INDEX: ALL Mosquito and Tick News and Information for High Sierra Backpackers


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 November 2012

Tick and Mosquito News
Mosquitoes are a major issue in the High Sierra,

ticks less so the higher you go.

 

 Updated
August 14, 2017

 

LATEST MOSQUITO NEWS BELOW



Also See
Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts:
Backpacking the High Sierra

 


TICKS
The High Sierra
There are virtually no ticks at all, with the exceptions named at the bottom of the page, being composed of "exceptional" encounters along the upper flanks and crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, where the deer can carry a stray tick up.

The Rest of California
The deserts and dry grasslands of California are also almost devoid of ticks, excepting those accidently carried in. The Costal Range and the sub-tropical forests along the Coast of California are a completely different story. Their grasses and animals are full of ticks.  

 

MOSQUITOES
The Winged Hazard

Mosquitoes WILL BE a significant issue from the dawn of Spring until the moisture dries out of the soils along both flanks and the crest. Each of these dates, of the beginning of Spring and the end of moisture vary every year, but we do have averages. The mosquitoes dry-out by August 15 during an "avergage" year. But the averages are changing, Spring has been coming earlier, while the swings between very wet and very dry seasons seems to be getting abrupt and more intense.

We can deal with the mosquitoes if we understand the threat and come up with a series of solutions (The 100% Soulution) that will fully protect use across the range of trail and camp circumstances we find ourselves in. This basically comes down to clothing or chemical protection, or some combination of the two.

Despite their rarity in the High Sierra Ticks are a major issue across much of California, including heavy populations in the Coastal Range from Monterey to the Oregon Border, continuing to points furthest North.

So we do Tick news along with the skeeters.

 

Backpacking and Mosquitoes

 

 

SPRING of 2017
OVERALL STATUS

THE ERA OF BAD NEWS

 

#1
NEW PLAYERS on the FIELD of PLAY
"The entry of the Asian tiger mosquito and Aedes aegypti into California presages the entry and spread of a number of terrible tropical diseases we are not going to enjoy at all."
From
"Aggressive nonnative mosquitoes spreading across state carry disease risk..."
Bad skeeters carrying very bad things are making entry into Ca. and the Sierra.

 

 

#2
DEET FAILING
DEET tolerance observed by Science, and in the Sierra:
See the comment on the bottom of this page.

 

 

The "Historic" Threat 
WN Facts
(First Detected in US: 1999)

WEST NILE
FYI
California Department of Health
&
Multi-Agency Response:
California West Nile Reporting and Tracking

 

For Reference, a dry year:
October 30, 2015:
2015 West Nile Infection Map, pdf

 

Mosquito species in which West Nile virus has been detected, United States, 1999-
2012
, CDC, pdf.

65 out of 176 species in the us transmit West Nile.

 

 

Also See
Health and Fitness News

Mountain Safety

 

 

 

 

 SPRING of 2017

CURRENT NEWS REPORTS

WARNING
2017 is going to be an epic year for mosquito populations. Be ready.

I wrote this Backpacking and Mosquitoes discussing how to protect yourself.

 

SUMMER of 2017

 Epic Mosquitoes

Updated

August 18

West Nile Disease
Serious Human Case, Too

West Nile positive mosquitoes trapped in Douglas County,
Tahoe Daily Tribune, August 16, 2017.

 

West Nile virus found in Nevada horses,
Lake Tahoe News, August 18, 2017.

 

 

 

 August 14

West Nile
West Nile on the East Flank
Good Information for Hikers

 

Fifth positive sample found in Inyo for West Nile Virus,
Sierra Wave, August 11, 2017.

 

 

 

August 11

WEST NILE IN TAHOE

 SLT bird tests positive for West Nile virus
Lake Tahoe News, August 11, 2017.

 

West Nile Fever

 

 

 

August 10, 2017

 

History of Global Warming through a Mosquito’s Eyes 
On the Wings of the Expanding Heat

Aedes aegypti mosquitos introduced to California multiple times,
PLOS, August 10, 2017.

Also See
Health and Fitness News

 

 

 

August 7, 2017.

 

SKEETER THREAT

South Highway 395 Corridor

More mosquito samples test positive for West Nile Virus,
Sierra Wave, August 4, 2017.

The Sheet West Nile Story, PDF, p.6

Skeeter Avoidance Practices

 

 

 

July 27

SKEETER THREAT

 

Mosquito samples in Inyo test positive West Nile Virus,
Sierra Wave, July 26, 2017.

