Offbeat — 08 July 2013

Why do mosquitoes bite

Ever wondered why the tiny and irritating mosquitoes try to bite you and come back to seat on an open portion of your body surface every time you vigorously shoo them away? Well though we generalize biting as a common mosquito trait only the female population bites us. The men have no part in the biting rituals. Mosquitoes depend on the nectar of plants for food. Male mosquitoes are incapable of laying eggs and that is why they don’t need blood but female mosquitoes require blood proteins and they bite to get the blood for reproduction.

According to science our belief that mosquitoes drink blood to survive is wrong. The blood sucking is a part of their reproductive procedure. Female mosquitoes cannot lay eggs if they do not get sufficient amount of proteins that can be found only in blood. The mosquitoes are quite an evolved race because they have been around 30 million years. They have special sensors that can help them in analyzing the chemical compounds and the temperature of elements for finding blood. It has been found that mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide and know its smell. Every mammal excretes carbon dioxide through exhaling and from the pores on the skin.

Female mosquitoes have a proboscis that male mosquitoes lack. This is the essential organ that helps them bite us and suck blood. It is like a very thin pipe or the needle of an injection. It is the saliva of the mosquitoes that remain on our skin and cause itching and redness. They use saliva to keep the blood from clotting. A female mosquito lays eggs only after feeding. In one round a lady mosquito can lay 250 eggs. It is the need of reproduction and survival that provokes mosquitoes to bite us and not the need for food.

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Written by Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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