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Do bugs start to die down in late July?

Seattle, Wa
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6,067 posts
49 reviews
52 helpful votes
Do bugs start to die down in late July?

Is there a difference in bug numbers at Katmai between early/mid and late July? Or is it uniformly buggy? Thanks. I know September would be better in this regard and hopefully our second visit will be in September sometime (that was my preference for this trip), but for a variety of reasons we're shooting for July of next year.

8 replies to this topic
Fort Worth, Texas
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31 posts
1. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

I just returned from Brooks Camp today, and I did see a lot of folks wearing headnets, but I didn't think the bugs were bad. Not swarms of them for sure. I was there for 9 days and we had some rainy and very windy days so it does vary with the weather

Seattle, Wa
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2. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

Thanks!

Cardiff, United...
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3. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

I've been in AK since 11 July and the mosquitos have been nothing like the scare stories suggest.

The worst we're on a back country camping trip in Wrangell St Elias NP. They would swarm all over us quite often, especially when we were cooking food!

Denali was fine, a few at Wonder lake, but really not that many.

There have been Mosquitos near water other places I've been (e.g. Katmai), but nothing bad enough to really care about.

I've not used my bug head net, and extensively used bug spray in Wrangell, and briefly in Denali at Wonder lake. I got bitten a lot in Wrangell, but it didn't really affect me, its ignorable and they don't carry disease!

In summary I don't think it's anything like as bad as people fear for the places I've been. The front of my car is always covered in dead mosquitos though!

Winnipeg, Canada
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7,151 posts
4. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

"In summary I don't think it's anything like as bad as people fear"

I'm glad they didn't bother you, but at times they certainly can be terrible at Wonder Lake. It depends a lot on weather (temperature and rain) and can fluxuate quite a bit. Also some people attract mosquitoes more than others do: https:/… . If people were wearing head nets and kept them on, I suspect those people *were* being bothered by the little blood-suckers.

The main thing is to be prepared with DEET and/or a head net--if you don't need it, great, but if you do need it and don't have it....

Here are a couple of videos of mosquitoes at Wonder Lake. You might want to turn off the volume during the first one as the language turns rather coarse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2c1_6FOnLg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NeYI-BiuAg

Anyways, ask the shuttle driver when you board the shuttle (or pilot when you board the plane for Katmai) what the current mosquito condition is. They will know.

Christy1, if you're going to Brooks in September, be aware the bears don't fish on top of the falls like they sometimes do in July...they fish further down the river on dead and dying salmon. When I was on a bear viewing tour to Geographic Harbor (Katmai) the 3rd week of August, we didn't see even one mosquito. I've been at Denali a the end of August and also the beginning of September, and have seen a grand total of one mosquito, and that included visits to Wonder Lake plus camping overnight. Mosquitoes in Denali pretty much die off by mid-August. However, I still take DEET along just in case....

Honolulu, Hawaii
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429 posts
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5. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

I got sugar-water running through my veins, so those little suckers love me! Just got back from mid- to late-July, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. I wore long pants, long sleeves and used bug spray as needed, surprisingly only a few days out of the 2-week trip. Around Wonder Lake was the first and only time I ever used a head net. I loved it! Felt a little silly at first, but got over that quickly enough.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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429 posts
13 reviews
6 helpful votes
6. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

[oh sorry, double-posted and don't know how to delete, only edit]

Edited: 29 July 2018, 23:51
Seattle, Wa
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6,067 posts
49 reviews
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7. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

Thanks all. That is somewhat encouraging to hear that it hasn't been as bad as people feared, but from decades of hiking/backpacking here in WA, I know it can vary year to year, and I have many friends from AK who have told me how bad they can be (and how headnets are no match for no-see-ums). Mosquitoes love me and my worst memories backpacking here aren't bad weather or tough hikes but bugs so relentless they sent me into my tent as soon as I made camp. So, I'm just trying to minimize the annoyance, knowing I will come in July, but having flexibility as to when exactly to try to get the campground reservation.

Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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13,428 posts
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8. Re: Do bugs start to die down in late July?

I was at our cabin this past weekend (mile 88 of Parks Hwy); and the mosquitoes were greatly reduced. They were still there, but I was fine in shorts & t-shirt with a 'bug-sprayed' hat on.

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