Why do Mosquitoes Bite?

Once the snows start melting and the early flowers begin to bloom I start to think about exploring the Rocky Mountains.  I begin getting excited about all of the fun adventures I am going to have over the next many months- hiking, camping, fishing, and just exploring different areas of the mountains.

Somehow, sitting in my house I always forget to think about what often accompanies spring/early summer in the mountains – mosquitoes!  They are always out in huge numbers early in the summer and their buzzing and biting can make a great day in the mountains a bit less fun.  Why do they bite?

mosquitos on hat.jpgI used to wonder what possible role they could play in the environment – well, they do serve as a food source for other animals both in their larvae form and as adults.  So, despite being incredibly annoying at times they do play a role in the environment and provide positive benefits.

Did you know that not all mosquitoes bite?  It is actually only the females that do the biting and sucking of blood.  Male mosquitoes do not bite people, instead they drink flower nectar.

The reason females bite people comes down to the very reason that all animals behave the way they do – for survival.

Female mosquitoes bite and get a little bit of blood so that they can have babies.  They need a blood meal in order to develop and lay eggs.

dog 2Did you know?  Scientists estimate that about 20% of people tend to get bit by mosquitoes more frequently than others.  They do not know the exact reason for this, but some possible factors are: blood type (type O is most delicious for mosquitoes); amount of exercise and metabolism; larger people that are warmer and exhale more carbon dioxide; pregnant women; and genetics.