So you hear that pesky buzzing and you know it’s closing in, but what is it? If you guessed mosquito, you are correct and have probably found yourself scratching late into the night from one or more of their bites. We all have to deal with them, but why do mosquitos rob us of our blood and give us an itchy bump as payment, and why do they prefer some people over others? Do they even bite animals at all?
The Mosquito Menu
As a person who has been bitten by a mosquito, don’t feel like you have a target on your back, or wherever else they bite. Although it may seem like it, you aren’t the only one of your species that has been bitten by a mosquito, in fact people and animals aren’t even the only food source for mosquitos because they predominantly feed on plants and nectar. That’s right, even mosquitoes enjoy the occasional salad with only the egg-producing females required to drink blood. That’s right, when you do the math half of the world’s blood sucking little monsters are strictly vegetarian, with the males exclusively eating nectar.
Humans vs. Animals
So you are thinking well it doesn’t matter if the males are eating plants, the females still only bite me! While it may be true that female mosquitos need to eat some blood to produce their eggs, that doesn’t mean it always has to be human. There are entire species of mosquitos that do not prey upon humans at all, instead carrying their disease and destruction to other animals like birds and reptiles. All organisms have a genetic make-up in DNA, and in the case of mosquitoes they need to match their digestive system’s DNA with that of their meal.
When They do Come for You
Even though a large segment of the mosquito population has been declared not guilty in the case of biting you, there is still enough of them out there that will to be a problem. For these mosquitoes, the main giveaway is your breath. Mosquitoes find their victims by sensing carbon dioxide, which they can do from 75 feet away. They fly back and forth in the mist left behind by your breath until they find you and begin to eat. Mosquitoes have also been known to differentiate in their preference among humans, often preferring people with higher cholesterol and uric acid levels.
So now you know why some Mosquitoes consider you a tasty treat and why some don’t really prefer your cut of meat. As for later, next time your dog is scratching, feel a little empathy. It probably got bit by a mosquito.