The Great Alaska Mosquito Invasion of June 2013! — “It was a perfect overwintering blanket for insects”

Anchorage Mosquitoes were HORRENDOUS for about 3 weeks this summer, after about a 3 week late start. Here is a theory why they were so bad, as well as a funny and so true commentary from the Anchorage Daily News:

Mosquito invasion in Southcentral Alaska leads to run on supplies

Published: June 17, 2013

“Mosquito populations are fairly high everywhere,” said Janice Chumley, integrated pest management technician at the Kenai Peninsula District office of Cooperative Extension Service.

Why? Because of weather we had nine months ago. Southcentral Alaska experienced an extremely wet fall followed directly by snow. The snow covered and insulated the ground before it could freeze very deep.

“It was a perfect overwintering blanket for insects,” Chumley said.

How perfect wasn’t immediately apparent because breakup came late this year; much of the state got smacked by a snowstorm a month ago. The extended cool weather delayed the hatchout, Chumley said. “But the minute it warmed up, all of those successfully overwintering sites produced clouds of mosquitoes.” …

What is not anecdotal is the fact that the Anchorage store shelves on which mosquito control products are usually stocked have become bare in the past few days. …

* * *

Elise Patkotak: Tropical heat in Anchorage? This isn’t right

Published: June 18, 2013

OK, let’s get one thing straight. If I’d wanted to have bright, hot sunshine for weeks in a row I’d have moved to Fairbanks or Hawaii or Mexico or, if I was really desperate, Florida. If I wanted to devote an hour every morning killing mosquitoes in my office before I could work, I’d have moved to a tropical forest. If I wanted to spend my time outdoors batting wildly at my head while screaming, “Get away from me, you beasts from hell” I’d have done a remake of “Bedlam.”

And I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us out there in the Anchorage bowl, hiding in our own special closets with netting covering our entire bodies and fans blowing cold air from ice cubes to help us maintain our sanity.

My dogs scurry through the door to go into the yard at top speed because they fear that their tails will be slammed into the door I’m shutting as quickly as possible to keep the next horde of blood suckers out. They eye me fearfully as I stalk through the rooms of my house, bloody magazine in hand, inspecting walls and ceilings for another evil biter to squash beneath my avenging hand. …

Related:

Bloodletting worsens during Alaska’s legendary mosquito infestation

June 30, 2013

The insect uprising — courtesy of a swampy spring and late-season snow — has prompted many Alaskans to wonder when relief will come. …

It’s hard to know, because we have over 40 species in Alaska that rely on different habitats. The large mosquitoes are called the snow mosquitoes, and there are six species of those. They’re much slower, and some people call them “training mosquitoes” to get us ready for the next wave. Those are mostly gone. The ones we are seeing now are mostly in the genus ochlerotatus. They’re smaller and faster.

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