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Reading the "best places to retire" thread on this board caused me to think about mosquitos and how much I dislike them. I am assuming that the humid states with lots of lakes, swamps, etc. have Mosquitos, and the western dry states don't. What do you all think?
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How about Alaska?
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I don't know about Alaska and mosquitos, but I have been in Canada and dealth with black flies. These fellows make mosquitos seem friendly and desirable. I could discourage, but not completely repell black flies by wrapping a kerosene soaked cloth arround my hat band.

Now the good news is black fly season was only 4 weeks longs, but that may be twice the length on an Alaska summer.
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I remember visiting up in Minnesota as a kid and they had a T-shirt they sold up there with a giant mosquito on it and the caption under it said, "Minnesota State Bird"

By the way Tennessee and Georgia have mosquitos and they seem to have become worse in recent years!

There is an island in the Florida Keys called
"Mosquito Key" and trust me it is aptly named! They will eat you alive. Key West has this giant fogging truck that drives around at night spraying poison everywhere. If they didn't you wouldn't be able to walk outside at night. It is kind of gross though.
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"How about Alaska? "


Isn't that all that lives in Alaska?
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I could discourage, but not completely repell black flies by wrapping a kerosene soaked cloth arround my hat band.

You probably forgot to light it ;-)

Ever seen the "deer flies"? If you whack'em with a 2by4 they just grab it and smack you back!

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I am sorry to report that Alaska has mosquitos the size of silver dollars & they drink anti-freeze when no blood is readily available. In short these are industrial strength bugs that hurt.

Conversely, Colorado, particularly western Colorado has virtually no mosquitos.

TheBadger
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TheBadger wrote:
Conversely, Colorado, particularly western Colorado has virtually no mosquitos.

But it does have ticks, and Rock Mountain Fever, Badger.

And did I mention the rattlesnakes?

-Ron
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[about Colorado]
But it does have ticks, and Rock Mountain Fever, Badger.

And did I mention the rattlesnakes?


And here I am, forgetting the greatest sttraction of mountain living in Colorado. Fire drill!

-Ron
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"How about Alaska? "

"Isn't that all that lives in Alaska?"



Hi,

Alaska has the biggest, baddest, mosquitos in the world as well as bitting flies or gnats (little bitty fellows). Alaska is like a giant bowl of water in the summer due to permafrost, and since you can't kill an egg be freezing..................

George
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But it does have ticks, and Rock Mountain Fever, Badger.

And did I mention the rattlesnakes?

-Ron
>>

Ahhh yes. It seems every area has its problems and natural pests. The mosquitos here in South Florida, particularly the ones in the glades are referred to as Gallonippers for obvious reasons. Smack one on your clothes and you will never get the blood out.

Gary :o)
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It seems every area has its problems and natural pests.

After many visits to the Las Vegas area, and now living here for six weeks, I haven't seen any mosquitoes or other biting insect. I walk around outside with no protection and I get no bites. You might be amazed. Of course, without rain, the natural greenery is missing too in this hot, dry place. (Want green? Plant it and water it!)

Chips, whose savory juices have been a great joy to the bugs living in humid places
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It seems every area has its problems and natural pests. The mosquitos here in South Florida, particularly the ones in the glades are referred to as Gallonippers for obvious reasons. Smack one on your clothes and you will never get the blood out.

Gary :o)


I camped out at Sebastian Inlet State park near Vero Beach, Florida once. I got eaten alive by mosquitos! It ruined me for camping. - Art
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areichert wrote:
I camped out at Sebastian Inlet State park near Vero Beach, Florida once. I got eaten alive by mosquitos!

I was totally unprepared for mosquitos when I arrived in Rochester, NY, for grad school. The suckers there didn't just bite you! They'd drag you under the nearest bush, and hold you down while they had their way with you! There weren't anything like that in the olde country.

It ruined me for camping

Ner. It was the red spider mites (chiggers) in Kansas that finished camping (or even rolling in the grass) for me.

-Ron
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I can't think of any state that doesn't have skeeters!
They are prevalent anywhere there's water, even in the mountain states. Especially in the rivers and streams
eddies. And a few days after a rain storm, when the ditches and car tires are filled with water.

In Alaska, it's the state bird. Them, black & deer flies.

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Thanks, everybody. Now I'm thoroughly discouraged -- I can stand blizzards, ice storms, heat (anything MN can dish up), but those mosquitos.... and I guess the other pests/critters you mentioned are not much better. Well, I guess I'll just have to go back to figuring out where to spend our retirement years based on other data!!

Judy
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Nevada is probably one of the most bug free states around. Why shouldn't it be? Its Mars with Casinos.

Okay, the air is a little thicker in Nevada, but the reports of running water on the red planet make it a close match.

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FYI: The central coast of California (Big Sur, Monterey, Santa Cruz, etc.) has virtually no mosquitos. I see maybe 5 per year. Coming originally from the midwest, this was a very nice, unexpected suprise.

galeno, how are the mosquitos (and annoying insects in general) in Costa Rica? How about Mexico along the Pacific Coast (if I recall, you looked into moving to Mexico a while back)?

