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Q: Mosquitoes and Dead Animals ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Mosquitoes and Dead Animals
Category: Science
Asked by: thebashar-ga
List Price: $4.50
Posted: 06 Sep 2005 04:47 PDT
Expires: 06 Oct 2005 04:47 PDT
Question ID: 564735
Do mosquitoes bite dead animals?  Especially interested in dead
people, but generalization of animals in general is okay.

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 06 Sep 2005 05:14 PDT
Hi thebashar,

Please let me know if the following answers your question:

"Most birds can harbor the West Nile virus with few or no ill effects.
They are infected by a mosquito carrying the virus. The virus
multiplies in their blood stream. The virus hitches a ride on another
mosquito to infect humans, horses or other mammals.

Crows are different. Though otherwise quite hardy, crows seem terribly
susceptible to the virus. Instead of incubating a new population of
the virus, crows die. They die rather swiftly. Since mosquitoes do not
bite dead birds, they cannot carry the disease from crow to humans."


"Meanwhile, residents should throw away any dead birds they find,
being careful to pick them up with rubber or latex gloves, or a
plastic bag. Dead birds left in the open aren't a danger, and won't
perpetuate the infection cycle, she said.

"People cannot get infected from disposing of dead birds,' Middleton
said. "Mosquitoes will not bite dead birds. So once a bird is dead,
it's not a health risk.'"


"Within any given rabbit, viruses that multiplied faster had the
advantage over viruses that multiplied more slowly. In other words, on
the individual level -- in this case, the virus level -- natural
selection favored faster-multiplying (therefore more lethal) viruses.
But when a rabbit died, the viruses inside died with it. (The virus
was spread by mosquito, and mosquitoes do not bite dead rabbits.) Thus
the faster a group of viruses multiplied, the more likely it was that
their rabbit host would die before the virus could be transmitted to
another rabbit."


"The presence or absence of mosquito bites, however, is not a
scientifically accepted method of determining place of death. First
and foremost, the length of time between the murders and the discovery
of the bodies, plus the submersion of the bodies in 60 degree water
could have lessened or alleviated reactions to any mosquito bites the
victims suffered just prior to their deaths. Second, mosquitoes swarm
at dusk ? if the boys were killed prior to dusk, the likelihood of
mosquitoes being active is lessened. Third, mosquitoes do not bite
dead bodies. Fourth, the death of the victims soon after they were
bitten would have halted any reaction to the mosquito bite(s)."

Google Cache of:

Waiting to hear your views.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by thebashar-ga on 06 Sep 2005 05:19 PDT
Yup, that pretty well covers it.  Thanks!
Subject: Re: Mosquitoes and Dead Animals
Answered By: rainbow-ga on 06 Sep 2005 06:32 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi thebashar,

Glad I could help.

Best regards,
thebashar-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00

Subject: Re: Mosquitoes and Dead Animals
From: rainbow-ga on 06 Sep 2005 16:05 PDT
Thank you very much for the rating and tip.
Best wishes,
Subject: Re: Mosquitoes and Dead Animals
From: spacesick-ga on 07 Sep 2005 17:49 PDT
A very important fact about mosquitoes is that they don't actualy
'suck' blood. Instead, they allow the ornasisms to pump them full of
it. The pumping heart fills them with blood all on it's own, much like
the process of a blood transfusion. Obviously, the still heart of a
dead animal would very much impeed the mosquitoe from getting what it

Seconly, mosquitoes can't identify a dead animal from any other part
of non-life. Mosquitoes are attracted to mammals by the carbon dioxide
we exhale. If there is no carbon dioxide, the mosquito will not assume
you are anything other than a piece of the landscape.

I found this information in an 'Introduction to Ecology Book for Kids'. :D 
Not a bad question though. 

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply
not giving the kiss the attention it deserves" -Albert Einstien

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