Mosquitoes are everywhere with the exception of extremely cold environments (think Antarctica). In extremely humid conditions they can be prolific. The other consideration is where these pesky little creatures breed. Standing or stagnant water is a haven for mosquito babies. So, what about Mexico? In this article, I will cover 7 Ways to Deal with Mosquitoes in Mérida Mexico including:
- Mosquito repellent, traditional and natural
- Best clothing to wear during the day and night
- Protecting windows and doors
- Candles, coils, and incense
- Electronic devices
- After-care products
- Reducing breeding ground areas
Let’s take care of these annoying pests so you can enjoy your time and explore this amazingly beautiful city.
This article was updated in February of 2023.
When is the mosquito season in Mérida?
Humidity and rain will increase the concentration of mosquitoes. So it makes sense that Mosquitoes in Mérida will be most prevalent between April and November.
During the rainy season, they will be worse from June to October.
Unfortunately, September is the all-time high due to being the highest month with the most rainfall annually. Here’s more information on the weather in Mérida Mexico.
Since the Yucatan peninsula is considered a sub-tropical region, you’ll find plenty of these little guys flying around, swarming, and looking for yummy individuals to feast on. Fortunately, during the late fall and the winter, the amount of mosquitos declines significantly. Unfortunately, they don’t vanish entirely.
Mosquitos in Mérida tend to be more active after dusk BUT female mosquitoes will bite any time of the day.
What attracts mosquito?
Like other insects, nectar is the primary food form mosquitoes. Females, however, need animal or human blood necessary to provide nutrients to produce eggs.
Females find their victims through the use of antennae detecting carbon dioxide from breathing and sweating. As all of us know, some people are more prone to bites than others. Studies have found blood type, genetics, skin bacteria, and even diet can cause an attraction-factor.
How do mosquitos choose their victims?
Female mosquitos find hosts by using their antennae which detect carbon dioxide and other organic compounds expelled when humans and animals breathe out and sweat.
Studies have revealed that mosquitoes prefer some hosts over others: blood type, the bacteria on your skin, and even genetics can influence your attractiveness to female mosquitos.
Mosquito diseases in Mérida Mexico
For the most part, mosquito bites in Mexico are just plain annoying. While the risk of contracting a disease is low, it is still something to be aware of. When a mosquito bites, they mix the blood of the host with the saliva in their mouth which can carry diseases.
Mosquito-borne diseases for Mosquitos in Mérida include:
- Yellow Fever
- Dengue Fever
- Zika Virus
While the chance of contracting Malaria from mosquitoes in Mexico is very low, the U.S. Center for Disease Control advises pregnant women and their partners to take special precautions due to the risk of Zika Virus. Also watch out for Dengue Fever, especially in the jungle and mangrove areas.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever:
- Aches and pains – muscle, joint, or bone pain
- Eye pain – typically behind the eyes
What’s more . . .
I have a few friends that have contracted Dengue Fever and reported that it feels like the flu, except worse. Fortunately, they have all recovered and are well.
Symptoms of Zika Virus:
- Itching all over the body
- High temperature
- Joint pain (with possible swelling, mainly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet)
- Muscle pain
- Red eyes (conjunctivitis)
- Lower back pain
If you think you have been bitten by a mosquito and present any of these symptoms, go to your nearest clinic or hospital.
#1 Choosing the best mosquito repellent for you
The most common way to prevent bites is wearing insect repellent on your skin. Traditional synthetic repellents typically use DEET as the active ingredient. There are also repellents made with natural oils.
I have tried a variety of both traditional and natural and have found them to have some effectiveness. Unfortunately, I am one of the types of people mosquitos love. I have to apply and reapply throughout the day otherwise I walk around with red bites all over.
In any case, I have searched high and low for something that works for me and my final conclusion is Vicks Vapor Rub.
Yes, that’s right. Who knew?
I dab a tiny bit on my ankles, knees, shoulders, and behind my ears. The secret is Cedarleaf oil which is a natural insect repellent. I reapply every couple of hours for maximum protection for mosquitos in Mérida.
#2 The best clothing to wear to avoid mosquito bites
During the hottest parts of the day, mosquitos are not as prevalent. Dress first for the weather and then for the mosquitos is my rule. After dusk, you may consider wearing long-sleeved shirts or pants (or both).
