Mosquitoes Feeding on Corpses in Katrina's Wake

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Sep 8 21:57:21 CDT 2005

I've heard that even some kinds of moths (although presumably not vectors of disease) have been known to suck blood from the wounds on animals, both living and dead.  So it wouldn't be surprising if some mosquitoes might occasionally feed on corpses (human or otherwise).  But as a major occurrence that would cause widespread disease outbreaks, I have my doubts.  Most female mosquitoes seem to be mainly attracted to gases breathed out by living animals, so they would be less inclined to attack dead animals if there are living hosts available.  If there is a really huge explosion of mosquitoes, that might change, but frankly I wouldn't be surprised if other insects might be even worse vectors in this situation.  Anyway, I would also be interested to hear opinions from those who specialize in this sort of thing.  Direct exposure to bacteria and viruses in the polluted water seems to be more of threat so far than indirect exposure through insect vectors.
  ~~Ken (two cents worth from a non-dipterist)

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