Mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus Still Affect the United States – and the World

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3. Mosquito Feeding

You may think that all mosquitoes drink blood, but that’s not the case. Male and female mosquitoes both drink plant juices and nectar. Typically only female mosquitoes feed on blood. They use chemical, heat, and visual sensors to find their prey.

Female mosquitoes can drink blood because their mouths have adapted to be able to pierce the skin of animal hosts. For most mosquito species, the females must dine on blood to obtain nutrients before they can produce eggs. Mosquitoes gain energy from blood and plant materials in the form of sugars. Blood also provides lipids and protein, which are essential for producing eggs.