Polk County Conservation

Mosquitoes

  • I received my first mosquito bites of the season and wondered several things. Why do mosquitoes need my blood? What other animals do mosquitoes take blood from? And why is it that my neighbor doesn’t get any bug bites, while I get tons of bites?

    Protein in blood is needed for the development of mosquito eggs. So only female mosquitoes do the "biting." Both male and female mosquitoes get their nutrition from flower nectar.

    Mosquitoes will take blood from about any animal with blood, including mammals, birds, reptiles, etc. In fact, some species of mosquitoes actually prefer blood from birds over humans. Mosquito mouthparts can puncture the leathery skin of a toad or through the overlapping scales of a snake. So don’t be surprised when mosquitoes bite through your clothes!

    Sorry to tell you, but you must be smellier than your neighbor. Mosquitoes live in a chemical world. They can change their flight pattern depending on what they smell. They pick up cues such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid, natural skin oils, and heat from humans or animals. So some people get bitten more often because they smell better to mosquitoes than others. If you can prevent yourself from breathing and sweating, you might be left alone!

  • Contact Us

    Administration Office
    11407 NW Jester Park Drive
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354
    pccb_info@polkcountyiowa.gov

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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