Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mosquito Free Zone...!

I just found an article that I thought was very interesting, especially after all our recent floods.

Turns out there are a handful of countries in the world where there are no 'skeeters...none at all! Iceland is one of these places.

Iceland only has one mosquito — and it lives in a jar of alcohol

Visit Denmark, Greenland, Scotland, or Norway, and you're bound to encounter at least one Draculaic pest.

In nearby Iceland, not so.

The tiny country is among a handful of others that claim no mosquito population whatsoever.

That is, unless you count the one that has lived in a jar of alcohol at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History ever since the 1980s, when a scientist captured it in an airplane.

"I chased it around the cabin until I got it," Gisli Mar Gislason, a University of Iceland biologist, told the New York Times. "It's the only mosquito I've ever found in Iceland."

There are a couple theories why the nation is mosquito-free.

In much of the Arctic, Greenland especially, there are numerous shallow ponds where mosquitoes lay eggs that hatch into larvae, which eventually become blood-hungry mosquitoes. In Greenland, the insects can get so big that they can take down baby caribou.

Those shallow ponds are important because they are the first to heat up and thaw once the temperature begins to rise.

"The mosquitoes go through their development faster which means there are fewer days to be eaten by a predator," Dartmouth ecologist Lauren Culler told Motherboard last year. "Lab studies, field studies, and population models show that a warming climate means more mosquitoes survive until adulthood."

Iceland has no such lakes in which the mosquitoes can breed. And as the Times reports, the country's ecology is such that its sees three main freezes and thaws throughout the year. Mosquitoes may simply not have enough time to mature in the warmer temperatures before it gets cold again.

In case you needed another reason to be concerned about climate change, scientists suspect that Iceland might not be mosquito-free forever. A warming planet means the insects would have a better chance at reproducing without cold weather getting in the way.

That would drop the list to just three places without mosquitoes: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and The Seychelles.

For everyone who doesn't want to move: Invest in repellent.

I don't know what a wet season here in the South would be like without the troublesome 'skeeter around. I'd be willing to try and do without, but I really hate to move! Plus, I don't handle the cold very well!

Coffee out on the patio this morning.


linda m said...

I am with you - I really don't like the cold. So moving to Iceland is out of the question. Screened in porches and repellant are more to my liking than ice and snow. This year - because of our extremely wet spring and summer - our skeeters are Texas size. See you on the patio.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
You sure have my sympathy. Large or small, I don't care for 'skeeters.
Thanks for stopping by today!

JO said...

I would move to colder climate in a heart beat but maybe not that cold. Haven't spent to much time outdoors yet but I know the little buggers are out there. Had lots of them in the house through the monsoon season. I think they took a free ride on Fred when he went on a business call.

This coffee is sooo good this morning

Dizzy-Dick said...

You would think that my place, since it has two ponds and sometimes a large swamp, would have lots of those blood sucking insects but we don't. The fish in the ponds seem to eat most of the larvae and that is fine with me.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
Do you really want to live where it snows all winter again? Better if you stay in a warm spot, dear.
Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Dizzy...
It does seem as though you are fortunate to not have bunches of 'skeeters with all that open water, but I can certainly see where the fishes would be a big help. Here's hoping they stay hungry...the fish, not the 'skeeters.
Thanks for the visit today!