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Mosquitoes - where are they NOT?

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Jan 30th, 2010, 06:46 PM
  #1
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Mosquitoes - where are they NOT?

Hi,

We are trying to plan a trip in early April 2010 to the Caribbean. We haven't really narrowed our choices down to anywhere yet, but wanted to know what people's experiences are with mosquitoes. My husband is a major magnet for the buggers and is pretty allergic to their bites, so we're hoping to find somewhere that doesn't have them, or doesn't have that many. Is this too much to ask for?

Thanks!
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Jan 31st, 2010, 04:48 AM
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There are no islands that are mosquitoe free - they are found everywhere but aside from some very remote locations I've rarely encounter "hordes" of mosquitoes on any island I've visited in 25+ years of going to the Caribbean.

The number of mosquitoes you may encounter in the Caribbean is more a function of recent weather conditions & the immediate surrounding habitat rather than actual island. Mosquitoes can be found on every island but for the most part they are easily avoided if you are aware of your surroundings.

Mosquitoes are more prevellent after periods of prolonged rains on in arears around salt ponds and other standing waters. You'll find more mosquitoes when there are little or no breezes. You'll also encounter more mosquitoes in dense foliated areas than you will near towns and near open fields. They are more active at dusk, especially along the beach where the vegetation meets the sand so if you avoid those areas at that time of day you'll lessen your chances for a "close encounter". Also, avoid using after shaves, calognes, perfumes, scented hair sprays, powders or make-up (for women) as the sweet aromas act as an attractant. You should consider using a good quality insect repellant (many people suggest using one containing DEET).

Hope this helps.
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Jan 31st, 2010, 05:40 AM
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if you want to visit the Caribbean, you will encounter mosquitoes.no way around that. follow the advice above to lessen the close encounters
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Jan 31st, 2010, 09:02 AM
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I have stayed in a private villa in Barbados with no mosquitoes,April is also a good time in that island.
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Jan 31st, 2010, 05:52 PM
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hi hanna, not to be rude but it is called the tropics. to my dismay every island has bugs. i agree completley with roamsaround re when/where you'll see bugs. as for the bug spray, i say take one with the highest DEET % you can find. i actually buy one that is 100% DEET - Ben's, comes in a small orange container. deep woods off is good. despite rumor deet causes no harm to humans. needs to be reapplied during day as you sweat or swim it off just like sunscreen (would be nice if they could combine the 2) i do shower it off each night, but i'd be doing that anyway.

there is one resort on a tiny island in the grenadines known as palm island formerly mosquito island. it was purchased by someone who Hated mosquitos and went to extraordinary means to eliminate them on his island - as such the island is still mainly bug free. the resort is small, ai, very laid back & fairly pricey. it does give you access to snorkel tobago cays which is one of the best in the carib

in the event of a bite (haha or lots of them) there is a product called After-Bite a/or Benedryl spray works well to calm the itch.

that said islands that are lush and hilly (st. john, st lucia, etc) are wetter and do have more bugs. more arid islands seem to have less (bahamas, turks&caicos, grand cayman). so aside from insect avoidance what else are you looking for for your vacation so we can be of some real help to you? an idea of your hotel budget is helpful.
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Jan 31st, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Thank you for the reports about the bugs. I had heard a few people say they were swarmed by them, so it's nice to hear that it's most likely not going to be like that. We spent a few weeks in Thailand and dealt with them just fine. It sounds like the bug experience might be similar to how it was there.

I figured I was setting myself up for someone to say "not to be rude, but..."

As for hotel budget, we're looking for something on the cheaper side - around $150/night. We don't require or want anything fancy - just safe, clean and comfortable. Near the beach if possible. We'd prefer an island where we don't have to rent a car, but could hire one if we wanted to explore somewhere. I have this picture in my mind of a white beach with calm, turquoise water with some palm trees. And a hammock. Ahhhh.....We have a little one (one year old), so a kitchen would be convenient to have.

I'm not sure if I've provided enough info for you guys to come up with any suggestions. As you can tell, I don't know much about the area. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed in my research of it all.

Thanks for your advice, everyone!
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Feb 1st, 2010, 03:26 AM
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Maybe you ca check out Flipkey.com its a Trip Avisor site and have some reasonable villas on it.
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Feb 1st, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Having mosquitoes and being on beach level go hand in hand. There are some spots even in the Dominican Republic where you'll find no mosquitoes, but they are at higher elevations.

