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Mosquitoes in: Athens, Santorini and Meteora Monastaries in Kalambaka

Is is true that everyone gets bitten? Wife has very bad sensitivity to mosquito bites as it is the times she's been bit in the United States but we read that some folks that were bitten in Greece had very bad allergic reactions, and we've read about the increase in Malaria, including deaths in the last few years. The airbnb we'll be staying in has no screens. Everyone is recommending DEET and outher toxic chemicals which we don't want to put on our bodies or inhale. Should we skip our trip to Santorini? We've read just recently too many horror stories about the mosquito issue ruining trips and this was supposed to be for a honeymoon. Didn't even realize this was an issue so we didn't research this earlier on. We were planning to go at the end of September, which we read also still has mosquitoes.

Posted by
3133 posts

Yes, there are mosquitoes. No, not everyone gets bitten. No one can guarantee you won't.

Posted by
8293 posts

"We've read about the increase in Malaria ..." In Greece??

Posted by
1398 posts

Lee's right that nobody can guarantee you won't be bitten, but you can do things to reduce the risk. We are generally in Greece for a couple of weeks in September and I used to suffer really badly from bites. On the other hand my partner really reacts badly to some of the anti mosquito chemicals.

We use an anti mosquito plug in. Something like this one

http://www.amazon.co.uk/COMPACT-TRAVEL-MOSQUITO-REPELLENT-REPELLER/dp/B008Y0GM4Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408636930&sr=8-1&keywords=plug+insect

We close the windows and put it in in the bedroom when we go out in the evening. When we go to bed, and as we turn the lights off, we unplug it and open the window to let air in. This doesn't guarantee you won't get bitten but it reduces the chances considerably in our experience. It also means you're not sleeping in a fumy atmosphere.

On the malaria front there have been a small number of cases in Greece but most have been of people coming into the country rather than there being an epidemic there. Obviously there is a miniscule chance of infection from one of the sufferers but it isn't one I would worry about.

Alan

Posted by
16894 posts

I experienced mosquitos in Greece in early October, but what's particularly memorable was a few days on Kos island, not necessarily the destinations of the tour that I assisted before that. Of course, our Athens hotel was air conditioned and your B&B could also have an in-room air conditioner (they're popular), to help you keep the windows closed. I would carry some mosquito repellant, so you can decide as you go.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi everyone, thanks for the quick responses. Hi Laura, we won't have air conditioning in our airbnb. In your experience, is mosquitoes in every neighborhood throughout or is it more common in certain areas. We'll be staying in either Oia or Imerovigli.

Posted by
2145 posts

I find that tea tree oil wipes work as a mosquito repellant. You can buy them on Amazon and they're much nicer than putting Deet onto your skin, especially at bedtime. They come in a soft plastic dispenser package (easy to pack). I always put the package inside another zip lock bag to keep them from drying out.

In a half-dozen trips to Greece in September we have only been bothered by Mosquitos once, on the island of Samos. Hopefully you will be fortunate and avoid them as well.

Posted by
5678 posts

Most of my memories of Greece are really wonderful, but we did run into mosquitos. It was July on Paros that they were the worst. We didn't have love electric repellents then. We actually left the windows open, but burnt coils near them to keep them out. It was, also, very, very, very hot.

Pam

Posted by
31 posts

My friends and I were just in Santorini a couple of weeks ago and had absolutely no trouble with mosquitoes. One friend in particular seems to always get attacked by them where ever we go but we all left after 4 days unscathed by any mosquito bites. I would still go to Santorini if I were you guys! It's absolutely beautiful! To be on the safe side perhaps pack some Hydrocortisone cream and Diphenhydamine (Benadryl). Have fun!

Posted by
23 posts

kthlnkitty2002, that's reassuring. Any other pointers/advice/tips about Santorini since you were there recently? Thanks everyone else for the comments.

Posted by
552 posts

Of course you can pack whatever you like. But in an effort to start off as light as possible, I never take repellents as a 'just-in-case'.

Cinnamon, Neem, Tea Tree & Citronella oils are all natural options that could work in a crises. (But not as well a DEET.)
They take up space where I'd rather have some good mustard or honey in my '1 liter liquids bag for TSA inspection' so I'll wait until the need arises to get myself protected from itchy, annoying bites.

If there is an ongoing problem at the place you're staying, I've found that there will be products available for you to buy or borrow. Most responsible B & B's will definitely have those smoking coils or the plug-ins ready in your room.

We recently rented a cabin at the Myakka River, a lovely swamp region in West Florida. This was not a 'just-in-case' and was poor planning that I didn't have some repellant in the first aid kit. As dusk descended, my wife and I were doing the 'Face-swat Watusi' with great vigor. Sitting outside and listening to frogs and crickets would have been impossible without some serious 'deep-woods' protection. In this case I was able to trade some nicely presented canapés for use of the neighboring cabin's can of spray with those exact protection words on the label... Problem solved!

On our last trip the infestation was almost comical. Everyone in the town was doing the aforementioned dance,... and it wasn't event dark out yet. In this case it was a midge outbreak in the Connemara region of Ireland. Every single gift shop and pub had bottles of spray for sale along with big signs warning of the impending discomfort. Yes it had DEET in it and yes I used way too much all over my ears and hands. But this was a special occasion.

All the DEET warnings are for avoiding prolonged and heavy use. Occasional external use while on vacation should be no more worrisome than heavy internal use of Raki (highly recommended, BTW) while on your honeymoon, right? Throw caution to the wind while you enjoy your once-in-a-liftime experience, then have a kale salad when you get home to make amends later.

Posted by
23 posts

Bill, thanks ever so much for the comical (and slightly itchy) comment. We'll give some of the natural remedies like cintronella a try. Mosquito infestation in Ireland, wow.

Posted by
3133 posts

Citronella is weak and ineffectual in an open area where the moving air dilutes its concentration. Citronella candles and other citronella-emitting devices are a waste if your money.

One thing you can do to minimize mosquito attacks is to wear white clothing. Dark colors trap carbon dioxide from the body, which mosquitoes love. Wearing a white shirt does not always stop a bite, but it certainly may help.