I keep seeing references to bad mosquito infestations in Venice. They adore my husband and he despises them (they don't bother me a bit even when they bite, lucky me). Are they a big problem in late September? Aren't the canals brackish water?
For some reason they can be a big nuisance in many N. Italy locations in the late summer. Venice doesn't compare to our encounter with swarms of mosquitos in Milan near shrubbery (no water) one evening when dining out. The young couple sitting near us slipped a piece of paper onto our table that had the name of a recommended mosquito repellant. We spent more time swatting than eating that night. The local product worked great the next day but a lot of damage had already been inflicted.
Venice is not an issue. Florence is the mosquito capital. Pack some deet.
I have never had problems with mosquitoes outside of Rome, ironically, but I ALWAYS take Off-Wipes with me just-in-case. Also, if you can pack along little packets of Calagel (buy them online at Amazon) and slip them in your purse of backpack, you can treat bites on the spot. Almost instant relief!
We've been to Venice 4 times in Sept (generally mid-Sept) and never had an issue with mosquitoes.
As another poster mentioned, Florence seems bad. That is the only place in my travels in and about Italy (always in Sept) when I can remember being bothered by mosquitoes (we were up in Fiesole for views of Florence fighting them off - it pretty much drove us away - hate the buggers).
I never had a mosquito problem in Venice, but I live in Florida and am a mosquito magnet! I don't like bug sprays so I use these bracelets, found on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Value-Repellent-Bracelets-Effective-Adjustable/dp/B00ZXGB33Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441293693&sr=8-1&keywords=mosquito+repellent+bracelet+by+mosquit&pebp=1441293701423&perid=1FBNPGCN6EYTT868HYR3
I can attest that Vicenza, Padua and Florence have mosquito issues in the fall. Venice, at least the lagoon, may be spared because most mosquitos generally don't like salt water. (I’ll find out next month as we are staying IN Venice for the first time…)
This is compounded by Europeans having some aversion to screens for windows... If you have problems with mosquitos at night, you might want to pack some of the new wearable mosquito repellents.
Thanks all, sounds like it won't be a huge problem, at least not in Venice. Tho we will also be elsewhere, maybe in mosquito territory...
Charlotte, I have ordered the mosquito repelling bracelets, we'll try them stateside - unusual to see such good reviews for a non-deet repellent, thanks for the info. Anything non-toxic to give hubby relief, he is tortured by skeeters and I worry about his heavy use of deet.
You can add Pisa to the list for mosquito problems. During one of our trips to northern Italy in September, it was the only place we noticed a problem other than Florence.
We purchased Deet Wipes in individual packets to take. Lightweight and effective, we tried them at home a few weeks ago. Bought on Amazon.
We found mosquitoes while visiting some of the lakeside villages on Lake Garda & also in Padua last September/October.
Our hotel in Padua let me use an electric insecticide diffuser which holds a tablet containing insecticide & our room was mosquito free all night. Our windows did not have a screen, so we made sure to close them, once we went to bed.
I saw the insecticide diffuser, in a grocery store & should have purchased it, because we found some mosquitoes while
staying in Varenna, Lake Como too. I asked at the hotel if they had these VAPE insecticide diffusers but they did not.
The insecticide mentioned above is made by VAPE: http://www.vape.com/en/products
Most mosquitoes come out at dusk but the mosquitoes by Lake Garda where out & ready to bite me during the day!
I didn't encounter mosquitoes while visiting Venice, but we did not spend the night there.
Have a wonderful trip!
We spent 5 nights in Venice in late August 2013 and did not have any issues with mosquitoes but I got eaten alive in the Cinque Terre. Next trip I plan to try an essential oil mixture because I don't like using chemicals. DoTerra makes one that's good or you can make your own.
Good luck, Carolina! Hope they help :)
We did Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence, Pisa, and a lot small towns in Tuscany. Mosquitoes were everywhere. But mainly in the morning and evening. Luckily I knew about so we had plenty of got repellent. Just had to remember to use it! We used Repell Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent.
People may not know that the valley where Florence is (known as the Florentine Plain) used to be a swamp. The Etruscans, in fact, settled in Fiesole (on the hill above Florence) long before the Romans founded Florence. The swamps are gone, thanks to works in the 19th and early 20th century, but mosquitoes apparently still like to hang around.
If I can voice a slightly different opinion of mosquitoes and Venice, I suggest you come prepared. Each time I've been in Venice it's been in the fall, and each time I've ended up munched on by mosquitoes. I've had stray ones in the hotel room, but I've also been bitten when I've been out and about. The plug-in units that you can use in your room are good, and you can probably get one at the desk of the hotel.
