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Old 03-19-2014, 07:39 AM
 
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My wife and I are looking to retire early! We currently live in the Midwest and want to live some place where it's relatively warmer, that's not California or in the South, with nature and national parks within a days drive. I have researched a ton and visited Oregon many times and feel like it would be a great place for us to live!

One thing that I have not been able to find information on is which of the Oregon cities has the least amount of mosquitoes. We would really like to do a lot of gardening, but my wife is very allergic to mosquito bites. We'd also prefer not to live in the desert and don't mind high humidity as long as there's minimal mosquitoes. Can any current of former Oregonians recommend a city or location that would fit this bill?

If no such place exists, where would be the best place to garden where there is cooler weather in the summer so my wife could wear protective layers outside without getting too hot?

We don't mind being 10-20 minutes from a city and we don't mind small towns, as long as there is a decent grocery store or farmers market.

Thanks for your time and help!
Charles
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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Oregon doesn't have a lot of mosquitoes because we don't have a lot of standing water for them to breed in. Nor do we have high humidity, without looking up the numbers I believe we are generally under 8% or so. Ironically the worse mosquito locations I can think of are all high desert towns.

Generally gardening is going to be decent anywhere west of the Cascade Mountains, while it'll be poorer east of the Mountains with a few exceptions.

Oregon only has one National Park. But there are hundreds of state parks and national forests, and thousands of great local parks that will likely make you happy.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:22 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 17,475,122 times
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Probably your best fit will be smaller towns in the Willamette Valley, the large valley that runs from Eugene to Portland. There are a lot of cute, smaller towns that fit the bill - probably my favorite is Silverton, which meets pretty much all of your criteria.

I'd have to disagree, as far as mosquitoes. There are PLENTY of places for mosquitoes to breed. Standing water, marshes, quiet river edges, low-lying seasonal wet spots, poorly maintained backyard water features and pools. Fortunately, it's mostly seasonal, with the highest mosquito populations in May or June, particularly in the early evening, and then dying down/off as the months go by.

As someone who is also sensitive to mosquito and insect bites (a single mosquito bite on my arm will swell to be 4-5" across and become a huge, hot welt), I do notice them. For a lot of people, they are nothing and they'll tell you there aren't any - if you aren't the type mosquitoes like to bite (like my spouse), you tend not to notice them at all. But as long as you are not near low-lying permanent marshes, you will have a couple of months that you need to cover up, plus that early evening when they are most active and you might get the occasional bite.

Morning humidity (relative) , even in the summer, is usually around 40-65%. As the day heats up, the humidity drops and the Willamette Valley summers are around 20-40% RH - quite comfortable. I think there have been some stickier summers than average lately, but that is the product of certain weather conditions.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post

As someone who is also sensitive to mosquito and insect bites (a single mosquito bite on my arm will swell to be 4-5" across and become a huge, hot welt), I do notice them. For a lot of people, they are nothing and they'll tell you there aren't any - if you aren't the type mosquitoes like to bite (like my spouse), you tend not to notice them at all. But as long as you are not near low-lying permanent marshes, you will have a couple of months that you need to cover up, plus that early evening when they are most active and you might get the occasional bite.
I haven't experienced any mosquitoes at all in Portland or Eugene. Even by the wetlands I don't see or hear them. We'd often leave our unscreened door open on summer eves and never had a problem. And my s/o is a mosquito magnet in other parts of the country that do have a lot of mosquitoes and other sucker/biters.

There was that one particularly wet year (2009?) where there was a bit of an outbreak. But in a typical year the only mosq. I've seen here have been in the Cascades. The woods around some of those high altitude lakes can be brutal at peak season - hordes of mosquitoes like from a horror movie.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Oregon has wetlands and you will find mosquitos there in the summer. If you aren't hanging out by standing water, then in the mid-valley it will be minimal. They are definitely worse in the high lakes in central Oregon though. My hubs swells like PNW does and he gets bitten once or twice a year here in Salem. He is from Detroit Lakes Minnesota and I'm originally from Illinois and we don't have mosquitos like that out here.

I think if you want smaller towns I'd look at Silverton or McMinneville both of which have good gardening. If Mamh comments on here, there are master gardeners that volunteer at the Oregon Gardens if you wanted to do that in your free time.

I think you want the mid-valley for good gardening.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
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We were just talking about this yesterday, (The wife and I.) We had more of the pesky bitters on the coast than the valley. I would say Dallas would meet your needs.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:36 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 5,167,793 times
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Originally Posted by Steve Pickering View Post
I would say Dallas would meet your needs.
I saw that you'd posted on this thread, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were going to say this.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,130 posts, read 37,540,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bler144 View Post
I saw that you'd posted on this thread, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were going to say this.
At least he is consistent.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:52 PM
 
23,192 posts, read 31,491,760 times
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Maybe he's hoping they'll move here in time to vote for him for County Commissioner.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:45 PM
 
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Even tho it has been many years since I lived in OR, it really doesn't make any difference. BECAUSE, any time you have water and wetlands, you have mosquitoes. More humidity? More mosquitoe are likely. In my thinking, I'm not sure the OP is asking for the "possible".

The only place you don't find mosquitoes is where it is dry dry dry. Or WHEN it is dry dry dry. Their numbers may be up, or may be down, due to local conditions.

Eastern Oregon is high desert. From Bend on east to La Grande. Past Bend is more desert. Bend is still pretty "gardenable", as far as I can recall, but relatively mosquito unfriendly. Farther east it gets real dry.

The Willamette valley is a LOT more wet - but has hot dry summers, which help against mosquitoes. The coastal valley is wetter still, but tends to be cool enough to discourage mosquitoes, I think.

I've always been mosquito-bait. They seem to think my skin is like candy - they love it. But I don't remember many mosquitoes in general in Oregon. When out camping - sometimes, yeah. But usually, no. But my memories of OR are from long ago - and may be inaccurate. What I can add to the conversation is that ANY time you have water, you WILL get standing water. When you get standing water, you will get mosquitoes. If you want to garden, you need water. Ipso facto, the two desires are somewhat incompatible.

Let's get back to Bend for a moment. It is at the beginning of the eastern foothills of the Cascades. Making it dry - and it gets hot in the summer, but nowhere near as bad as Phoenix or Las Vegas. It has the Deschutes river - and therefore plenty of water, as I recall. It's grown a lot, though, so there may be some restrictions on water use these days. When I lived there, if I recall, Pilot Butte was miles away from any houses. Bend has grown a lot. But it might be worth checking out with some locals.
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