Mosquitos tend to bite areas with the least amount of body hair such as feet, ankles, ears, and neck. I’ve even had these annoying creatures bite right through my clothing, so watch out.
If you are going on an excursion or a hike, dress accordingly. When visiting the archeological sites, I will heavily spray down my clothing as well as my skin. Consider a hat or one with a mosquito net if you plan on venturing into the jungle or wooded-areas.
#2 Protecting windows and doors from mosquito intrusion
One of the things I enjoy the most is the cross-breeze in my home. Being able to open doors and windows is refreshing however NOT when the mosquitoes think it is an open invitation to come in. Some homes are equipped with screens. However, if you do not have screens, I highly recommend installing them anywhere and everywhere you might leave a door or window open.
#4 Candles, coils, and incense are the best smelling options
Citronella is one of the most common ingredients for repelling mosquitos because they don’t like the smell. You will find this ingredient in many products for this reason. Sandalwood is a popular fragrance of incense that mosquitos don’t like either. Locally, you will be able to find items with these ingredients as well as popular coils.
A word of caution –
Read the directions closely as some claim they can be used indoors. I will admit, during the rainy season, I will use citronella candles, lavender-scented coils, and sandalwood incense inside my home. Remember, I am a magnet for mosquitoes in Mérida.
#5 Electronic devices to zap mosquitoes
Admittedly, I have never used an electronic device however I know some people swear by them. There are quite a few to choose from including small plug-in devices using either oil or emitting a high-frequency sound, and hanging devices for patios and exterior places.
By far, the most popular one I’ve seen looks like a small tennis racket that you swat the mosquito with. Combine a little exercise with pest control, what could be better?
#6 After-care products for itchy bites
More than likely, most people will experience a bite from a mosquito. Each person will have a different reaction from insignificant to severe; for some, an itchy swollen area, for others, large blisters. If yours is insignificant but annoying, look for products containing bicarbonate of soda as the main ingredient or ask the pharmacist.
Beyond that –
If you experience large blisters, you may need to have a professional look at the area to recommend treatment. it is possible to be allergic to mosquito bites and the mosquitoes in Mérida are quite different than the ones in other countries, especially the U.S.
Local tip: I keep a small roll-on bottle of essential oil blends to treat the bites I get. This helps relieve both the itch and the swollen area. I’ve also found that hand sanitizer takes the sting out of bites too.
#7 Reducing breeding ground areas to reduce mosquito babies
Mosquitoes in Mérida need water to breed, it’s just that simple. To prevent these moist habitats, frequently check both inside and outside your home for standing water. Inside, mosquitos love laundry and utility areas. Outside look for standing or stagnant water in garden ponds and unused fountains.
Be sure to overturn water buckets and any other containers that collect water, no matter how small.
To use or not to use Deet
Deet is a chemical created in the 1940s by the USDA for use by the U.S. military to repel biting insects, including mosquitos, ticks, and fleas. It has been commercially available since 1957. A true repellent, Deet actually prevents insects from landing on skin or clothing. Why? Some theories lean towards the ability of Deet to block an insect’s ability to smell human sweat and breath. While other research suggests Deet just smells bad. So bad in fact, that insects want to avoid all contact with it.
Like any other product, when used according to the directions, Deet has been shown to be safe.
It is also one of the most effective ways to deal with mosquitoes no matter where you are. If you are concerned about the use of Deet, I highly recommend conducting more research and using your own judgment. Weigh the facts and come to your own conclusion.
Final thoughts and tips on mosquitoes in Mérida Mexico
Remember mosquitoes in Mérida Mexico are usually found during the mosquito season that runs from April to November. In the latter part of the year beginning in late October, the number of mosquitos will begin to decrease but won’t entirely vanish.
If you are concerned about getting mosquito-borne diseases or being bitten while visiting Mérida, I highly recommend coming during the winter when mosquitos are less prevalent.
- Cover arms and legs with loose-fitting clothing
- Avoid areas where mosquitoes swarm
- Reapply repellent frequently
- Use 50% DEET for the most effective protection
- Keep doors and windows closed
- Always wear shoes outdoors
I’ve become accustomed to using mosquito spray daily and carry a small travel-sized spray in my purse as part of my every day carry. It’s a small trade-off for the joy I feel every day to live in this beautiful city I call home.
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