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Alaska's Bugs, By Bearfoot Guides: The Northern Mosquito Is Ferocious

That's A Lot Of Mosquitoes!

Alaskan bugs on the Parks Highway south of Denali Park.
Hundreds of mosquitoes trapped in a propane bug trap.
Mosquitoes live all over the world, but the Alaska mosquito (sometimes called "The Alaska State Bird") is fiercer than most. There are basically two mosquito seasons. The early season features big, slow-flying insects that are relatively easy to swat when they land on you. Later, as the season winds down, they give way to tiny, kamikaze-like fighter bombers that sweep in, suck your blood, and run off again before you even notice.
In the tundra areas, where there are few trees, mosquitoes are replaced by "no-seeums" or gnats, when berry picking season comes along. Gnats bite you around the edges of your clothes, like your waistband, the top of your socks, your wristband, or even the edges of the back of your ears. Gnats are even worse than mosquitoes because they leave huge, hard lumps that take days to fade away. 

Alaskans use Pic all summer long.
A coil of Pic.
So what do you do when it's mosquito season? There's actually a very easy solution. Buy some Pic. 

Pic is available at gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores and sporting goods stores throughout Alaska. 

 Remember when you were a kid on the 4th of July, and you set fire to sparklers?Pic®  is something like that. Pic® is very eighties. It's a coil of pressed material made of chrysanthemum. Place the coil on a metal surface or in a metal pot or on a dish (think oversized ashtray), and then set fire to it. The active ingredient of pyrethrum smokes away and the smoke kills nearby mosquitoes, who drop dead when they come near it. Needless to say, Alaskans love Pic®. 

You can use it to fumigate a trailer or tent before entering it. 

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Bearfoot Travel Magazines A Division Of Northcountry Communications, Inc. Jeremy Weld Linda Weld Tim Weld 2440 East Tudor #122 Anchorage, Alaska 99507 907 320-1145 Fax: 1 800 478 8301