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Mosquitoes in Florence

Hi
Heard mosquitoes are bad in Florence. My wife and I would like to be there in late September / early October but she has very bad reactions to the little blood suckers. Is it a problem at this time?
cheers
Kevin

Posted by
715 posts

I have never encountered a mosquito in Florence, hardly ever encountered a bug in Florence. I have been there in every season but the fall though.

In fact the only bugs (of the flying variety) I have really encountered in Italy were bees, api, and they were huge, i mean humming bird size (ouch!!!), and flies around the donkeys and goats at my friends farm. Most buildings do not have screens.

I might add that if I am with a group of people I am usually the last person a mosquito goes after.

Posted by
11734 posts

I was bitten badly in Florence but in May so I'm not sure how big a problem they are in the fall. We'd left our windows open overnight (no screens) and I was positively chewed by morning: very large welts. Like your wife, I tend to have more severe reactions to mosquitoes than most people do but these were even more severe than usual.

They didn't seem to be a problem during the day - only at night.

Posted by
3847 posts

We were in Florence the 3rd week of Sept a few years back. Tho I didn't notice mosquitoes in Florence (but we only were there two nights, and the first was spent pretty much at our B&B), we went up to Fiesole (which isn't too far away) the 2nd evening for a view of Florence - the mosquitoes pretty much drove us away. We didn't linger very long. She may want to bring along some repellent...

...just as an add-on, in 4 trips to Italy, all in Sept...we've been to Rome/Cinque Terre/Milan/Venice/Amalfi...Florence (well Fiesole) is the only place we had a mosquito issue...

Posted by
524 posts

I've read about the no screens in Italy, and my DH had this same problem in Costa Rica (and he said he had bites all over this legs the next morning).

I am ordering some Ultrathon lotion and we will put it on at night, and I've purchased some Afterbite, too. I read that someone said to spray your blankets and bedstuff with deet also before the night.

Hope this works because that could be miserable.

Posted by
11734 posts

The best prevention will be just to keep the windows closed. I don't particularly like dousing myself in repellent unless absolutely necessary, and as I said, the problem wasn't during the day so keeping them out at night should help quite a bit. Afterbite doesn't work for me at all.

Posted by
14 posts

Last time I was in Florence was in early Nov. Stayed at a hotel where apparently the guests made it a game to see how many mosquitoes they could smash against the wall. It looked like a crime scene. (this was back in my I have no money college days). Luckily we did not run into the zanzara, because those were some big splatters on the wall.

Posted by
20732 posts

We were in the county side around Florence in May and didn't see anything. Maybe more prevelent in certain areas since experiences are very different.

Posted by
506 posts

I was badly bit in May in Florence. But we left our windows open, won't make that mistake again when we go this May. I read in the Rick Steve's book that some hotels have this little plug in device in the guest rooms and if your hotel does not you can get one at a pharmacy for about 8 Euro's. So that is what I am going to try this time and keep my windows closed the whole time. I don't have bad reactions, but enough to make me miserable.

Posted by
308 posts

Hi Kevin,
We were in Florence in 2 Octobers ago. We got eaten up quite badly at night. I am talking huge bumps, even with the windows closed. The apartment owner had one of those plug in mosquito repellers in the bedroom but it didn't seem to help. Next time, we are bringing insect repellant.

Posted by
11983 posts

Yes there are mosquitoes in Florence, often even later in the fall.
At night you can use Vape products. Vape is a leading Italian manufacturer of insecticide products. They also sell a little hot plate that you plug in the socket and then you place a Vape tablet on it. The heated plate causes the tablet to emanate a scent that is deadly to the zanzare (Italian for mosquitoes). Every household has multiple Vape mat products, including all kind of repellents. you can buy them at any supermarket or hardware shop. I never bothered with repellants on my body, but if you need, you can buy them there too.
http://www.vape.com/en/products/
Here In the US they sell some repellents that you can clip to your belt. They are convenient. I haven't seen those in Italy yet, in fact I equip my friends and family in Florence every year with them. Maybe you can find them Down under.

Posted by
752 posts

Yes, I recently spent the whole month of September in Florence amd the mosquitoes were horrific, humongous, and left the biggest baddest welts ever, itchy, swollen, red, ugly.

Be sure to lodge in a hotel with screens on windows and doors because the nighttime is when they come out and do most damage. Windows closed with an A/C may help too.

And I've read that Tea Tree Oil or Tea Tree Oil wipes prevent bites. Those plug-ins don't work, for sure Not with windows open. Florence is Hot in September, even at night I kept all windows open, hence the need for screens. Check to be sure the screens are snug all around the frame.

Posted by
3 posts

I think this is a fairly common problem. We were in Florence in October 2014 and had first hand experience with mosquitoes while we stayed in a hotel located close to the river. The temperatures were a bit warm/stuffy at night in our otherwise beautiful hotel room, but the A/C wasn't available (common practice in Italy at the end of summer season); consequently we opened the doors on our balcony in an attempt to cool off and enjoy the evening breeze....only to find ourselves being bombarded by the little bloodsuckers. Had to go on a 'search and destroy' mission in the room at 3 a.m. to kill the little suckers. Even though the hotel had the balcony & room sprayed the next day, we didn't dare sleep with the doors open again (no screens, of course which would have precluded this problem), so we slept in a warm/stuffy room to avoid the bites. Next visit we'll pick up some of the Italian anti-mosquito remedies that others have mentioned!

