Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Watch Out For Those Gallinippers!

on March 16, 2013


We fear many things here in Florida.  We have gators roaming our backyards; we have venomous snakes waiting to strike in our gardens and we have sharks ready to eat us in our waters. And, we don’t even want to talk about sinkholes.  But the new “Buzz” is that now we have to fear attacks from the dreaded Gallinippers!

UF/IFAS Photo by Marisol Amador

What’s a Gallinipper?  It’s a big, nasty, blood-sucking supermosquito that has been around since the early 1900’s.  It can grow up to 20 times the size of an average Florida Mosquito (and we grow regular mosquitoes big..real big).  Their name comes from the legend that one nip from these monsters and you’ve just donated a gallon of blood!


They lay eggs which can lay dormant for years; they just sit back on the banks of flood prone lands and wait for a heavy rainfall .  They invaded us in force last year after Tropical Storm Debbie caused flood waters to rise.  And let me tell you, when they bite..THEY HURT!

These unpleasant insects will hunt you like a dog; they eat day and night, and their bite puts new meaning into the word ITCH!  So what are Floridians and our visiting tourists to do?


Usually, during the mosquito season, large troops of dragonflies are dropped from the air and are pretty darn effective; they eat our regular mosquitoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  However, Gillinippers are so big, they just laugh at the dragonflies and travel on their merry way to their next human victim!  Last year, the dragonflies were no match for these monsters.


Defeated, the dragonflies escaped and decided the hell with us; they went shopping.  (Last time we pay them in advance!)  We fear they will refuse to help us against the Gillnippers this year also ( we’ve opened quite a few new malls since their last battle.)


We were hoping that if these huge buggers hatch this year; we’d be able to call for help from our frog population.  They usually like a tasty bug or two in their diet;  but, they seem to have more important things to do!

If you are planning a vacation in Florida after a big rainstorm; be prepared to bring a gallon or two of “OFF” with you (although rumor has it that Gillinippers regard insect repellent as icing on the cake.)  Avoid large swirling clouds moving in your direction (Gillinippers travel in gangs) and carry a bat to whack that bugger off  when it lands on you.  Consider yourself warned!

giant mosquitoes

12 responses to “Watch Out For Those Gallinippers!

  1. 1tric says:

    This reminds me of our first trip with the kids to usa. My son was 6. The first evening we were going out for a walk I was spraying them all with anti bug spray. I explained to my son it was to keep the bugs off him so he wouldn’t get bitten. He nearly had a heart attack and refused point blank to leave. I realized he was thinking bite as in “dog bite!”. We coaxed him out eventually with all body parts covered.

  2. I know what you’re saying because many years ago I lived in Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale. Do you still have the “Love Bugs?”

    • Oh bugs are the bane of our existence. Unlike Gillinippers though, they don’t bite! They just mess your car up and fly in your face..a lot! Thanks for reading!

      By the way, if there was a contest for the “sweetest” would win hands up! I love that pic! Always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside!

  3. sarahcradit says:

    I’ve never heard of such evil creatures! Although, I guess the south has all sorts of interesting specimens. When we lived in Georgia I saw things that drove me to therapy. Hopefully your friendly frogs will step up their game and do what’s right for everyone.

    • These skeeters are like something from the book by Stephen King’s “The Mist.” But, we Floridians go with the flow and luckily, these things are so big that you know when one lands on you time to swat them off! Thanks, Sarah for reading!

  4. lellielieb says:

    I have an irrational fear of insects. My husband is from Miami, and between the giant roaches he describes and these lovely creatures, I think I’ll stick to North Carolina! Stay safe!

  5. Thank you for your kind words! My gravatar is “me” when I was little.

  6. That last photo is priceless. 😛

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