Summer pests in Alaska

Apr 29th, 2006, 06:56 AM
Original Poster
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Summer pests in Alaska

I've heard that summer in Alaska brings big insects. Can anyone shed any light on this? Was thinking of going to Anchorage and Denali in July/August. Will Deep Woods OFF help or will we need industrial strength bug repellents? Thanks in advance.
lwsourpatch is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 05:11 PM
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An Alaksa resident needs to answer this one. We went in early September and had no problems. But I understand that there is a "mosquito season". Good luck.
jtrandolph is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 09:04 PM
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We were there for 19 days in July/August and didn't have any problems with insects. I don't know if 2002 was a typical or unusual year.
abram is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 10:44 PM
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When I was in Alaska in July 2003 the mosquitos were horrific by my standards in some areas. I didn't notice them so much in Seward or Anchorage but the air was thick with them at Denali, Fairbanks and points north. What seemed to work best for us was to cover our skin with clothing wherever possible (long pants, shirts with sleeves, hats). When we were north of the arctic circle, we actually wore the hoods on our jackets, sunglasses and mosquito nets on our heads to keep them away... maybe it was just a bad year and area for them. That said, Alaska is worth putting up with the mosquitos for as it is spectacular!
npurpleh2 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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I guess we got lucky and haven't been bothered by bugs. We do, however, live in the country where we are used to bugs. On a different trip,I haven't been bothered by bugs when other people in my group have been swatting away. However, on our last visit,late June during a heat wave, when we stayed in Palmer in a b&b, family members who chose to camp said the mosquitos were horrible. We have not visited Denali. OTH we've enjoyed staying in a cabin near Wasilla in early August and sitting on a porch while dinner cooked. No problem with bugs. To be on the safe side, bring the bug repellant and also those hats with mosquito netting if you plan a lot of hiking.
dfrostnh is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Here's the deal on bugs. A lot of people want to know if there will be bugs here? (insert place) or when (insert time)?

In many cases, it's impossible to answer and anecdotal info based on small samples isn't really reliable.

Too many factors go into it: did it snow a lot last winter so there's plenty of runnoff? Was it a rainy spring? Was it windy the day you were hiking? Is it a bad fire season? Did you camp next to a bog?

To a small degree, you can tailor your experience based on your tolerance, but the deeper you get in the woods, the bigger crapshoot it becomes.

That said, the worst bug problem I had during nearly 10 years as an AK resident was on vacation at a Minnesota lake . . .
repete is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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We were in Alaska for two weeks last June--the only big insect that I recall being attacked by was the dreaded mosquito (which I believe is jokingly referred to as the state bird). They were big, aggressive and knocked on the vehicle window demanding blood ;-) Deep Woods Off worked well at keeping them away.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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repete I am from Minnesota and you are so right. We Minnesota people are tough. Mosquitoes are no big deal to us. Deet, long sleeves, no perfume, scented hair sprays etc. DH and I will be leaving here in two weeks for Alaska. I have my deet already packed, and my DD and DSIL went last year in June and said the worse area was in Denali, otherwise less than here in Minnesota.
marleneawe is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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In the S.E. it's the no-see-ums that will get'll never see or hear them...until you start itching with huge welts, especially around hairline/capline/neckline. They're especially bothersome around fresh water at dawn and dusk..I'd use a spray in advance, especially if you already know mosquitos "like" your type.
klondike is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 08:35 PM
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Take a look at the photo on page 166 of the current issue of National Georgraphic (May '06). It's taken at the North Slope, however, not Anchorage/Denali.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 30th, 2006, 09:42 PM
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Was thinking of going to Anchorage and Denali in July/August.

Anchorage, nothing to worry about. Some parts of town (Hillside, around lakes) may have some bugs but no worse than comparable areas in the lower 48.

Denali, depends on where. Around lakes, ponds, open tundra, ordinary Deet-based bug dope should work fine. Wonder Lake (more or less end of the park road) is notorious for mosquitos, but they should be abating even there by mid-late August. But for most people basic over-the-counter stuff works okay.
Gardyloo is offline  
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