Posted by
4539 posts

Kevin,

Roberto's advice is excellent:

At night you can use Vape products. Vape is a leading Italian manufacturer of insecticide products. They also sell a little hot plate that you plug in the socket and then you place a Vape tablet on it. The heated plate causes the tablet to emanate a scent that is deadly to the zanzare (Italian for mosquitoes).

I used the Vape product that Roberto described above & it works very well.

We were not in Florence this last fall but found the mosquitoes in Padua & Lake Como.

The hotel staff provided us with this small device & the tablets for our use & it worked like a charm but we did close the windows before going to bed each night.

I saw the Vape device at a grocery story & should have purchased it because I could not find it when we were in Varenna ( Lake Como)

I only found the tablets at a pharmacy and decided to place them on the lamp light bulbs (over aluminum foil) & it kept the mosquitoes away!

Posted by
792 posts

dang, never thought of mosquitoes in Italy. I'm from coastal VA, USA ....got lots of those here

Posted by
1122 posts

I also get the welts.....we were in Florence last yr late June, I did not get bit, and reading all of your posts I now feel very lucky. I did bring along a couple of those yellow curly bracelets to wear for our time in Slovenia because that was going to be more woods/agriturisomo based.....and I did not get bit too badly.....but those vape brand things sound great

Posted by
5721 posts

Lots of mosquitos in Florence in September. And the repellant sold in Florence is in my experience worthless. Bring your own high deet products; I always had a couple of those towelets with repellant in case I got caught short. It is fine in the daytime -- it is dusk that is a problem when out and about -- and not so much downtown, but near the river and near any gardens. It is also a big problem at night if you don't have AC and have to have windows open. Since window screens have not yet been invented, it is rare to have a place with no AC that is not infested. Years ago we had a mosquito net over our bed and remember waking up at 2 am with one mosquito in the tent almost every night -- there we were jumping up and down clapping our hands trying to squash the little bugger. Some places have plug in coils of various sorts which may help some but they don't help enough.

So bring your own repellant, wear long sleeved shirts in the evening and get a place with AC that you can close up at night.

Posted by
1994 posts

I also have strong reactions to bites, and I find it helpful to bring some OTC cortisone cream. The amount that fills a contact lens container is enough to get me through 3 to 4 weeks in the fall.

I also come equipped with deet towelettes, and I find the plug-in units to be helpful. In my experience, the maids open windows when they clean. Consequently, you may have some "company" in the room when you come back. So it's good to be prepared.

Posted by
752 posts

B and B L' Alloro on Via dell' Alloro 2, Firenze does have screens and use of the aria condizionale in September. Nice big room with the best twin mattresses, a desk, and a comfy loveseat. On the 3rd floor, no lift. Family speaks English. Quiet side street, next to an art school. Near Duomo, and not too far from SMN train station. Near ristoranti and Caffe' bars.

This is not Alloro B and B at Via del Giglio 8. Walking from SMN, turn right off of Via del Giglio onto Via dell' Alloro and walk down aways to 2, will be on your left. I say this because the ristorante/caffe' bar on the corner will direct you straight on Giglio. Wrong.

Posted by
11734 posts

Looks like I wasn't the only tourist with this problem.

Honestly - and I don't mean to freak you out, Kevin - but the bites on my feet were so swollen than I had to lance them with a sterilized needle to be able to get my shoes on. Yes, my husband went to a drugstore for an antidote first but what the pharmacist sold him didn't do a thing.

But Florence was absolutely worth the pain!

Posted by
68 posts

Help! what about late May early June. Can,t believe those critters are bigger than those small planes in Minnesota. Hope our hotel is sensitive to this issue.

Posted by
10337 posts

Doug, whether your hotel is sensitive to those issues will depend on whether you have to open your windows. Many hotels in Italy don't have screens on the windows, that's the critical issue.

Posted by
752 posts

Here at home I rub Aloe hand sanitizer into the bites several times a day, reduces swelling and welts leave in a few days. So I pump the gel into a 3-oz bottle and put it in my 3-3-1 bag.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks everyone - sounds like a war but worth it - I'll let the missus decide after reading all your replies Happy Travelling

Posted by
506 posts

I just found the OFF towelettes at Walmart. I bought them a few years ago and then couldn't find them for a while. Twenty in the box for $8.00, very packable and they are unscented! I have tried every kind of repellent and OFF is the best.

Posted by
8 posts

Hi all,
Thanks for this discussion. I'm sensitive to all bites and will bring deet products with to Italy.
Ciao
Harry

Posted by
5721 posts

Be aware also that these mosquitos may carry tropical diseases -- global warming has meant that previous tropical illnesses are moving north. There have been outbreaks of chikungunya in Florence and you really don't want that. The only solution is prevention -- aloe and cortizone and whatever may make the bite feel batter but they won't prevent chikungunya or malaria.

Posted by
10337 posts

Sounds like it's time for Firenze hotel windows to get window screens.

Roberto, can you talk the city council about that next time you're there?