Thanks,
PtSurMr
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Long-time lurker, first-time poster and I just had to respond to this mosquito thread. Living in northern Indiana (part of one of the largest freshwater basins in the world...the Great Lakes, etc.) they have always been a fact of life.

Earlier poster's comments that mosquitos are tied to water seem right to me, but I think more specifically it has to do with standing fresh water (i.e. lakes and marshes). In a two week stay in Hawaii last year, we never noticed any biters. The only thing we could figure out was that it was due to the fact that Hawaii has very little standing fresh water. Rain runs straight off the mountains into the ocean. NowinMaui, does this seem right to you...am I right in saying Hawaii has few bugs?

HoosierBean
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Thanks, everybody. Now I'm thoroughly discouraged -- I can stand blizzards, ice storms, heat (anything MN can dish up), but those mosquitos....

Not so fast, I have never seen mosquitos in Washington state, at least not in the Seattle/Puget Sound area. There is water everywhere here too but I can sit outside any day of the year without being attacked by the critters. (and a 0% tax state too)
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>>"How about Alaska? "

> Isn't that all that lives in Alaska?



An off-topic story:

I had recently arrived and was camping in under Denali one June and went to bed about 9PM in bright daylight in my mosquito-proof tent with a light breeze outside. When I woke up in the morning, it was still pretty dark. "That's odd," I thought sleepily. "The sun should have come up hours ago."

I nearly unzipped the mosquito netting door before I realized why it was so dark. The netting was covered with mosquitos that had collected during the night and were now waiting for breakfast--I guess they can sense the smell of your breath. I spent the next 15 minutes covering myself in DEET before I was brave enough to unzip the door and face them.

-- John

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I can't think of any state that doesn't have skeeters!
They are prevalent anywhere there's water, even in the mountain states. Especially in the rivers and streams
eddies. And a few days after a rain storm, when the ditches and car tires are filled with water.



I hate to break it to you...this rules out Mars as well.

Euro
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HoosierBean asked: ...am I right in saying Hawaii has few bugs?

I've been reading this thread and wondering what all the fuss is about. What mosquitos? HoosierBean is right about his general impression about Hawaii, at least Maui. Where we live in West Maui I have never been conscious of mosquitos, or biting bugs, of any kind so I guess there are none to speak of. I have never been attacked by mosquitos on the golf courses or beaches, or by the pool here, either, which is where it is logical to be attacked. I asked DW and she said what an interesting question. She, too, is not conscious of biting bugs of any kind. Maybe its because we have friendly Geckos who live with us (we do not invite them in!) and eat bugs all day for a living. NowInMaui

p.s. But, maybe its because the weather/climate is perfect all the time! No air conditioner, no central heating, just warm tropical breezes and the occasional overhead fan. No gas bills, and where cable costs more than our electric bill. <grin>

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Well, OK, in honesty and fairness, Hawaii and Maui have some of the highest cost of housings found anywhere. I guess there is a price to pay for perfection. NowInMaui
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Can anyone give me one good reason for mosquitos to even exist? If not, I may have to make it my goal in life to eliminate them.

(I've been looking for a purpose for years...)
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Can anyone give me one good reason for mosquitos to even exist? If not, I may have to make it my goal in life to eliminate them.

(I've been looking for a purpose for years...)


I imagine this is meant as a rhetorical question but:

Mosquitos are integral part of the ecosystem and like any link in a chain important for the sustainability of the whole. Millions of humans have died throughout time from Malaria. Without mosquitos to spread malaria we would be up to our necks in people! Malaria remains one of the main killers of people in tropical countries.

Of course there are many species of fish that feed on mosquito larvae. Also, I imagine a lot of species of bats also feed on mosquitos.

Each species of animal is like a rivet in an airplane. The plane can lose only so many rivets before it cannot fly. All species of life are interconnected and the loss of any one affects the whole. (The ecosystem of the earth is analagous to the plane.) We are losing a tremendous numbers of species of plants and animals at an alarming rate. Amphibians are disappearing throughout the world at an alarming rate. Coral reefs are dying. Global temperatures are slowly climbing. It really is a scary scenario. - Art
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Art said, "Mosquitos are (an) integral part of the ecosystem..."

Just my opinion, but I think mosquitos are the earth's tonsils, or maybe its appendix. They may have some (vestigial?) purpose, but we might be willing to run the risk of going forward without them if we had the chance...;)
-dantes
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I lived in Hawaii between 1973 and 1976 and didn't see one "skeeter". Saw plenty of GIANT cockroaches, however! I remember the city/county of Honolulu completely covering the library with a giant black "baggie" and fumigating the place (a couple of nuclear device detonations would have been better) to get rid of the roaches cuz they were eating the glue in the book bindings.



Hammer
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Not so fast, I have never seen mosquitos in Washington state, at least not in the Seattle/Puget Sound area. There is water everywhere here too but I can sit outside any day of the year without being attacked by the critters. (and a 0% tax state too)

Well, I grew up in the Seattle/Puget Sound area, and I got severely bitten every summer for over 20 years. Either they've covered the state in Deet since I started graduate school, or you don't go outside much, or you're one lucky hombre.

