Does Iceland have mosquitoes?

Does Iceland have mosquitoes?

Leah BIlquist Leah BIlquist
12. Jul 2022 (Updated: 2. Aug 2022) ∼ 4 min. read

You’re spending the day enjoying a long summer hike that you’ve been dying to complete. When all of a sudden you hear a buzzing bug around your ear. You whisk it out of the way and continue on. Five minutes later an itchy bump appears on your neck. You realize you have another hiking buddy along your side, the pesky mosquito. These little bugs are downright annoying and can ruin a whole day. Whether you are camping, hiking, or just relaxing outdoors, they always seem to find you in the summer. Luckily, they are not found in all countries. So, is Iceland home to these little buggers?

No! Iceland does not have mosquitos.

It is actually a very rare award, and Iceland is one of the only places in the world that do not have them. Nobody knows exactly why they don’t live here. It is said that the three big freezes throughout the year make it difficult for the mosquitoes to breed. This would normally happen at lakes or large bodies of water with warmer temperatures. There are warm conditions that are required for breeding and Iceland is not the place that has that. What makes this so bizarre is mosquitoes breed in other cold-weather countries, similar to Iceland. Such as Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. Antarctica is reportedly the only other place in the world that also does not have mosquitoes. 

What is a mosquito?

A Mosquito is a small flying insect. There are over 3,500 different kinds of mosquitos too.  Most of them bite people or animals, but some do not bite at all. Mosquito bites are downright inconvenient but did you know they can also be dangerous? They can transmit serious diseases and viruses. Inclduing Zika and West Nile Virus. This happens when a mosquito bites you and then bites another person. When they do bite, they suck the blood from a person and then again in the next person. The female mosquitoes do this for reproduction, as they need the protein in the blood to develop eggs. 

Mosquito Tasmania on skin

So do they have any purpose other than to mess up your day for their own reproduction? They do. Similar to butterflies, mosquitoes transfer pollen from flower to flower when they feed on their nectar. This fertilizes the plants, which then form seeds for reproduction. So long story short, they are responsible for some of those beautiful wildflowers you see out in nature. 

Iceland dodged a bullet by not having mosquitos. But what countries have the most mosquitos? Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines seem to be the front runners in this category. This is due to their warmer climates. Los Angeles and New York City also have a high number of mosquitoes as well. So keep in mind that cities are at the same risk as some more remote areas.  

mosquitoes in iceland

Are you dealing with mosquitoes right now and dreaming about Iceland? Well, you should definitely book that plane ticket you’ve been putting off first. But, in the meantime, we will give you some tips and tricks on how to get these little guys to leave you alone. Back in the 1940s lemon eucalyptus oil was used as a natural repellent. Other natural scents that they do not enjoy are lavender, cinnamon oil, thyme oil, and tea tree oil. Citronella oil is a popular repellant that can be found in candles and sprays. You can also just go with a strong bug spray that you can purchase online. Always be prepared with one of these repellents before spending a summer day by the water.

Iceland having no mosquitoes is just another reason to add it to your summer bucket list. Enjoy the majestic waterfalls, lakes, and the best hot springs in Iceland, without paying the price of endless mosquito bites appearing in the morning. We will let the warmer countries deal with that instead.

woman enjoying waterfall in iceland with no mosquitoes

The article was written by: Leah BIlquist.