Violets are blooming, and Hoo Wood mosquitoes are gathering. These seemingly innocuous gnat-like tiny insects float about in clouds when the sun shines; at the moment they are visible only in the right light. The females have powerful bites that swell to large angry red itchy lumps; at least this is the case with me. The mosquito in this image is a male and it doesn’t suck blood. I spend the mosquito season coated in insect repellent containing at least 50% deet, and it does the job admirably. The impetuous to begin spraying-up is my first mosquito bite, and this hasn’t happened yet.
Red bumps and itching caused by bites is an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva and, fortunately, they don’t transmit the nasty diseases associated with mosquitoes in tropical parts of the world.
All adult mosquitoes feed on the nectar or honey dew of plants to get sugar, and that provides enough nourishment for both males and females to live, but females also need to produce eggs. To create eggs, females need protein, which they get from the blood of animals. Only a few species of mosquitoes can store enough energy as larvae, to produce eggs when they’re adults, without needing a meal of blood.