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Lived there for 3 years (near Anchorage) and never really had any problems with them. That being said, I think they are worse in some areas than others (ie near water, in low areas, in denser forested areas, etc). The one's we did encounter near our house were slow and I don't think I ever got bitten. They just hovered around and were large. We had a stream about 500 foot from our house and if you went down there, there were more of them. Some years are worse than others. Depends on if it is a warm summer and how much rainfall.
On our way out of Alaska though, we spent the night in Tok. I must say that there was a mosquito problem there. They were thick.
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edited 02/22/12 03:08am by DodgeVoltage *
It depends on where you are and the type of vegetation in the area. Bugs love shade, wet, and little wind. It you stay at most of the commercial campgrounds in your travels, you normally won't find too many mosquitoes. But get away from the urban areas and they can swarm you. We owned a river front lot on the Kenai River for years and until we got it cleared of underbrush, it required daily spraying to be outside the trailer. I used a propane powered fogger, a couple of times a day.
Most of the heavy bug problems are in the Interior of the state. They love water and you will find a lot of standing water, in the areas of the state with permafrost as the water can't pass through the layer of frost. Tangle Lakes/Paxson area is usually full of them. Every visitor to the state needs a few mosquito stories to tell when they get home. LOL On our last couple of trips, the most mosquitoes we ran into were around the Dawson Peaks Campground in Canada.
We do carry a couple of head nets, lots of DEET bug lotion, long sleeve shirts and gloves for the times we do run into them. However by staying more in the open, in the sunshine, out of the trees, where there is a breeze, you can avoid most of them. Every fall I used to go moose/bear hunting using my river boat on the Yukon and Koyukuk Rivers, there we always camped on a sand/gravel bar out in the river, many less bugs. Lots of bugs, other than mosquitoes call Alaska and Northern Canada home. No See Ums, horse flies, yellow flies, gnats, white socks (the worst in my opinion) wasps, bees and the list goes on. I am a "bug magnet" and my wife is just the opposite. If there is a bug anywhere around, it will come for me, looking for a blood donor.
Bugs are just a part of the northern experience for most travelers. I have seen summers where there are very few bugs in Alaska, and other summers, when every step in a tundra vegetation area, will bring up what appears to be a dust cloud around your feet and legs, but they are bugs, mainly mosquitoes. Probably the reason so many different birds choose the north country as a place to hatch and raise their young. Plenty of bugs to eat, so they are good for something, I guess. LOL
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Buy or make a mosquito control kit. It's a block of wood and a mallet. When the mosquito lands on the block you whack it with the mallet. The hard part is getting the mosquito on the block and to sit still long enough for you to whack it.
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Spent the whole summer in Alaska in 2009 and have been to MANY places in the lower states that had more than Alaska. We were never bothered with them other than right after or during a rain shower. Of course we always had repellant at hand as we would in any back woods site but it worked well with that one exception.
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