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Everything You Need to Know to Battle Against Mosquitoes in Alaska


Alaska is the land of towering mountains, untamed wilderness, and mosquitoes. Yes, it’s true those tiny pesky bugs will be a part of your adventure, but don’t let then ruin your plans. While mosquitoes in Alaska are annoying but aren’t too dangerous. They are a fact of life during a short window in summers. But don’t worry. We have created this comprehensive guide to help you dodge mosquitoes in Alaska.

When to Expect Mosquitoes in Alaska?

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Unlike other parts of worlds where mosquitoes are year-round nuisance, Alaskan mosquitoes are short-term visitors. Typically, they explode in late June and stays round the corner till the end of July. Sometimes there might be a resurgence in early August, but they are usually in less numbers. 

Even during the peak seasons tourists don’t have to spend their entire trip swatting those pesky little bugs. By following a handful of tips and tricks you can minimize the exposure and fully enjoy your trip.

Where will you Encounter Alaskan Mosquitoes?

Lake in Alaska with Greenery surrounded by mountains
Image Source: iStock

In general mosquitoes thrives in areas with dense vegetation or stagnant water. These two are ideal breeding grounds for them. This means you’ll encounter them in the following areas of Alaska:

Near rivers and lakes: Still waters nearby the slow-moving rivers and lakes are captivating breeding grounds for mosquitoes. They lay their eggs in these areas massively. 

Interior forest: The birch forests and dense spruce which covers almost all of the Alaska’s interior provide perfect breeding conditions (ample shade and moisture) to mosquitoes.

Tundra: Alaska has wide regions of Tundra filled with numerous marshy wetlands and ponds. Places like these are prime territories of these pesky bugs.

But there’s good news! Mosquitoes are less common in cities and towns of Alaska. So, if you’re planning to visit the urban areas, you don’t really have to worry about them. Moreover, rainy weather and windy areas decreases the activities of mosquitoes. 

Effective Strategies to Avoid Mosquito Bites

As now you know where and when to expect these tiny bugs in Alaska, let’s take a look at some of the proven tips and tricks to stay away from those bites:

Invest in a Good Repellent

A person spraying mosquito repellent on the arm
Image Source: iStock

No matter where you’re travelling, having a good inspect repellent in your luggage is essential. There’s no substitute of it. If you’re planning to buy on then look for repellent containing DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). It’s most effective ingredient that works against mosquitoes. 

Also, CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends buying repellents with 15% to 30% of DEET concentration to survive in places like Alaska.

Pack Protective Layers

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Image Source: iStock

Another effective way to prevent mosquitoes from biting you is wearing proper clothing. Go for shirts with full sleeves and pants made from fabrics woven tightly. Such clothing creates a physical barrier and makes it nearly impossible for mosquitoes to reach your skin and bite you.

Use Natural Mosquitoes Repellent

Citronella oil bottle with its plant
Image Source: iStock

If you prefer more natural approach, then try using repellents containing substances like permethrin or citronella oil. Even though they are not as effective as DEET, but these natural options also provide protection against mosquitoes. 

However, it’s important to note that if you’re using citronella oil then you have reapply it more frequently and permethrin should be applied on clothing and not directly on skin as it can cause some serious allergies.

Wear Permethrin-treated Clothing

A box with clothes labeled as Permethrin Treated
Image Source: Freepik

For additional protection from pesky bugs wear permethrin-treated clothing. Basically, permethrin is an insecticide that bonds easily with different fabrics and kills mosquitoes when come in contact. You can purchase this type of clothing from nearby shops. You can also spray permethrin on your clothes. 

Plan your Trip Wisely

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As we already informed you mosquitoes in Alaska are found in dark, deep areas. They are most active at dawn and dusk so it’s important to schedule your outdoor activities accordingly.

Choose Windy Areas

a windy picnic place with four people
Image Source: Unsplash

If available, pick picnic areas or campsites with good airflow. Mosquitoes have hard time flying in strong winds. Also, avoid picnicking and camping in densely vegetative areas or along the rivers and lakes.

Keep Doors and Windows Closed

A cozy wooden cabin in a forest
Image Source: iStock

To prevent mosquitoes from biting you its best to keep the doors and windows of your rooms closed especially after sunset.

Avoid Using Scented Products

A woman applying cream of hand and a fragrance free sign
Image Source: MyTrekTopia

Just like humans, fragrances from perfumes, soaps, and lotions attract mosquitoes. It’s best to use naturally scented or scent-free alternatives to prevent mosquitoes from attacking you.

Use a Therma cell Device

These are portable devices that you can carry in your backpack to create a mosquito-free zone. A Therma cell device releases odorless repellent that keeps the mosquitoes away. They are an excellent option to enjoy stationary activities like picnic lunch next to a river or sitting around a campfire in woods.

Stay Calm and Relax

Frankly speaking, flailing and swatting can actually attract more mosquitoes. These pesky bugs are very smart and can sense the increased levels of carbon-di-oxide and body heat you release when agitated. Remain calm and slowly brush them away if you are attacked.

Bonus Tip:

Even after taking all the precautions, you get bitten don’t worry! Just avoid scratching the bites as it can increase the risk of infection. Instead, apply a calamine lotion, anti-ich cream, or an ice pack to soothe the itching. 

Recommended Readings: 

The Ultimate Alaska Packing List 

Other Interesting Facts About Alaskan Mosquitoes

While mosquito bites can be a nuisance, there’s no need to be overly worried about them in Alaska. Here are some interesting facts to put your mind at ease:

Disease Transmission: Mosquitoes can transmit life-threatening diseases like Zika virus, Dengue fever, Malaria, Chikungunya fever, to name a few. However, Alaskan mosquitoes do not pass any such diseases.

Life Cycle: Mosquitoes whole life happens within a month. 

In Conclusion

a family enjoying camping
Image Source: iStock

Compared to others, mosquitoes in Alaska are minor inconvenience. It can be easily overcome if you religiously follow the tips we have shed light on in this blog. Remember, with a little preparation you can enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Alaska without donating your blood to the local wildlife. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Are mosquitoes a problem in Alaska?

Insects like mosquitoes are quite common across Alaska. But areas that get more snow or rain are habitats of mosquitoes during summers. You will encounter hefty population of mosquitoes near streams, dense forests, lakes, slow-moving rivers, or other stagnant water bodies. 

2. How can I keep mosquitoes away?

To keep mosquitoes away apply repellents. Avoid using items with strong fragrance such as lotions, soaps, and perfumes. Also, avoid wearing dark colors. Go for neutral, white, or khaki color. 

3. What month is mosquito season in Alaska?

From late May to July, you can expect mosquitoes in peak in Alaska. Sometimes they may stick a little longer than usual. 

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