A wince-inducing viral Instagram video has shown just how bad the mosquito problem is getting in Alaska.
Skylar Lamont (@katmai_sky) posted a seven-second clip of what seems like thousands of mosquitoes filling the air, flying in front of the camera lens, and landing on the unfortunate individuals who are demonstrating the issue.
“Don’t forget your daily dose of vitamin Deet,” Lamont captioned the post, referring to the ingredient found in most mosquito repellent products.
For anyone who knows how annoying just one mosquito bite can be, and for those who have experienced sleepless nights because of an endless buzzing sound while trying to drift off, this video is sure to make you feel itchy and irritated just by watching.
But why is Alaska witnessing such a deluge of these winged blood-suckers?
When summer comes around and the wind begins to die down, the sun heats up the many ponds that emerge among the frozen landscape. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and the warmer temperatures encourage the bugs to hatch faster.
In Alaska, overheating is exacerbating the issue. According to research conducted by Lauren Culler, a postdoctoral researcher of insects, the warmer climate also makes the mosquitoes grow quicker and survive longer.
Culler’s research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, posited: “The faster development of mosquitoes through the larval stage improved their survival probability considerably.”
“The faster they go through these life stages, the better off they are,” Culler said, per National Geographic. “If you’re only exposed for 20 days instead of 24, that’s good for you. That’s four days you don’t have to worry about being eaten.”
The sheer numbers seen in the video can be explained by the fact that Arctic mosquitoes usually emerge at the same time. Those seven seconds of footage really don’t do the swarm justice.
“OMG that’s terrifying,” said one Instagram user.
“They’ll eat you alive out here,” another added. “They’re the state bird for a reason.”
However, it doesn’t seem to have put everyone off.
“That’s the one thing I don’t miss, but I would take the mosquitoes for what Alaska offers!” another wrote.
Does anyone know where to order an extra large mosquito dunk?
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