 

 

July 26

Heavy East Flank Mosquitoes
West Nile Prevention

Mosquito fogging in Westwood tonight,
Record Courier, July 26, 2017.

Status of, & West Nile Information

 

July 6

SKEETERS
Good Information

Time to Hunt Some Blood-Sucking Bugs,
NASA Earth Observatory, June 28, 2017.

Actually, they are hunting us...

  

 

June 23

Ticks Surging in Warmth?

Good Information for Coastal Range Hikers

Treating Lyme disease: When do symptoms resolve in children?
CHILDREN'S NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM, June 23, 2017.

Note the time requirements for attachment varies for different diseases & different ticks.
The key is to find and remove them before this activation time is reached.

 

 

June 22

More Good News

First Chikungunya-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos found in Brazil,
PLOS, June 22, 2017. 

 

 

June 20

Very Bad News

These mosquitoes tested positive for encephalitis, and now they are in Fresno,
Fresno Bee, June 19, 2017.

 

May 25

Rising incidence of tick-borne Powassan virus infection in North America,
MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC./GENETIC ENGINEERING NEWS, May 23, 2017.

 

 

May 19 

Aedes aegypti
Single, Double, and triple threat

Zika-chikungunya-dengue 
Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus could simultaneously transmit other viruses,
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, May 19, 2017.

Aedes aegypti also carries West Nile. 

And Yellow Fever

 

 

Mosquito species in which West Nile virus has been detected, United States, 1999-
2012
, CDC, pdf.

 65 out of 176 species in the us transmit West Nile.

 

 

Wonderful.

Aedes aegypti is only one, albeit a bad one, of a whole raft of terrible vectors and pathogens brought here by radical climate change. You can now catch tropical mosquito-borne diseases all the way up to Vancover, Canada, along the West Coast of North America.

The situation requires a rethink of my already ironclad mosquito policies . I have plans for everything, I can attest to the accuracy of research and reports that DEET is loosing effectiveness

 

Local Mosquito Threat High

Carson Valley will be buzzing,
Record Coruier, May 18, 2017.

 

and FEMA level mosquitoes in 2017?

and see next, below

 

May 5


EXTREME MOSQUITO THREAT

Mosquitoes surge after rain and heat in Northern California,
Sac Bee, May 4, 2017.

 

  

May 4

Zika Comes
As Did West Nile, and as are Dengue and the Tropical-disease carrying Aedes Mosquitoes: 
Zika virus could cost United States billions of dollars,
PLOS, May 4, 2017.


Aedes japonicus


Aedes aegypti


Zika in America

 

Predicted Zika “Hotspots” in US

 

See West Nile information above and below.

 

 


April 30, 2017 

State Reports First West Nile Case of 2017, Kings County,
April 28, 2017.

 

 


California confirms first human West Nile Virus case of 2017,
Mercury News, April 29, 2017.

 

 

April 26

Tripled in 20 Years
Lyme disease researchers seek consensus as number of cases grows,
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SANTA CRUZ, April 24, 2017.

 

 

April 17

High Costs of Observed Risks

Lyme disease imposes large cost on the northeast United States,
YALE SCHOOL OF FORESTRY & ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES, April 17, 2017.

Also see

Health and Fitness News

 

 

April 4, 2017

2017 is going to be a HUGE MOSQUITO POPULATION YEAR.
Be ready.

Expected, and this will worsen before improving
Flooding causes explosion of mosquitoes in Stanislaus County; districts to seek FEMA, funds, Mod Bee, April 3, 2017.

 

 

March 31

New study sheds light on how mosquitoes wing it,
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, March 30, 2017.

 

 

March 27

Race to the Bottom Nearing its End:

Saint Louis University researchers predict Zika hot spots in the US,
SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY, March 27, 2017.

Note that “lifestyle” was previously cited (below) as a barrier to mosquito-borne disease transmission in the USA, while this current study locates and cites what appears to be large pockets of dire poverty and third world living conditions right here in the USA.
The difference appears to be that the previous study operates under the delusion that we are still living in a middle class America with health, safety, and the standards of a society that no longer exists, and that this pretended affluence offers some kind of “protection.” The story cited above does not depend on things that don't exist any longer.

