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2016 Mosquito Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.

Silver Divide 7/15-7/22

Postby SSSdave » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:35 pm

When members mention particular areas, time of day and breeziness makes a huge difference. Mosquitoes even at locations that may rate a 4 or 5 midday are often totally absent before the sun comes up in the morning or in cooler hours during wee hours at night. And after the usual afternoon up canyon winds are blowing, mosquitoes tend to confine themselves to shaded lee aspects of terrain, rocks, and vegetation. Thus mid day sitting out in the sun with the wind blowing there may be none to few about. But wander over 50 feet away then sit down about the shaded lee aspect of a small group of whitebark pines and increasing numbers will leave vegetation where they have hunkered down and join the whining mob. Additionally when one is actively moving through terrain when even a minor breeze is active, it may not seem like there are any squeets about until one stops to sit down on a boulder. However when squeets are truly numerous their behavior can change to an intense attack mode as though they understand their target cannot fight back and that only a strong breeze will keep them away.

Last week during our Silver Divide trip, there were strong afternoon winds with modest am breezes and very few calm periods even early morning. On several days it was even intermittently rather breezy at night. When we hiked up mid morning Mono Creek and its north fork from Edison Reservoir at 7640 feet on 7/15 areas below 8600 feet were a 2. Above that to 9500 feet mid day was a 3 or 4. But after a week of strong pm winds, on our early pm down canyon return on a light breeze 7/22 we saw almost none. Mosquitoes obviously use the pattern of pm winds to be swept up canyon from drying areas with little water to higher elevations where melting snows and water are more abundant. Indeed there seemed to be more mosquitoes where we were in upper Fish Creek below Red Slate late in our week than early. And that is why I suspect such a radical change occurred in just a few days. Mid am 7/17 Izaak Walton Lake was a 4 to 5. Two days later, same time a 2. Where did they go? Maybe reached Sierra Crest ridge lines and ended up hours later in Nevada.

Despite lots of squeets about us most of the week, I only received a few bites each day. We wore our full battle gear that numbers here don't seem to get. Often did not bother to apply DEET till they became more than the usual flying in the face annoyance. And most of those bites were on the top side of my unprotected hands or wrist because they often got into water, washing off any repellant. In places that were a 4 a fresh application of 100% DEET to my face, wrists, and hands kept them from even getting close. Like they smell the DEET, maybe bounce off my face once, get its horrible taste on their probe, go berzerk, and then keep away.
Last edited by maverick on Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: subject matter

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Iva Bell / Virginia / Duck Pass 7/21-7/24

Postby maiathebee » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:51 am

Reds to Lower Fish Creek - 2
Iva Bell Hot Springs in the afternoon - 1, in the evening - 3, in the morning - 1
Grassy Lake in the afternoon - 1, in the evening 4
Lake of the Lone Indian / Silver Pass - 1
Tully Hole - 3
Lake Virginia down by the lake - 2, above on a ridge - 1
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Kearsarge Pass - Vidette Meadows - Tyndall Creek - Guitar La

Postby Phiker » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:54 am

Kearsarge Lakes, Bullfrog Lake - 1
Vidette Meadow - 3 (got chewed on pretty badly setting up camp along Bubbs Creek)
Tyndall Creek - 3, same story. Swarms of mosquitoes anywhere by the creek
Onwards (Wallace Creek, Crabtree, Guitar Lake and main Whitney trail) - 0

Note, my ratings are based on the amount of bites sustained (over 150 on my arms, shoulders and back in 5 days). I was attracting all mosquitoes to the delight of my fellow hikers who were spared.
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North Fork Big Pine Creek 7 Lakes region July 22-23-24

Postby Pearl » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:20 pm

Did a loop hike so we were at Lakes 1-2-3-4-5 and Summit Lake and Black Lake over the 3 days. All between 10,000-10,800 ft. Mosquitoes were a 2. Present during the day but active at dawn and dusk. I got about 6 bites. It was hot so I wore shorts. Finally had to put Sawyer Picardin spray on my legs as I kept getting bit. The breeze kept them at bay and they all but disappeared overnight. Temps got down to about 48 degrees overnight.
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South Fork Big Pine Brainerd Lake 7/22-7/24

Postby hikerdude87 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:57 am

From the trailhead to the top of switchbacks: 0
-Didn't notice mosquitoes at all but we did start the hike at noon so heat might have kept them at bay.

From Willow Lake basin up to Brainerd Lake: 3
-At this point I had to put on the bug net and apply DEET.

Brainerd Lake: 2
-They were bad during the morning and evening. When winds picked up the mosquitoes disappeared.

Finger Lakes: 1
-Didn't really notice mosquitoes but it could have been we were there during the afternoon.

