Nothing spoils a pleasant summer evening like a swarm of biting mosquitoes. Mosquito pest control removes both males and females from your property so that they cannot reproduce and create more blood-sucking menaces. Nevertheless, your argument is more with the female mosquitoes than the males because it is only the females that feed on blood.
Why Don’t Male Mosquitoes Bite?
The main reason that male mosquitoes do not bite and suck blood is that they can’t. Like female mosquitoes, males have a long, pointed proboscis that allows them to feed. However, females have an extra component that will enable them to bite. Male mosquitoes lack this component in their proboscides, rendering them unable to suck blood.
What Do Male Mosquitoes Eat?
The reason that male mosquitoes lack the mouthparts to consume blood is that they don’t need it. Male mosquitoes survive mostly on sap from plants or nectar from flowers, similar to the way that bees do. They may also feed on honeydew, which is a sweet, sticky substance secreted by aphids and left behind on leaves and other surfaces.
Why Do Female Mosquitoes Need Blood?
Female mosquitoes do not feed on blood all the time. Their primary diet is similar to that of male mosquitoes. It is only when female mosquitoes have mated and are getting ready to lay eggs that they start feeding on blood. While adult mosquitoes can survive on sugary carbohydrates, the developing eggs need protein that the female mosquito can only get from the blood of its hosts.
How Can You Tell Male and Female Mosquitoes Apart?
Telling male and female mosquitoes apart can be difficult. Though the females are slightly bigger, it is difficult to tell the difference in size just by looking, especially when the insects are in flight. Males and females have differences in their mouthparts, but you would need a microscope to see them. Visually, the main difference between male and female mosquitoes may be their antenna. Male mosquitoes’ primary purpose is to mate, and their antennae are designed to help them locate females by picking up their wing beats. While female mosquitoes’ antennae are smooth, males’ are covered with thin, feathery projections.
It is easier to tell a female mosquito from a male after the former has recently had a blood meal. The abdomen is distended and takes on a reddish colour. The flesh of the female mosquito’s abdomen is thin enough that when it stretches out, the colour of the blood inside shows through.
A more effective way to tell male and female mosquitoes apart may be by their behaviour. Because female mosquitoes need blood, they are equipped to actively seek out humans. Male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood and so are not attracted to humans. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the mosquitoes that get closest to you are all female.
Can Mosquito Bites Be Dangerous?
Mosquito bites take about three or four days to heal but are most symptomatic for approximately the first 48 hours. During this time, they not only itch but turn red and swell up. The incessant itch may cause you to scratch so hard that you break the skin, which can put you at risk for bacterial infection.
Mosquitoes can also be vectors for specific viruses. Fortunately, the mosquitoes that carry some of the nastier diseases cannot survive Ontario’s colder weather. The main infection that people have to worry about here is West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus causes flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, gastrointestinal complaints, and body aches. These are usually mild and resolve within a matter of days, but a severe infection can cause permanent neurological effects.
Truly Nolen Offers Mosquito Pest Control
Our process begins with inspecting your property for high-moisture areas where mosquitoes may be breeding. We involve you in this process. Once we identify where the mosquitoes are coming from, we determine a course of action. Call Truly Nolen for pest removal in Haldimand-Norfolk.