The reality we’ve created in the USA is much different than our self-deluded self-perceptions and the corporate media propaganda trumpets. Notice that our goals are now, "aspirational." Our middle class has been pushed below the event horizon of Third World Poverty in the USA. Now we Americans have been given the privilidge to aspire to the "American Dream!"

Mission Accomplished!

Thank your corporate-subsidized politicians and their global network of supporters for the changing weather, the surging mosquitoes, and the spread of disease and poverty their relentless, global pursuit of unrestricted greed has wrought.

 

 

March 19, 2017

For female mosquitoes, two sets of odor sensors are better than one,
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, March 17, 2017.

 

 

March 16, 2017

TICKS 
To kill ticks, target their animal hosts,
ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, March 16, 2017.

 

 

Feb 27

Common bacterium may help control disease-bearing mosquitoes,
YALE UNIVERSITY, February 27, 2017.

 

New tool for combating mosquito-borne disease: Insect parasite genes,
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, February 27, 2017.

 

 More on this:

New malaria vaccine is fully effective in very small clinical trial,
Ars Technica, February 25, 2017.

 

 

Feb 24

Risk of Ross River Virus global epidemic,
UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, February 21, 2017.

 

 

NIH begins study of vaccine to protect against mosquito-borne diseases
NIH/NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, February 21, 2017.

 

 

Feb 18

For mosquito repellents, stick with the spray
ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, February 16, 2017.

 

 

Feb 15

Researchers unravel how ticks protect themselves from Lyme bacteria and other microbes
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, February 14, 2017.

 

 

Feb 3

Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control
INFECTIOUS DISEASES DATA OBSERVATORY, February 1, 2017.

 

 

January 23

Insecticides mimic melatonin, creating higher risk for diabetes,
UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO, January 19, 2017.

 

January 15, 2017

Why odds are against a large Zika outbreak in the US,
ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, January 3, 2017.

Aedes aegypti transmitted viruses:
Zika, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya

Note there are no PHYSICAL barriers to Aedes aegypti and its viral companions, only, “lifestyle.”

 

Why Lyme disease is common in the north, rare in the south,
US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, January 11, 2017.

 

Ticks that carry Lyme disease found in eastern national parks,
ENTOMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA, January 3, 2017.

 

 

  2016 REPORTS 
 December 6, 2016

Growing mosquito populations linked to urbanization and DDT's slow decay,
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - SANTA CRUZ, December 6, 2016.

 

Experimental insecticide explodes mosquitoes, not honeybees,
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, December 5, 2016.

 

 

July 31, 2016

Could the deadly mosquito-borne yellow fever virus cause a Zika-like epidemic in the Americas?
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News, July 26, 2016.

All current backpacker news

 

 

 May 4

Skeeters

Hybrid forms of the common house mosquito may serve as vectors between birds and humans, UNIVERSITY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE – VIENNA, April 26, 2016.

 


 

Parts of Europe may be exposed to dengue outbreaks,
UMEA UNIVERSITY, April 20, 2016.




Ticks

Lyme Disease on My Mind,
NCRD, April 27, 2016.

 

 

April 19, 2016 

New scientific evidence of sexual transmission of the Zika virus,
INSERM, , 4-16-16.



The Evolution of Virus

Cracking the Zika mystery,
Duke-NUS Medical School,, 4-19-16.

 

 

April 14, 2016

Zika virus may now be tied to another brain disease,
American Academy of Neurology, 4-10-16.




Structure of Zika virus determined,
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, March 31, 2016.

 



Argentinian researchers develop trap for mosquito that transmits Zika,
Entomological Society of America, 4-6-16.




A warming climate puts Europe at risk for seasonal outbreaks of dengue fever,
 Umea University, 4-6-16.


 

January

New experimental test detects signs of Lyme disease near time of infection,
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 1-12-16.

 

  Zika: Here’s what we know about the virus alarming health experts worldwide
Despite a long history, Zika remains an enigmatic, emerging infectious disease.
Ars Technica, 1-29-16.

 

 

Zika virus likely to spread throughout the Americas, says WHO,
 Guardian, 1-25-16.

City at centre of Brazil's Zika epidemic reeling from disease's insidious effects,
 Guardian, 1-25-16.

The Zika virus foreshadows our dystopian climate future,
Guardian, 1-25-16.

 

 

Zika Virus in the Americas — Yet Another Arbovirus Threat,
NEJM, 1-13-16.

