What is the best thing for keeping mosquitoes away in Spain?
With the much awaited summer months come long, warm nights to be enjoyed sitting outside, maybe enjoying a drink and some tapas, but unfortunately, they also bring some less popular visitors: mosquitoes.
Keep reading to find out more about them and how to keep them at bay.
Itching and scratching
Mosquitoes can be a huge problem, and although most people will only find their bites uncomfortably itchy, others can suffer more serious reactions. Young children seem to be particularly tasty for them and without a good after-bite product, it can be hard to keep them from scratching, and with dirty fingernails, bites can become infected.
More about mosquitoes
They don’t actually bite. Within their elongated mouthpieces there are six needle-like pieces; two to break the skin, two to keep it apart, one to detect blood vessels and the other to extract the blood. Their saliva is what causes the itching as most people are allergic to it. It’s only the females which do this to get blood which will allow eggs to develop. They find us because of the carbon dioxide we breathe out as well as other smells, perfume, the bacteria on our skin, etc
How to keep them away
We asked our readers what they have found to be the best remedy for keeping mosquitoes away in Spain. The majority voted for sprays from the pharmacy. This was followed by plug-in repellents, mosquito nets and screens, baby cologne, natural repellents such as garlic and citronella, yeast tablets, Marmite and Vitamin B, and finally repellent candles and bracelets. Almost 10 per cent said that none of the above was effective. Do you have any infallible remedies to keep the mosquitoes at bay? Natural repellents? A favourite brand of sprays or plug-ins? Let us know.
The common mosquito, or culex pipiens, is the most common, measuring between four and 10 millimetres, it bites at night in the summer months. It can spread Nile Fever. There was a plague last year around Sevilla which caused 19 cases of meningoencephalitis and sent at least seven people to the ICU.
The tiger mosquito, or aedes albopictus, was first seen in Spain in 2004 and is mainly found on the East coast and Balearic islands. It has a distinctive white line and is between six and nine millimetres long. It also bites during the day, mainly around the legs and ankles, and the bites are very itchy. It can spread several diseases and its presence in Spain rose 70 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year, mainly in the Levante area.
The Egyptian mosquito, Aedes Aegypti is one of the most worrying because it can spread the most diseases. It is also striped and bites several times. Found in Andalucia and Cataluña, mainly near water. They fly close to the ground and can’t be heard.
The Aedes Japonicus or Japonese mosquito is bigger than the others, light brown with gold coloured lines. It bites in the morning and at night and can also spread Nile Fever amongst other diseases. It prefers rural areas with plenty of vegetation. There have been plagues reported in Andalucia and other parts of Spain.
The Anopheles mosquito is one of the best known and can spread malaria, which is not considered to be a problem in Europe but causes 600,000 deaths per year in the world, mainly in Africa. It is six millimetres long and bites at dusk and at night.
Did you know?
- There are around 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world but only four are dangerous to humans
- They are the deadliest animal on the planet and kill more than 700,000 people every year
- They can drink three times their body weight in blood
- They live around two months
- They are as old as the dinosaurs and were around in the Triassic period.
- They feed on nectar from flowers, juice from fruit and other natural liquids.
- The buzzing is caused by their wings.
- They don’t only bite humans, but also animals, including frogs and birds
- They may be annoying, but they’re also necessary. They pollinate flowers and are food for birds, bats, reptiles, fish and amphibians.
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