Now, you want no mosquitos, you should try Northern California. I've been here five years, and I've yet to see a mosquito. I've seen unreasonable housing prices and piles of ants in the fridge, but I'm bite-free.

Institution
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"Can anyone give me one good reason for mosquitos to even exist? If not, I may have to make it my goal in life to eliminate them.

(I've been looking for a purpose for years...)"

"I imagine this is meant as a rhetorical question but:

Mosquitos are integral part of the ecosystem and like any link in a chain important for the sustainability of the whole. "



It is very true that mosquitos are an integral and indispensable link in the ecosystem and food chain.

However, sometimes it just isn't necessary to have a human-centric reason for everything else to exist. Mosquitos are the product of the same number of years of evolution (and more generations) than we are. Like all things on the planet they are our kin. The spark of life inhabits them, just as it does us. While I personally don't like to be bitten by mosquitos and swat ones that feed from me, mosquitoes do have full birthright to share the planet with us.

Like early retires, the true value of our fellow living beings isn't measured in its human-centric function or monetary value

Laura
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I can't think of any state that doesn't have skeeters!


Florida has a gracious plenty of mosquitos, as previously mentioned. However, oceanfront I haven't experienced even one mosquito. No houseflies either, unless I leave meat sitting out. Sand fleas for a week or two in March, but that's about it.




Reader99
Nothing 'bugging' me
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Institution bragged:

Now, you want no mosquitos, you should try Northern California. I've been here five years, and I've yet to see a mosquito. I've seen unreasonable housing prices and piles of ants in the fridge, but I'm bite-free.

That's because Alameda County has "Mosquito Abatement." They'll give you free mosquito-eating fish for your pond. They have pamphlets about getting rid of standing water. (Old tires are a big no-no.) I think they sell bat houses. They used to spray, but I don't know if they still do.

It also helps if you aren't the most tender, delicious meal in your household. My kids get bit more than I do.

But don't tell anybody there are so few mosquitos in Alameda County, ok? The housing prices will just go up even more.

Vickifool

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No mosquitoes in Northern California? I don't think so. I live in San Carlos, which is near Palo Alto, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. This time of year when I am outside talking to the neighbors our conversation is constantly punctuated by slaps on arms, legs, faces and whatever else is bare. But this seems to occur only in the evenings and then only for a number of weeks. I've lived on the Canadian prairie (Edmonton) and in Minneapolis and there is no comparison.
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judy114 claims,

...humid states with lots of lakes, swamps, etc. have Mosquitos, and the western dry states don't.

I think that's a fair assessment.

Here in dry southern Arizona there is rarely enough standing water for mosquitoes to breed.

But after rare periods of heavy rain they manage to make an appearance, even here.

---Duggg, who hasn't used insect repellant in years
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Mosquitos are integral part of the ecosystem and like any link in a chain important for the sustainability of the whole. Millions of humans have died throughout time from Malaria. Without mosquitos to spread malaria we would be up to our necks in people! Malaria remains one of the main killers of people in tropical countries.

Art,

I had to laugh at this when I read it. I don't think you meant it the way it sounded but it sounds like Malaria is a good thing! Drunk drivers help to reduce the population also, but I haven't heard much opposition to eliminating THEM! :-)
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Mosquitos are integral part of the ecosystem and like any link in a chain important for the sustainability of the whole. Millions of humans have died throughout time from Malaria. Without mosquitos to spread malaria we would be up to our necks in people! Malaria remains one of the main killers of people in tropical countries.

Art,

I had to laugh at this when I read it. I don't think you meant it the way it sounded but it sounds like Malaria is a good thing! Drunk drivers help to reduce the population also, but I haven't heard much opposition to eliminating THEM! :-)


It was a vain attempt at humour. - Art

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fleg9bo wrote:
No mosquitoes in Northern California? I don't think so. I live in San Carlos, which is near Palo Alto, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. This time of year when I am outside talking to the neighbors our conversation is constantly punctuated by slaps on arms, legs, faces and whatever else is bare. But this seems to occur only in the evenings and then only for a number of weeks.

Ah, so that's where they all went! I was wondering. Much obliged ;)
jobobb (in lurvley Fremont, across the bay)
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No mosquitos in Washington State? You must live in the urbanized area and avoid the mountains this time of year.

I live in the more rural area between Bellevue and the Cascades (east of Duvall) and we definitely have mosquitos and biting flys during the growing season. Later in August and September the bugs will die down and it's very nice, but May-July is growing season and serious bug time. I tend to stay indoors or keep moving ;-)

We're thinking possibly of a second home in AZ for winter-spring and back in WA for summer-fall period. The weather patterns seem complimentary.

WA is "a 0% tax state" only for earned income. Sales taxes and property taxes are among the highest in the nation and those aren't deductable from Federal income taxes.
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...particularly western Colorado has virtually no mosquitos...


That's right. My friend used to live in Durango.The higher elevations make it impossible for the bugs to get enough air(so I was told)-because they don't have lungs to suck in the air. The air pressure is less and around 7,000 feet, no fleas either for the same reason. Of course, it takes twice as long to boil macaroni but you take the bad with the good....


Furrycat
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