The Zika Virus Is Coming to the U.S. Here’s What You Need to Know,
Bloomberg, 1-17-16.
 

 

 Love Hertz,
JCU researchers find the perfect pitch to attract male mosquitoes.
1-5-16, James Cook University.



Mosquitoes more likely to lay eggs in water sources near flowers,
1-5-16, Entomological Society of America.

 
 

Ticks that transmit Lyme disease reported in nearly half of all US counties,
 Entomological Society of America, 1-18-16.

Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease, PLOS, 1-21-16.

 

All current backpacker news

 

2015 REPORTS

Mosquitoes are tuned to seek out temperatures that match warm-blooded hosts,
December 16th, 2015, Rockefeller University.
(More below on Mosq. "targeting.")
  

Mutagenic chain reaction could knock malaria out of mosquitoes for good

 

Ecology: A world without mosquitoes

 

Dengue: Asymptomatic people transmit the virus to mosquitoes.

 

More Good News:
New disease-carrying mosquito arrives in B.C.
Nov. 8, 2015.

 

Aggressive nonnative mosquitoes spreading across state carry disease risk,
Oct 24, 2015, LAT.

 

 

The Bugs are Coming... The Bugs are Coming
First West Nile virus death reported in Los Angeles County,
LAT, September 15, 2015.



West Nile case is Marin County’s first of 2015,
Sonoma Valley Sun, September 15, 2015.



Second bird sickened by West Nile virus found in Novato,
Slowvato Retreat, August 7, 2015.


And they Will be Bigger:
Arctic mosquitoes thriving under climate change, Dartmouth study finds,
Dartmouth College, September 15, 2015.

 

New study unravels mystery of why deadly tick disease appears to be surging, yet fatalities have not, Oct 26, 2015, Burness Communications.

Impact of insecticides on the cognitive development of 6-year-old children,
INSERM, June 10, 2015.

 

Tick News
New and presumably tick-borne bacterium discovered in an Austrian fox,
Nov. 27, 2015, University of Veterinary Medicine – Vienna

Researchers' discovery may explain difficulty in treating Lyme disease,
Northeastern University, June 1, 2015.

 

December 2013

How mosquitoes are drawn to human skin and breath,
UC Riverside, 12-5-2013

August 20-2013

Tick News
Lyme Disease Cases Are 10 Times Higher Than Reported
,
Bloomberg, August 19, 2013

 

Feb 16-2013

Mosquitoes ignore repellent Deet after first exposure,
BBC, 2-20-13
 
 

 Earlier NEWS

DWFP: A Battle Plan To Protect U.S. Troops From Harmful Insects,
Dept of Agriculture, full article.

Baiting mosquitoes with knowledge and proven insecticides,
Agricultural Research Service, 11-13-2012 


Tick News
List of diseases spread by deer tick grows, along with their range
,
Am Society of Tropical Medicine, 11-12-2012.

 

Tick Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease

 

Mosquito Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile Virus disease

Mosquitoes and Seasonal Temperature Shifts: Backpacking the High Sierra
 

Ticks are not a huge problem for backpackers and hikers in the High Sierra. I have infrequently seen them in high altitude zones, and only during Spring. I figured my infrequent Tick sightings (twice in twenty years) can be explained by being carried up there by deer. These are rare encounters. Ticks are not common along the High Sierra trails.  Mosquitoes are.

Mosquitoes populations are huge from the moment the climbing sun of Spring melts the snow off the mountains until the soils dry in mid-Summer.

Being informed and be prepared makes torture tolerable.

You will be tortured If you are not prepared. 

 

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Alex Wierbinski's picture

100% DEET IS NO LONGER FULLY EFFECTIVE

I was skeptical after reading reports that mosquitoes were developing resistance to 100% DEET.

http://tahoetowhitney.org/content/mosquito-tick-news-information-high-si...

My July 2016 hike from Kennedy Meadows Pack Station (North) down to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite removed my skepticism. About a third of the mosquitoes I encountered in the North Yosemite Backcountry were completely resistant to 100% DEET.

These mosquitoes flew right through the DEET, landed and sunk-into freshly 100% DEETed skin, as I stood and watched in amazement.

THE MESSAGE IS CLEAR: DEET IS NO LONGER EFFECTIVE in parts of Yosemite, and I expect DEET resistance to spread and become common from Lake Tahoe to Mount Whitney in the not-too-distant future.

Alex Wierbinski

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