Could enough mosquitos make a person die of blood loss?

Say you put a person into a sealed room with ten million mosquitos. Or a hundred million. Could that be an effective way of causing a horrible death?


makes note to not check back on this thread

One thing to consider is that mosquitoes don’t actually “suck” blood – like a syringe, the females insert their proboscis into the skin and allow blood pressure to do the rest. So after a certain amount of blood loss it’s possible that the victim would not have enough blood pressure to allow the mosquitoes to keep feeding.

When I worked at an animal hospital, we’d often have to put little kittens to sleep because they had too many fleas on them. The fleas had left them severely anemic.

Can’t remember if it was James Web. He was one of the first american pilots shot down during the Vietnam war. After being shot down he was on the run and had to survive in the jungle while avoiding capture. The mosquitoes would torment him during the night but after a while the blood would clot enough on the surface of the skin that they couldn’t really bite him anymore.

This is the basis of an urban-legend-like riddle about how long a naked man could survive on the Alaskan tundra in high summer. The kicker is supposed to be that mosquitoes will bleed you dry (rather than cold or something) in a matter of minutes.

A mosquito meal typically includes about about five microliters of blood.
An adult human male contains about 5 liters of blood.

5/0.000005 = 1,000,000.

That’s a lot of mosquitoes!

Let’s say the average mosquito wheal is 5 mm in diameter. That gives it an area of about 19.6 sq mm. The area of an adult human’s skin is about 1.8 sq m, or 1800000 sq mm. Therefore your entire body would be covered in wheals by roughly 92000 mosquito bites. If that didn’t kill you by itself, you’d probably wish it had.

I hate mosquitos.

Evidently so. I saw a Horizon or National Geographic or Nova program (or something similar) a few years back about the parts of the Amazon where it floods every year; when the floods come, billions of mosquito eggs hatch into billions of mosquitos. They had pictures of cattle that were totally covered with mosquitos and that were dead from blood loss before the end of the day. Hideous, hideous pictures. They estimated the number of bites necessary to kill the cow at something around a million, IIRC.

There’s probably an LD50 on the anticoagulant in mosquito saliva that puts the needed number of bites lower than rowrrbazzle’s 92000. The histamine response might kill you too.