Fact: There are no mosquitoes in Iceland.

I found this hard to believe as we found several in our house last fall. Today I found another one and decided to take a closer look at it. Sure enough, it had no proboscis. What I thought was a mosquito was actually a midge.

Fact: There are two types of midges: ones that bite and ones that don’t.

I knew there were midges in Iceland because 20 years ago, when I came here for the first time, our tour guide pointed out the fact that local Lake Myvatn was Icelandic for Midge Lake. Happily the midges in our house don’t bite…but they do have both kinds in Iceland.

Fact: Mosquito Hawks (or Crane Flies) don’t actually eat mosquitoes.

We also had a giant Mosquito Hawk in the house, which, for forty years, I assumed would eat any pesky mosquitoes. But apparently they are anatomically incapable of killing and eating other insects. Their larvae eat algae and plant matter, but adult Mosquito Hawks only live for 10-15 days and don’t eat much at all.

Who knew?