How Do Mosquitoes Fly in the Rain?

Mosquitoes fly in the rain without injury because of their ability to ride the raindrops. A raindrop falls at a rate of about 10 miles (16.13 km) per hour, and in theory would have enough force to kill a mosquito on impact if the insect was on a solid surface. The force of the impact significantly decreases, however, if the mosquito is moving through the air. The insect’s light weight means that the raindrop does not lose much momentum when it hits the mosquito. Also, the exoskeleton of the mosquito is durable enough to absorb the impact without the insect being injured. When a mosquito is hit by a raindrop while flying, the insect typically does not try to resist the force of the raindrop and will instead ride the raindrop until being able to resume flying — usually unharmed.

More about mosquitoes:

  • There are more than 3,000 types of mosquitoes, but only three of the types are responsible for the majority of mosquito-spread diseases in humans.

  • A mosquito can latch onto a falling raindrop for a distance equivalent to about 20 times its body length.

  • Only female mosquitoes have the mouth structure that is necessary to suck blood.
More Info: pnas.org

Discussion Comments

anon1003069

Certainly the mosquito can resist -- not that it would do any good since the raindrop weighs many times that of the mosquito!

anon346046

'...the insect typically does not try to resist the force of the raindrop...' I'm not sure how it could resist if it wanted to.

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