Alaska Life

Video: Fending off an epic mosquito swarm in the Arctic

Alaskans sometimes joke that mosquitoes are the unofficial state bird — and a recent video from the Arctic shows exactly why.

In a video posted to Facebook on Monday, Raymond Henry Savik Nashookpuk can be seen standing in the midst of an epic mosquito swarm on the north coast of Wainwright.

Wainwright is an Arctic community of about 550 people on Alaska's northwest coastline.

In the video, Nashookpuk, who said he has lived in Wainwright nearly all his life, can be seen waving away mosquitoes, and occasionally stopping to spit one out of his mouth.

Report couple hours before a report with James Griffin

Posted by Raymond HenrySavik Nashookpuk on Monday, July 30, 2018

Nashookpuk ate three, maybe more, mosquitoes during the filming of the video, he said in a Facebook message Thursday.

The mosquito swarm was the worst he's seen this summer. On sunny days, when the wind dies down, the mosquitoes get really bad, he said.

By Thursday afternoon, the video had more than 100,000 views on Facebook.


Nashookpuk's cousin, Bessie Ahvakana, took the video. In another video shot on a rainy day, mosquitoes are still swarming around Nashookpuk despite the wet weather.

Related stories:

Why only female mosquitoes bother us (and other facts about the insects Alaskans love to hate)

Mosquitoes can smell people who swat and choose a safer target, study suggests

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.