I tend to attract more mosquitoes than my gf. She only got a couple bites whereas I got about a dozen.
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Mineral King Jul 23-26

Postby Buford » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:04 am

Day 0
Trailhead -> Eagle Lake

Day 1
Eagle Lake -> trailhead-> Franklin Lakes -> Franklin Pass -> Little Claire Lake
all 1-2

Day 2
Little Claire-> Lost Canyon -> Upper Big 5 -> Xcountry pass to upper Little 5 -> Blackrock Pass -> Spring Lake -> Cyclamen Lake
All 1-2 Except at the lost canyon junction 3-4.

Day 3
Cyclamen Lake -> Columbine Lake -> Sawtooth Pass and Peak -> trailhead
1-2 Except between Columbine and the pass was 3-4.

All time of day and breeze dependent.

Long sleeves, pants, neck bandana and sun gloves. Did not use a headnet or DEET though I had them. Best defense was to keep moving. Scoop water and move 100 yards away and it got much better. Ranger at permit station said they would be horrific, I was pleasenly surprised they were less than that. Only 1 bite in the back country, plus 1 at the Silver City parking area getting lunch on the way home ](*,)
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South Yos/Merced Pass 7/19-7/25

Postby richapple » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:17 am

July 19/20 - Upper Chain Lake (Southern Yosemite): 2, but that was in open air camping with some glorious breeze.
July 21 - Upper Merced Pass Lake: 2, even though the outlet wasn't flowing and it seemed very closed in and like a mosquito trap.
July 22/23 - Lower Ottoway Lake, we were on the rockier side of the lake (away from a 14 person Sierra Club mob camp): 2, but could have been a 3 without the breeze.
July 24 - Lower Merced Pass Lake: 1, oddly enough, except for a short time from 8 PM to 8:20, which must have been a mosquito tour bus stop. We were at the southwest corner, not in trees and with a nice breeze...
July 25 - Givens Lake: 2, camped on the famed "stub peninsula" (Schaffer). Some light breeze helped. But hmmm... What were those tiny swimming things in the water? Had to use a backup Sawyer Squeeze rather than my Steri Pen...

Overall we found this trip to be very survivable in terms of skeeters (considering the month), and using our natural repellent (non-deet) did the trick. The net hats never left the pack.
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Hoover Wilderness/NE Yosemite 2016

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:44 pm

Green Creek TH to Green Lake 1-2
West Lake 0-1 (wind kept them at bay)
Return Lake 0-1 (wind)
Soldier Lake 0-1
Nutter Lake 1-2 (worst at dusk, but short lived)

Did not apply Deet the entire trip. Very pleasant, few bites. TR coming...
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Southwest Yosemite 7/24-7/30

Postby kpeter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:29 am

In general, in SW Yosemite between July 24-July 30 and between 7000-11000 feet in elevation, we found:
--few mosquitoes below 9000 feet, For example, when we stayed next to the Merced below Lost Valley, at about 7000 feet, we saw virtually no mosquitoes, and they were light (1) at the Clark Fork and Illilouette Creeks at similar elevations.
--in areas above 9000 feet, mosquitoes could be a 4 or a 5 for the hour after sundown and the hour before sunrise. This was partly due to unusually warm conditions when we were there--the nights never got cold enough to slow them down. For example, at Red Devil Lake there were no mosquitoes out in the afternoon (1), but after sundown bug hats and repellent were vital (5)
--When hiking through breezeless areas at higher elevations, mosquitoes could pursue you down the trail depending on local conditions. Stopping to cool down usually stopped the problem. For example, descending the western trail into Triple Peak Creek from Red Devil took us near some stagnant water at 9500 feet and we were pursued until we stopped and cooled down.

In general, the mosquito band has moved up to the 9000+ range in SW Yosemite and can be expected to continue to migrate higher. They could make certain times of day pretty miserable, but I have seen more aggressive mosquitoes that were out all day, which was not the case on this week long trip.
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Ten Lakes Basin, Yosemite, July 29-31 - mosquito report

Postby wildhiker » Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:18 pm

Hiked from the normal Ten Lakes trailhead on the Tioga Road at Yosemite Creek up to Lower Grant Lake (camped) and then over to the Ten Lakes basin (camped at the easternmost big lake), and then back. Elevations from 7,600 to 9,600 feet - camps were at about 9,300 feet. Very warm - even hot - temperatures during the day, mild at night. Mostly calm conditions, some light breezes.

Basically, very few mosquitoes. Level 1 during the day everywhere - hardly saw any and no bites. Level 2 around sunset and sunrise at the lake shores.

However, there were lots of annoying flies that would buzz around you during the day and land on you, but did not bite.

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