I was surprised by this Visit Greenland statement on Qassiarsuk:

Due to the sheep in the settlement the surrounding area has no mosquitoes.

Does that make sense? Is there any reason why the presence of sheep would mean less mosquitoes?

  • 1
    My first impression is that because the mosquitoes are busy feeding on sheep, they are absent from the surrounding areas.
    – Octopus
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:03
  • 4
    @Octopus I'm not sure that's how ecology works… My experience with walking near cattle is rather the opposite… ;-)
    – gerrit
    Mar 1, 2017 at 0:51

2 Answers 2


It looks like there is some truth in it. I don't think that it has to do with the sheep so much as it does with their grazing habits.

During the day, mosquitoes like to rest in tall grass or among shrubs in a moist, shady spot. Keeping the grass short deprives them of a resting place.


More sheep means less tall grass and therefore less mosquitoes. Sheep are preyed upon by mosquitoes but they too will move to areas with shorter grass.

"It's not so bad when your sheep have some wool on them, but if your sheep are just off shears, then the mosquitos drive them mad," he said.

The grazier said stock were changing their behaviour patterns to get away from the most heavily affected parts of paddocks.

"Sheep are keeping out of the long grass, sticking to the areas where they have grazed the pasture down," he said.

"And they're bunching up in the paddocks as well, to protect themselves from being bitten, where normally they'd be strung out all over the place.



Keeping grass mowed short in the tropics greatly reduces mosquitoes. They can not take the sun, they are most active at dusk & daylight. They are weak flyers so do not travel far.

Sheep graze grass low to the ground. Rabbits are better, they eat more like a goat (anything they can) and make the grass shorter than do sheep. Throw in a few chickens and there will be very few insects.

  • 3
    This answer has several issues, just one example with a few exceptions that qualify as weak flyers, many mosquitoes travel 1 - 3 miles with some traveling up to 100 miles. All the lawn mowing you could do in a day, is not going to help. mosquito.org/faq#far Feb 28, 2017 at 17:06

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