Mosquitos in France?

May 7th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Mosquitos in France?

Traveling to Paris next week , then joining riverboat tour from Normandy back to Paris. This may seem a mundane subject for this board, but I have been attacked by mosquitos in places I would never have expected, most notably Koblenz Germany. We are accustomed to them in Texas, but my cousin traveling companion from Las Vegas has no problem with them in Nevada. Should I come prepared for bug bites?

Carolyn in Texas

P.S. to Kerouc, you are certainly whetting my appetite for Paris with your beautiful photos. I had already decided to visit the canal area as we are staying on the northeast side of the city. Thank yo so much for your insight.
CarolyninTexas is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I shouldn't think it would be a major problem this time of year. Maybe later in summer. Anyway, French pharmacies have excellent products to protect against them, better than anything I've ever come cross in the USA.
StCirq is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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I've never seen them throughout France except in the Camargue.
cigalechanta is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Oh we have them in the Dordogne, big time, in summer. Last August each of us was covered with bites within a day or two of arriving at our house. It was BAD!!
StCirq is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 06:02 PM
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I agree that it's probably a bit early for mosquitoes. That being said, I always carry over-the-counter preparations when we travel since mosquitoes seem to love me. And yes, I've unfortunately experienced plenty of them in France. If you do forget to bring stuff, you'll definitely be able to find products at local pharmacies.
Weadles is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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I guess I've been lucky when there. I wonder
why you rarely see screens in homes?
cigalechanta is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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Odd about the lack of screens isn't it? English relatives are always intrigued by ours when they visit us in Eastern Ontario.

We'd be eaten alive without them!

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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The locals have immunity built up over years, I suspect. I do here at home in the USA.It's the French strains that eat me alive.
StCirq is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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I also wondered why there were no screens in windows in Europe. I asked landlord once in Spain. He looked puzzled, and said, "But Senor, how then would the flies get out?"

nukesafe is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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The worst mosquito invasion in my life was in Collioure -
huge buggers that left massive itchy welts that tortured
me for over a week. Absolute agony.
immimi is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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The Dordogne mosquitoes must be centred around St Cirq's houses, as over here in Carlux we don't get many - nothing like Ontario, where we're from.

We do however have screens because people who rented our property over the years were more comfortable with them. One of our first guests was originally from Trinidad, where he said there are 23 things that can come through the window and do serious harm. So he could not sleep with an open window.

The reason you don't see them on many European houses, certainly in France, may well have something to do with built in immunity, or just no being bothered by a lot of things that North Americans find irritating.

But is also a construction issue. If you have to reach out of your window twice a day to open or close shutters, you can't have a full screen in the way. You can now buy units that fit into the window frame and slide up and down, but that's quite an investment. We invented our own system of hanging screens, held down by a chain at the bottom. That way you can push them out of the way to reach the shutters. But in at least one of the properties we manage, even this is completely impossible with the type of shutter installed.

Our French friends find them interesting, but no one so far has dashed home to make their own.
Carlux is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 09:59 PM
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We ran into a bad case of mosquitoes during outdoor dining in Arles. It was May and the wait staff was aware, but of course, could do nothing. My wife suffered greatly and we always travel with repellant as a result.
macanimals is offline  
May 7th, 2009, 11:28 PM
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We have few mosquitoes in my neck of the woods in the Dordogne. I recall that when we first came to the States we were surprised by the amount of mosquitoes and gnats. There simply are not as many in most of Europe, although I suspect that swampy areas would be the exception. We have no screens in the Dordogne (and no screens in SF for the same reason) because the bugs are not that bad, with the exception of horseflies--in France; it used to be worse, but now that the cows are gone from the neighboring fields, there are fewer horseflies. Once they get in the house they no longer bite because all they try to do is get out. By the end of the day we have a good dozen at the base of our window. To minimize flies from getting in, houses are kept dark during the day so that the critters are not tempted to fly in--it also is a way of keeping the house cooler.

Bugs must exist, otherwise we would not be hearing the song birds, but in all my travels in Europe I have never been driven away by mosquitoes, while we have been from the headwaters of the Missouri.
Michael is offline  
May 8th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Well, mosquitoes like moisture, and my house is literally built into a cliff where there are caves, and water (we have our own spring on the property and there's another down the lane, and we have continual issues with water seeping into the house from behind us in the cliffs. I think that has something to do with the mosquito issue.

We made our own screens for the top floor of the house, because we have huge linden trees that are full of bugs at the same level as the third floor,and sometimes they fly into the windows. But the huge windows on the first and second floors have no screens, just shutters. We don't get many bugs inside the house; we just get eaten up in the evenings when we're sitting by the pool, and generally just in August.
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