(WHTM) — We all know about these absolutely annoying creatures during late spring and summer time. They annoy guests at a barbeque or any outdoor event. Some can even carry diseases such as West Nile Virus and the Zika virus.
So, do these bugs serve a purpose?
Well, You may be surprised that they actually do serve a purpose, and one you may not expect.
The National Wildlife Foundation says that there are over 3,500 species of mosquitos, and not all of them bite. The main species that are found in Pennsylvania are the common house mosquito, the white dotted mosquito, the inland floodwater mosquito, and many more. Penn State University says that there are over 60 species native to Pennsylvania.
But, there is one thing about them that was very surprising in my research: they are polinators.
The National Wildlife Foundation says that mosquitos’ primary source of food is nectar and not blood. The female mosquito is the only one that bites and feeds on blood. A male mosquito will never bite and only feeds on nectar. The reason the female bites and feeds on blood is because of the protein that is found in the blood, which helps her in the process of laying her eggs.
Mosquitos also serve a purpose to other animals as a food source. Many birds, bats, dragonflies, newts, and turtles all feed on these bugs to get their food.
The good news is that only a few plant species are totally dependent on mosquitos for pollination, according to the National Wildlife Foundation.
So, they do in fact serve a purpose in the world, but you still don’t have to feel bad for killing one if it tries to get your blood.