Do Mosquitoes Sleep?

Last Updated: 12.12.19

 

We all know that mosquitoes are most active during the night, so assuming that they sleep during the day is actually correct. Using a mosquito coil can help you when they are active but you can also hunt them while they are sleeping. This article is meant to explain more about these insects’ sleeping behavior. 

 

Mosquito Behaviour

These flying insects, together with cockroaches are some of the most hated creatures on the planet. Still, mosquitoes are more deplorable because, unlike cockroaches, they like to bite us. Besides the fact that the bites can become very itchy, these creatures can also transmit various dangerous pathogens. Some of them are even fatal, so it is no joke!

There is a good reason why we rarely see mosquitoes during the day. They become active after the sun sets, as flying around in the sweltering heat during daytime can be deadly for them. Why? Because these creatures can rapidly become dehydrated. That is why mosquitoes stay inactive during daytime and begin foraging for food at dawn, dusk, and also nighttime.

 

Why Do Mosquitoes Need Blood?

The biggest problem with mosquitoes is that they love to bite people. We all know that they do this in order to suck blood but do you know why? A common belief is that they extract nutrients and energy, or that they build muscles from blood and these sort of things. 

First of all, only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood. Also, human blood is not the only type in their menu. They also attack other animals. So, what do male mosquitoes eat, then? They actually feed on flower nectar. 

Secondly, female mosquitoes do not suck blood for nutritional reasons. Actually, they use the protein and other specific components from blood in order to produce and develop their eggs. In other words, our blood is actually used to bring more of these creatures into the world. 

 

 

What Do Mosquitoes Do During the Day?

The dry, scorching heat affects us all, including mosquitoes. They can quickly become dehydrated and die. For this reason, most mosquitoes rest during daytime in sheltered, dark places, away from heat. 

They prefer wet and humid areas like caves, grass, plants, as well as man-made constructions such as culverts, barns, cupboards, or closets. These are some of the most suitable places for mosquitoes to hide and rest during the day.

 

Do All Types of Mosquitoes Bite During the Night?

Did you know that there are multiple types of mosquitoes? Also, did you know that not all of them are active during the night? For example, the Asian Tiger mosquito or the Aedes mostly work during the day, and they rest during the night. There are also categories that feed both during the day and night.

Anyway, regardless of when they are most active, some of these species are very dangerous. The biggest threat to humans is the Anopheles mosquito which is usually active during dusk and dawn. They are so dangerous because they transmit malaria. Aedes, which is a day-biter, is known for spreading Yellow fever and Dengue fever through its bites. 

All in all, even though most mosquito species are normally dormant during the day, there are a few species that actually lurk around at all times, no matter if the sun is up in the sky or not. 

That is why it is important to maintain your surroundings clean, check your premises frequently for mosquito habitats, and even consider wearing long-sleeve clothing just to be on the safe side. Also, if you travel, you should check what species of mosquitoes are mostly encountered in your destination area.

 

Do Mosquitoes Sleep?

So, now that we’ve seen some of the mosquito’s habits, the question still remains: do these pests sleep? Actually, they do sleep, but, unfortunately, not at the same time we do. As mentioned earlier, most species are active during the night, dusk, and dawn, and they sleep or rest during the day.

Once they find a sheltered place like the ones we’ve mentioned a little earlier, they will rest until conditions are proper for them to start foraging for food. Mosquitoes that live close to humans like to use the structures we’ve built and places where they can stay hidden and undisturbed. 

So, we agreed that these creatures sleep. Do not expect them to do so by lying down, as we do. They actually rest in pretty much the same position as when they land on us.

 

What Can We Do?

Scientists who study these creatures discovered that it is easier to catch them while they are sleeping or resting. If you have a problem with mosquitoes, you can build wooden resting boxes in order to attract them. 

If you place them in open areas, or where there is a lot of light, it will not work. You need to place these boxes in shady places, just like the ones they usually like. Also, studies revealed that this method is even more effective if the box is facing west, where the mosquitoes are shaded from the morning light.

The species that bite at night begin looking for places to sleep as soon as daylight comes. Scientists mentioned that they’ve found mosquito population building steadily within the resting boxes during the early morning hours.

 

What Happens in Winter?

During winter, mosquitoes that hibernate sleep even more deeply. They search for sheltered areas to protect them from the cold temperature like basements, caves, overhanging banks or among tree roots. Once they find a suitable place, they go into a deep dormant state until the weather starts to become warmer.  

According to researchers, their sleeping position is different when they hibernate than when they just rest during the day. Scientists call this the hibernation squat. Mosquitoes bend their legs and tuck their bodies close to the surface they sleep on. It is believed that they do this in order to get as much warmth from the surface as possible. 

Since these creatures are cold-blooded, they cannot create their own body heat. However, they can absorb it from earth or stone, whichever is closer to cave temperatures and not air temperatures. In warmer winters, hibernating mosquitoes might emerge from hiding but when the colder temperatures return, they go back to sleep until spring. 

Species from the United States such as the Anopheles, Culiseta, or Culex sleep all through winter, but not all types hibernate. There are species that lay eggs in the fall after which the adults die. The next generation comes out of the eggs that hatch in the spring.

 

 

What to Do when Mosquitoes are Active?

Clearly, when mosquitoes sleep, we are also safe from their bites. Unfortunately, as soon as the sun sets and we prepare to sleep ourselves, these pesky creatures come out of their hiding places and start biting and feeding on our blood. 

That is why various methods to repel them have been developed over the years. The market offers many types of products that are meant to keep mosquitoes away or even kill them. There are sprays and other formulas you can apply directly on the skin, coils, and other various mosquito repellents. 

In case you do not have such a product at hand, you might want to consider wearing clothes that cover your legs and hands. Also, it is recommended to always keep your surroundings clean, so you do not involuntarily attract them toward your house. 

Surely, you will not always be able to prevent mosquito bites, but it is important to try and avoid them as much as possible. As previously mentioned, their bites are not only painful and itchy, but they can also transmit dangerous diseases. 

 

 

 

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