your skin and reduce the risk of bites.
- Use mosquito nets. If you are in an area where mosquitoes are very active, installing mosquito nets on windows and doors can be a very useful measure. These nets will prevent mosquitoes from entering the room and keep you safe.
- Avoid being active at night. Mosquitoes are most active at night, so one way to avoid being bitten is to limit outdoor activity during this time. If possible, try to stay indoors during dusk and night when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use mosquito coils and flashlights. Mosquito spirals and lanterns, which emit an odor that repels mosquitoes, can be useful in protecting against mosquito attacks. These products can be especially effective when you are outdoors.
Mosquitoes drink blood for specific purposes related to reproduction and, unfortunately, the spread of disease.
However, there are various methods of protection against their attack that can help keep you safe and avoid nasty bites.
Knowing about mosquito behavior and methods of protection will help you enjoy your summer days without constant attacks from these insects.