It sounds like lots of folks have had good luck. But I think it's worth remembering that a number of islands in the lagoon were abandoned in earlier centuries because of problems with malaria. That suggests the little critters have been there for a long time.
Thanks for that bit of insight, Roberto. I wondered why the mozzies in Florence were so fierce! The little beepity-beeps not only made a meal out of me, I reacted much more severely to the bites than at home (they love me here too).
One way to combat mosquitoes from biting is to use a little of Avon Skin so Soft bath oil. A little bit of it diluted with distilled water in a small spray bottle for legs and arms, or even in a jar with those round make up remover pads soaking for wiping on, is an easy and cheap solution. You do not have to buy awhole bottle. I have gotten trial sizes and they last a long time. I used to spray my daughters when they were young and were going to play outdoors in the summer. Learned this from a friend who went fishing early in the morning, when a lot of mosquitoes were ready for breakfast. Only drawback is the fragrance of the oil. My daughters would complain of the smell, but I would tell them it was better than being bitten and feeling itchy. Since it is basically an oil, I would not spray on clothes, just wipe on bare skin areas.
Of course, one may forget wiping ears, back off necks, etc, and still get bitten.
One further method is to take 100 gm of vitamin B1 or B6 for about 2 weeks PRIOR to traveling, and continue taking during the trip. Some people say they take a vitamin Bcomplex a day and are covered. However, I read in a nutrition book that absorption of vitamin B can be reduced by excessive sugar consumption by depleting it in the body. Smoking has the same results. Alcohol intake can also destroy some vitamin Bs. So, if one smokes and/ or drinks this method won'tbe effective.
This is discouraging. I was thinking of taking a My Way Tour in Italy in the fall of 2016 with my H. I hate mosquitoes, but they love me. I've never found it possible to completely stop them from biting me in New England, outdoors. Would they still be around in late October? Was the trip worth the mosquitoes? Wray
You can find good science-based, non-anecdotal information on repellents that work and those that don't at Consumer Reports website.
Wray, don't let the mosquitoes stop you. It is definitely worth the trip. Venice and Florence are my two favorite cities in the world, and I wouldn't let some mosquitoes discourage me. I bring individually packaged towelettes w repellant (I think Off brand) for exposed skin. Long sleeves and long pants, which I want anyway in October, also help. The plug in the wall units, which you can find at the hotel desk or in stores, help with anything in your room. And you could bring along a little cortisone cream or one of the other topical treatments for bites.
@Stan, Good idea, consumer reports. Generally my go to for product information but never thought about repellents.
@Sherry, I've been to Florence twice before, Venice once, but not in summer or mosquito season. My H has never been to Italy and I feel it is necessary for him to go there…LOL. I've never tried repellent wipes before so I might test them out. I really HATE mosquitoes. Thanks, Wray
Northern Italy not only has a big mosquito problem in the late summer and fall (and rarely any screens) but they also have mosquitos that carry serious tropical diseases like Dengue fever. There have been a few cases brought in by immigrants and then spread locally. Nothing really deters mosquitos effectively except deet. And it is very hard in my experience to get effective mosquito repellant in Italy. We spent two months in Florence, had to have the window open as there was no air conditioning and even with mosquito nets it was difficult. Nothing we could buy locally including the silly little plug ins worked -- but then for us 2 or 3 mosquitos in our bedroom at night is too many. I now always carry a few of the towelettes with repellant when traveling in the fall or early spring and a bottle of the heavy duty stuff from mid spring to early fall.
Italy is ALWAYS worth putting up with a few mozzies for!
I'm with Sherry. I've been to Venice in September four times now. Surprisingly, I don't seem to have much trouble with them in the day time but at night, with no screens or air conditioning, we've had our window open and that annoying high-pitched buzzing sound keeps me awake all night (my husband, who is not as tasty to mosquitoes as I am, just sleeps away). I have also been bitten in Florence, until a shopkeeper told me where to get some medicine for the bites because my scratching was driving her crazy! But find some repellent and go any way or you will miss out on two of my very favorite cities! (Making sure you have a room with air conditioning so the windows are shut might help too!)
We just returned from Venice on October 08. We encountered more mosquitoes there than in all of southern France and northern Italy combined. We did stay right on the canal in an older place with huge windows, and of course no screens.
We got back from Venice Oct. 6 so we were there the same time. I was the original poster in this thread about mosquitoes - turns out we had very minimal problems with them. We were also on a canal (tho a quiet back canal), windows open some. One or two skeeters would blunder in but not the problem they seem to have in Florence.
Just returned from Italy. Stayed on a canal in Venice - no mosquitoes. Two or three mosquitoes one evening in Florence, no more after we plugged in the repellent. None in Sorrento or Rome. We brought insect spray with us but never needed to use it. Just be prepared...things change.