This may surprise you, or you may have already heard stories from friends who’ve been to Alaska – Alaskan mosquitoes are a force to be reckoned with. Alaskans say there are two types of mosquitoes in Alaska; One is small enough to fit through the bug screen, and the other is big enough to open the door. Sadly, it’s not far from the truth. A lot depends on the season, though.
The abundance of vegetation and water make Alaska a mosquito paradise. On a self drive tour, where travelers spend much of their time protected, this is certainly tolerable. That said, if you plan on being outside often, if you plan on visiting Alaska early in the summer and especially if you plan on going deep into Alaska’s interior and far north, you want to be prepared.
The good news: mosquito populations are typically at their peak in June and early July, while in August and especially in September they become almost unnoticeable. Of course, other bugs can be more dominant during these times, but let’s not get too picky.
Self protection mechanisms
A good bug dope will do the trick. Repellents with 25%-30% DEET are usually good enough, but of course, if you head deep into the woods you might want to shoot for even higher concentrations. Also helpful in heavy mosquito situation is the good old combo of long-sleeve clothing and a good head net. And, if that doesn’t help either, try a combination of Zen Buddhism and deep breaths. It probably won’t keep the mosquitoes away, but you may achieve a spiritual breakthrough.
Malaria, dengue fever and other mosquito borne diseases are not an issue in Alaska. These mosquitoes do not transfer diseases – they are just annoying.