How to survive the mosquitoes in Bali

by Maarten Rol

August 6, 2017
If there is one thing that can ruin your holiday, then it is constantly getting stung by mosquitoes.
There are a lot of them in Bali, in some areas more than in other. Visitors do not need to be afraid of catching malaria, as it hasn't been found in Bali. However, dengue fever is a possibility in Bali and you do not want to catch that either.
Komang has had it and it really hurts to the bones.
Also, when you are sitting in a nice restaurant in Seminyak, these nasty creatures will be looking for you, mostly under the tables. They can really ruin your fun.

A little theory.
At the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands there has been quite a bit successful research on mosquitoes.
First: it's the female mosquitoes that sting, not the male. The male mosquitoes live from nectar and plant fluids. This is the one time you don't want to be popular with 'the ladies'.
When you are stung, the mosquito takes just a few drops of blood. The blood is too thick for the mosquito however, so it injects a little fluid to make the blood thinner. And this stuff is where the itching comes from. For some people the immune system just gives a more fierce reaction than for others and will result in a bigger red spot and more itching.
Second, mosquitoes are very good at smelling. And sorry, there is not much you can do about he way you smell. It has to do with the bacteria on your skin. The important involving factors here are: your health, stress level and it's hereditary.

Mosquitoes, how to survive them in Bali
Mosquitoes, how to survive them in Bali.

So OK, but what can I do about it?
First, there are many stories of simple methods that will not work. Washing with anti-bacterial soap helps only for a very short while. Also eating a lot of garlic or drinking a lot of beer will not help at all, contrary to what many people think.
What does help: take DEET with you. In The Netherlands you will be able to buy it with a concentration of 40-50% at the ANWB-stores, brand: CarePlus. There are variants with a lower concentration especially for children.
It is very effective and also helps against other nasty insects like ticks (but I haven't had those in the many times that I was in Bali). The Dutch military also use it when they go to countries where there are a lot of mosquitoes, because of its effectiveness. In other countries you will be able to find variants in drugstores. We have tried to find it in Bali, but only found it in products with a low concentration of max 14%, which is not nearly as effective.

The people who do the maintenance of villas sometimes try to get rid of the mosquitoes if there are too much. By fogging the shrubs around the villa they kill them. Fogging is a mild word for getting nasty chemicals on the insects, so don't be around when they do that. In our experience it helps just a little.
At night mosquito nets round the beds are handy. You can select Bali villas on our website that provide these nets.
And just in case you are stung: take AfterBite with you or some other brand, that will quickly reduce the itching.

As always: prepare. Our advice: take DEET and AfterBite with you when you come to Bali.
You will be happy to have it with you!

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