You might see very few mosquitoes, for instance, at Strawberry Hill in Jamaica, but it's not anywhere close to a beach (and it's also quite a bit more than $150 per night). There are places in Puerto Rico at similar elevations.
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Feb 13th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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We have been in the Caribbean at Puerto Rico (including Vieques for a short time), the Dominican Republic, Panamá and Honduras. I found my first (and only) mosquito this past January in Puerto Rico. (Even the Panamá Canal zone and the islands north of Panamá were free of mosquitoes.) We have traveled in January which is the less wet time in the Caribbean. In the Caribbean, we have gone to many beaches and explored jungle spots but never right after heavy rain. (After heavy rain in the Bolivian jungle, we were attacked heavily by mosquitoes.) My wife is more susceptible to mosquitoes than I am and she has had no problems. April may be in the early months of the rainy season wherever you go so you may find some mosquitoes. (Remember that the Caribbean has two seasons - rainy and less rainy.) The southern coast of Puerto Rico (near Ponce and Guanica) are generally quite dry and should minimize your contact with mosquitoes.

Remember that there are other bugs that also might be irritating to you, especially at the beaches. Unfortunately, you will not know until you are bitten. So take the bug spray but as Virginia said, these places are in the tropics.
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Feb 13th, 2010, 01:13 PM
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All of the bugs love me as well. However, I can honestly say I have never had a bug bite in Barbados. BTW, I just heard about a product called Bugg spray (with two g's)and I hear it is the best product around. I tried to find it a couple of weeks ago, but in MN in the winter, I was only able to find it in a quart bottle. It is manufactured in MN and they do have a website showing where you can buy it in all the different states. The recommendation actually came from several people in different areas of the world, so I figure it must be good.
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Feb 14th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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I usually go the Caribbean or Central America in March or April and have seen very few mosquitoes. It is still the dry season and the trade winds are quite strong which helps keep them away. The only place I have been bothered by mosquitoes was in Belize, in July, when the wind died down.
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Feb 15th, 2010, 06:43 AM
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There is a SPF and bug repellant with DEET called Bullfrog. It is also water resistant.

However - my daughter (age 13) and son (age 16) both had skin reactions to this product and were unable to use it. As with anything, try just a little first!

We've found mosquitos in all parts of the Caribbean and Central America. My youngest had tons of bites in Panama City, even with repellant. However, Bocas Del Toro was not nearly as bad as we expected.
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Feb 16th, 2010, 12:58 AM
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On Ambergris Caye and Cozumel I was terrified of mosquitoes and no-see-ums. We stayed on the water and didn't have problems with either place -- maybe two bites over the entire week and they didn't swell up. (I've had a much worse time of it in the Florida Keys where I saw hordes after the rains) People told me that as long as there's a good trade breeze mosquitoes are less of an issue if you're close to the water.
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Feb 16th, 2010, 04:44 AM
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Barbados is as mosquito-free as any. It is a coral island where the rain water percolates into the porous ground, so no swampy areas, very little standing water where the critters can breed. We've stayed on the island several times with everything open, hardly ever a bite.
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Feb 16th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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I think it also depends on the person. I have been to quite a few islands at different times of the year and have never once been bothered by mosquitos. Though at home (in Maryland) I get eaten alive. I would think the drier, less humid months and also the drier islands in general would have fewer bugs.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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It also helps to wear long trousers in the evening and also avoid dark clothing in the beach - the mosquitoes seem to be attracted to black, navy, etc. Closing all windows and doors when the sun goes down also helps to keep them out. The mosquito repellants mentioned above will also help tremendously.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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What's with the mosquitos? We're from Wisconsin and we know mosquitos.

We have been going to the Caribbean for 20+ years in March and have never encountered a mosquito.

We've stayed with open windows, no screens, and find no bugs there. We could never do that in Wisconsin in the summer.

I might br wrong.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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I don't think there is any such place that is mosquito free. Not in the islands. While we haven't encountered many mosquitoes here in the Dominican Republic there have been recent rains that will be sure to bring them. If they are here, they will find me. They bite me but not dh.

No-see-ums/sand fleas are just as bad, imo. My feet are covered with bites and are as irritating as mosquito bites.

*Re Palm Island: it was loaded with mosquitoes. I had over 100 bites and had to visit the island doctor. Gorgeous place but the mosquitoes were unbelievable.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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BeachGirl -
I'm surprised to hear you say that about Palm Island. My experience was that I never had a bite - even with our windows wide open 24/7. More interesting yet - it is the only island I have ever been to (13+)that I was able to be on the beach and never got one sand flea bite! If it was up to me, I'd never go anywhere else ever again! So sorry that this happened to you, but glad you were able to focus enough to see what a gorgeous place it is.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Mosquitoes seem to get everywhere but I've learnt to avoid most bites by keeping doors and windows shut during the early morning and from dusk on.

If I'm eating in an outdoor restaurant at dusk I sit under a fan or the breeziest spot I can find.

I also take extra vitamin B as mozzies supposedly don't like it.

Finally, if I get bitten I spray on a little neosporin. This anesthetizes the bite so I don't scratch and whatever else it contains treats the bite.

I got just one bite in St. Lucia last week due to a combination of luck and vigilance
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