We all know how mosquitoes can ruin an otherwise pleasant picnic and other outdoor get-togethers. But many people are unfamiliar with the specifics concerning a mosquito’s habitat. Mosquitoes inhabit several regions around the world that may surprise you, but most people do not know where exactly mosquitoes can survive and thrive. Wherever there are mosquitoes, there are also diseases like malaria, Zika, West Nile and yellow fever, but not all mosquitoes spread disease. Despite this, almost every country in the world has a mosquito problem. Luckily for some people alive today, mosquitoes cannot inhabit every corner of the earth. The colossal and subarctic European island country of Iceland is one such place where mosquitoes do not exist.


Given the vast amount of arctic regions on the planet, you may find it hard to believe that Iceland is one of the very few habitable places where mosquitoes and the diseases they carry are not an issue. Imagine living in a country where mosquito control measures and repellent is not necessary. As far as native Icelanders are concerned, mosquitoes may as well not even exist, and experts are not sure as to why the island country is free of mosquitoes and many other forms of insect life. Of course there are regions like Antarctica, but not even humans can survive the harsh polar conditions on the continent. Iceland, on the other hand, is much different than Antarctica. In Iceland there exists several lakes and ponds where mosquitoes love to breed. Mosquitoes even exist in the neighboring nation of Greenland and other cold countries like Norway, Sweden and Scotland, so why are mosquitoes missing from Iceland?


Many experts think that mosquitoes prefer to avoid Iceland due to the cold oceanic climate. More specifically, Iceland undergoes three separate freezes during the early spring. Normally countries only see one major freeze and thaw. When mosquitoes hatch from their eggs during cold weather they can survive provided that the weather gradually warms up afterward. However, Iceland will become warm after a thaw, but then another freeze will strike, effectively killing young mosquito offspring. These climatic conditions are too unstable to allow for a mosquito’s survival.


Do you think that climate change will make Iceland more hospitable to insects like mosquitoes in the future?


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