We all know that for a majority of the species that inhabit our planet, there are distinct differences between males and females. Aside from the obvious differences, there are also some unique characteristics that distinguish males from females. Take the female mosquito for example. These feisty ladies are in a category all their own.
- Females can live up to five months or longer, but the average female mosquito lifespan is six weeks.
- Only female mosquitoes bite.
- Females create a higher-pitched sound than their male counterparts.
- They can lay up to 300 eggs at a time!
- Their saliva acts as a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel them biting.
- When a female mosquito has a blood meal, her stomach expands and can hold up to three times her body weight in blood (yuck!).
- They beat their wings up to 500 times per second to attract a mate (you had me at hello).
Want answers to some common questions about female mosquitoes? Keep reading to learn how you can avoid becoming their next snack.
What’s the Difference Between a Male and Female Mosquito?
One of the most striking differences between male and female mosquitoes is size. Females are larger than males, but males appear bushier due to the fine hairs, called flagella, on their antennae. Males use their flagella to hear the female buzzing, which helps them find a mate. The female’s less bushy antennae contain odor receptors. This helps her detect a blood host, which she needs to reproduce.
While both female and male mosquitoes have a proboscis, which is a pointed mouth part, only the female proboscis is strong enough to pierce the skin and suck blood. Females are aggressive and seek out animals and humans for blood. On the contrary, males actively avoid any human contact. A male mosquito’s primary interest is finding a mate.
Depending on the species, the female mosquito will typically live longer than the male. The average lifespan of a female is six weeks, while male-only live about one to two weeks.
Related Topic: What Do Male Mosquitoes Eat?
Why Do Female Mosquitoes Bite?
Female mosquitoes bite animals and humans to get a blood meal after mating with a male. The nutrients and protein from blood are the perfect prenatal supplement, enabling the mosquito to lay her eggs. Female mosquitoes can bite within two days of reaching their adult stage. Their flagella (antennae hairs) help them find the mammals they can feed on. They also have receptors for heat, sweat, and human breath (CO2), which help direct the insects to the next blood meal.
The Female Mosquito Is Not a Parasite—Why?
Are mosquitoes parasites? The female mosquito is not considered a parasite because it does not require or live on a host—it only feeds on the blood. A parasite is a creature that cannot live/breed without completely depending on another being. Therefore, mosquitos are not considered parasites just as other predatory insects and animals are not parasites. Unlike a parasite, the female mosquito drops in for a quick meal and doesn’t hang out very long—just enough time to get the necessary nutrients she requires.
Related Topic: New Species of Mosquito Brings a New Threat
Do Female Mosquitoes Buzz?
Yes, female mosquitoes make a buzzing sound that happens when they rapidly beat or vibrate their wings to attract a mate. The resulting sound is that familiar high-pitched buzzing that helps you realize a mosquito is nearby, usually before you see it.
Although female mosquitoes are fascinating and have some cool abilities, you don’t have to get up close and personal to appreciate their unique characteristics. And you certainly don’t want them at any backyard gatherings. To keep mosquitoes and other pests away from your outdoor fun, call your local pest control pros at Mosquito Joe. We offer natural and other barrier sprays that help keeps mosquitoes and other pests at bay for up to 21 days. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us at 1-855-275-2563 or visit us online.