It is weird to think that Greenland (as well as most of the rest of the Arctic) has a bit of a mosquito problem. We generally associate these irritating creatures with warm and humid climates, but during the warmer months at the top of the world, you need to be prepared. Read on to discover how to deal with Greenland’s summertime annoyance.
A head net is a must-have for a Summer vacation in Greenland
A: Avoid Summer: mid-June to end-August
Generally, the mosquito season in the most visited parts of Greenland is between mid-June and end-August. The pupa (which have hibernated under the ice all Winter) hatch as soon as the ice melts from the shallow pools of water that dot the landscape, and they waste no time making the most of their very short lives.
Unfortunately, climate change is having an enormous impact on Greenland, and the seasons are becoming more unpredictable. If you arrive outside of the mosquito season but discover they have arrived early or are lingering late, you can purchase protection in Greenland.
A: Everywhere except the Ice Sheet
Mosquitoes are found wherever there are shallow pools of water and a nearby source of blood. This doesn’t have to be human blood, remember there are also reindeer, musk ox, and several other species of Arctic animal in the ice-free areas of Greenland.
Exploring the Greenland Ice Sheet near Kangerlussuaq
Your best chance of escaping the mosquitoes is venture up onto the Ice Sheet, or linger very close to the ocean. A slight sea-breeze will generally keep them away from you, so a perfect time to head out on a boat tour.
A: No. Not usually.
There are several articles on the internet that talk about mosquitoes large enough to kill a reindeer calf, and swarms so thick it feels apocalyptic. While that may happen, the more usual experience for a visitor is nowhere near as bad.
For the most part, they are simply annoying. And if you adopt the approaches discussed below, you should not have too many problems.
Even the dogs wear headnets in Greenland during the Summer
A: Greenland mosquitoes do not carry diseases.
Mosquitoes have a pretty bad reputation as disease-carrying menaces – and with good reason! Fortunately, the mosquitoes in Greenland do not carry any diseases, they are more of an annoyance than anything.
That being said, this may change in the future if temperatures continue to rise. While the Greenland mosquitoes may remain disease-free, higher temperatures may allow other disease-bearing mosquitoes to survive in Greenland.
Nothing to worry about here, despite the large number of mosquitoes
A: Use several of the following methods to guard yourself from Greenland’s mosquitoes.
While it is impossible to avoid the mosquitoes if you are visiting Greenland during the Summer, there are several measures you can use keep them at bay.
Eating while hiking with a head net during Summer in Greenland. Don't forget you have it on!
You can buy head nets and insect repellent almost anywhere in Greenland (usually in the supermarket). However, you may want to bring these from your home country if you have a preferred brand, or in case stocks in the town you are visiting have sold out (can happen in smaller settlements).
A: No. Generally the mosquitoes are only a small (if annoying) part of experiencing Greenland during Summer.
Greenland is a spectacularly beautiful country with a fascinating culture. While the mosquitoes may be a little annoying, if you follow the suggestions for keeping them at bay, you will have a wonderful experience and an unforgettable trip.