Female mosquitoes are the blight of the backyard and the bane of many a backwoods camping trip. Your protein-rich blood provides the female’s eggs with the nutrients they need to hatch into strong little mosquitolings, roughly half of whom will grow into big girls who will lay eggs of their own that need your blood to thrive.
Fun fact: Male mosquitoes only drink plant nectar and do not bite for blood.
Only around 200 of the 3,000-plus known species of mosquitoes throughout the world are found in the United States, and just 12 of these are vectors of mosquito-borne diseases that can go into your blood through their saliva — even if you’re not allergic to their bites.
Although mosquito-borne illnesses are pretty rare in general, the most common in the U.S. include dengue, West Nile virus, and Zika virus.