One of the more common annoyances experienced by people visiting or living in Mexico is the presence of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes make their home here along with other apparent ‘scary’ creatures such as spiders, scorpions, and snakes; but unlike the creatures that crawl, mosquitoes are far more commonly seen and felt – and thus can become more annoying.
Of the 3,500 varieties of mosquitoes found world-wide, very few feed on humans. Mosquitoes feed on nectar as their principal source of nourishment, although females must supplement their diet with animal or human blood as the proteins and iron it contains are critical to egg production.
It has been known for years that mosquitoes exhibit a tendency to bite some humans and avoid others and much folklore has been woven around the matter of who is more or less likely to be bitten and why. An article published in a British newspaper reported on some findings revealed that biting mosquitoes do not care for humans that expel a ‘fruity-sweet smelling’ body odor through their sweat. The researchers are now in discussions with companies to help develop natural repellents that do not rely upon DEET.
When you’re in Mexico during the rain season, it’s wise to use a mosquito repellent when you’re outdoors or otherwise exposed to mosquitoes. Local pharmacies and supermarkets sell name-brand repellents in sprays and creams (‘Off’ is the most recognized brand here) and you can also purchase natural repellents, sometimes known sold under the name citronela, made using a mixture of citrus and natural oils which mosquitoes don’t like. If you have been bitten and need some relief, local pharmacies sell ointments, one example is named ‘Andatol‘, which reduce the itching and encourage healing—ask your local pharmacist for advice.
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