Mosquito FAQs

Why do mosquitoes bite?
Female mosquitoes require the protein from blood in order to develop their eggs, and will seek out hosts after mating.  Male mosquitoes do not bite.

Are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than others?
Yes.  Although mosquitoes are primarily attracted to the carbon dioxide released when you exhale, they also rely on a variety of chemical cues that can vary from person to person.

Will garlic or vitamin B12 make me less attractive to mosquitoes?  Will eating bananas attract them to me more?
No.  Several controlled studies have shown that garlic and vitamins have no effect on a person’s attractiveness to mosquitoes, and that bananas will not attract more mosquitoes.  However, perfumes  will attract mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes serve any useful purpose?
Mosquitoes are a part of the ecosystem and food chain just as much as any other organism.  They are an important part of the diet of many animals such as bats, dragonflies, and fish.

How far can mosquitoes fly?  How high?  How fast?
Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles.  Saltmarsh mosquitoes have been known to migrate as far as 30 miles in search of a bloodmeal.

Mosquitoes generally do not fly above 25 feet and are not particularly strong flyers, only achieving a speed of 1 to 1.5 miles per hour. Wind and other environmental conditions can greatly affect their flight characteristics.

How long do mosquitoes live?
This can vary greatly by species, but most mosquitoes take 7-10 days to develop from an egg to a newly emerged adult and usually live another 2-3 weeks as adults.

Are small mosquitoes babies?
Baby mosquitoes (“larvae”) are very different from adults: they are aquatic, with no wings or legs, and usually eat tiny plant and other organic matter found in the water.  Size differences among adult mosquitoes can be explained by the difference between species, as well as receiving adequate nutrition in the larval stage.

There’s a gigantic mosquito bumping into walls all over my house.  What can I do?
That is not actually a mosquito, but a relative to mosquitoes, known as a crane fly.  They are clumsy fliers that tend to wander into houses in the warmer weather.  They will not bite you or harm you in any other way.