you've ever been bitten by one or been kept awake at
night by their incessant noise you will know just how
annoying and irritating
their subsequent bites can be.
you are thinking of
holidaying in Portugal or
Portugal you may be concerned not only about dealing
with mosquitoes but the diseases they can carry such
as Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever and Chikungunya,
all of which can be deadly. However although Portugal
does have mosquitoes you will be
pleased to know that
although there are over 3,500 known species of mosquito worldwide, those
residing in this small, Iberian country are unlikely to pass on these
diseases. Though if you react badly to mosquito bites then it's
best to consult with your doctor prior to visiting.
Interesting Facts About
Mosquitoes in Portugal
Mosquitoes are named after the Portuguese word for little fly
'mosca' and interestingly mosquitoes have been said to be a scourge on
the Earth, which is possibly why the collective term for these pesky
insects is, in fact a Scourge.
interesting as this may be if you are thinking of holidaying or moving
to Portugal then mosquitoes are something you will have to live with.
And in the words of author and poet Rudyard Kipling, the 'female of the
species is more deadlier than the male'. It is only female mosquitoes
which feast upon blood as they try to gain sustenance to lay their eggs.
You may think mosquitoes
only come out to eat during the night, but you would be wrong. There are
certain varieties of mosquito which prefer to suck blood during the day.
Mosquitoes can lock onto
a target (you) by both visual or thermal means and also have a great sense of smell.
Studies have shown mosquitoes are more attracted to victims who sweat
more, wear darker coloured clothing during the day and who smell nice.
These studies have also shown men are more likely to be bitten than
women, though not immune.
Life Cycle of a Mosquito
Mosquitoes only live for
around two weeks in their adult form, but they can reproduce a hundred
fold during this time.
Mosquitoes have four
specific stages of growth - egg, larvae, pupa and adult - and if you
have any stagnant or standing water around your home you are more likely
to attract breeding females who will lay their eggs there. By
eliminating breeding grounds such as these you can reduce the risk of
you and your family being breakfast, lunch and dinner for these
Reducing the Risk of Being
Bitten by a Mosquito in Portugal
There are of course
hundreds of products on the market aimed at repelling mozzies, ranging
from sprays to creams and gels to nets but there are also a few things
you can do yourself, for free, which will help reduce the likelihood of
being bitten by these blood sucking insects.
*Wear lighter coloured clothing
*Avoid wearing perfume
* Invest in a non-perfumed anti-perspirant deodorant
If you have moved to
Portugal or have a holiday home here, there are also a number
of plants which can help ward off marauding mosquitoes as well as
providing your garden with some added colour.
rosemary and lemon geraniums all emit a specific aroma which is repellent to
mosquitoes and some flies. Potted in tubs or pots close to your kitchen
or patio doors could help reduce the chances of mosquitoes entering your
home when the doors are open.
You could also invest specialist mosquito screens for both your windows and doors so you can
keep the doors and windows open during the long, hot summer months
without the worry of the flying phlebotomists helping themselves to your
red stuff. These micro-net screens can be fitted quickly and
easily and are readily available in various shops and supermarkets
throughout the country.
Anatomy of a Mosquito Bite
bite is actually more like an injection. The mosquito inserts it's
proboscis into the derma layer of skin, injecting its' saliva, which has
a mixture of proteins in it, including an anti-clotting agent, to ensure
the blood continues to flow.
What to do if you get
bitten by a mosquito?
If you are
unfortunate enough to get bitten by a mosquito in Portugal, try not to
scratch the bite area as this will only exacerbate it. To reduce the
itching sensation you can take anti-histamine tablets, though keeping
the bite area cool with cold compresses also helps.
Unfortunately some people will have a more severe reaction to mosquito
bites than others with rashes, bruising and severe swelling occurring.
In these instances it is imperative you seek professional medical
assistance as soon as possible.
normally a mosquito bite is more of an annoyance than anything else,
though for a small proportion of the population it can be life
threatening situation. If a mosquito bite results in rashes, bruising
and severe swelling you should consult a medical professional as soon as