Mosquitoes, Zika, West Nile, Dengue, Chikungunya Oh My!

You will most likely get bitten by a mosquito while on any vacation to an island in the Caribbean – Jamaica is no exception.

Besides Zika, Jamaica is home to Chikunhunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile Virus as well as a few other diseases. Wondering how to stay safe in such an environment?

First, read the CDC cautions about traveling to Jamaica.

Then keep reading to find out when mosquitos are the worst, how to protect against bites, areas to avoid and after care if you get bit.

Drift Away

Diseases

Mosquitos carry and transmit all kinds of diseases.

For more information on Zika, Yellow Fever, West Nile or Dengue – including signs and symptoms of infection as well as warnings and precautions – visit the CDC web site.

How Bad is it?

Your chances of getting infected after being bitten are very low. There is no need to panic if you get bit by a mosquito – which you probably will – as the chances that you were just bitten by one of the disease spreading mosquitos is low.

The best thing you can do is limit the number of bites you receive, there by reducing your chances by using some protection and knowing a few things about mosquitos.

The Resorts and Islands spray for protection

Both the island of Jamaica, and Couples resorts practice methods of reducing the mosquito population by eliminating their standing water (their breeding grounds) and spraying certain areas.

When/where do they swarm?

Mosquitos do not like the salt water, or a really stiff breeze.

For this reason you are normally fine standing on the beaches, tower island, mineral pool or concrete areas of the pools.

White River near Sunset Beach – Home to lots of mosquitos!

They also do not like the sun/heat of the mid day – which is why you can go without bug spray during the hottest parts of the day.

However, if you venture into the shady areas – especially areas with bushes very close by – you might start to feel one buzzing around.

In the evening – especially on nights when there is no wind or rain they can come out with a vengeance!

Therefore bug spray is necessary of you want to protect yourself.

Mineral Grotto @ CSS

Areas to Avoid or Spray Off

I cannot seem to sit in the Au Natural hot tub at Couples Negril in the early evenings without getting bitten. I believe it’s the bushes that surround the hot tub that create a breeding ground.

If you’re setting up a place to relax in the evening, move away from any bushes that might be near and you should be fine. The closer to the ocean, the better.

In addition, the trees near the main beach at CSS and the trees to the left and right of SSB also seem to be breeding grounds (they drop a lot of leaves).

In all of these areas the mosquitos will come out with a vengeance in the evenings so it’s best to go ahead and put on bug spray if you plan to stay for a while.

Only DEET works!

If you really don’t want to get bit – buy a bug spray with at least 20% DEET.

We have found that wipes work really well around your face and neck while the spray or lotion is the only thing strong enough for our ankles.

This isn’t really the time to experiment with something organic or non-DEET unless you really know for sure it works through experience.

Note that we stay out on the beach until the very last ray of sunshine is visible – and sometimes after so if you’re really concerned, going inside just after the sun sets will also help.

Sand Fleas too!

Read our blog post on Sand Fleas as well to know what other types of creatures to look out for.

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