I have so much to say on this topic that I felt like it deserved a whole post dedicated to the trials and tribulations of the infamous Holbox mosquito.
The mosquitos here are a formidable breed of their own! 75% of the island is actually a nature reserve which is why there are so many.
Things I Did to Avoid Getting Bitten by Mosquitos
- Bought the local mosquito repellent. It seems to work better than the high strength stuff I brought with me from the UK. Pharmacies and supermarkets sell it. Take it with you everywhere like your life depends on it.
- Ate SO much garlic and onions! No joke, I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner with the stuff. Even tried rubbing cloves onto my skin! Apparently it’s more effective to eat the cloves raw but my boyfriend made me draw the line on this if I didn’t want to repel him and absolutely everyone on the island too. Fair point really.
- Avoided beer. This was a tough one because the Cheladas are SO good but mosquitos love the taste of beer and salt so this combination was an absolute no no. I basically perspired Pina Coladas instead.
- Showered as soon as I got back from the beach. Mosquitos love your sweaty body! Be safe, stay clean.
- Wore jumpsuits, trousers, maxi dresses at night to cover my legs. No brainer really.
- Got a mosquito net over my bed. Cabanas Manati where I stayed already had one which was an absolute life saver at night. Of an evening when my boyfriend would sit at our little dining table doing work, I’d bring my laptop into bed and make a den safely protected by the net. It became my sanctuary from the mozzies!
- Lit mosquito repellent candles in the evening. Raid is a common brand on the island so you can pick these up in any supermarket.
- Avoided walking through wooded land or bushes. Ok I didn’t do this, but I should have done! Be careful when you’re exploring Punta Cocos or Yum Balam because there’s a lot of trees which is where the mosquitos love to hang out. Literally you’ll see one or two and then before you know it there’s a whole swarm of them around you and you’re running for your life! What I found really helpful was to have your beach towel to hand and keep swinging it around you and basically swatting yourself so mosquitos can’t land on you.
Tips to Help Cure the Mosquito Itch
- Buy hydrocortisone cream. I react badly to mosquito bites – think swelling, blistering, hard, dark red lumps that usually scar. It’s not pleasant. To reduce this and help the healing process, buy the cream from the pharmacy. There’s 2 on the island. If you’re facing the ocean and standing at the front of the Centro, one of the pharmacies is just on the road to the right. They sell cream with 2.5% strength hydrocortisone which seemed to do the trick.
- Rub your skin with limes. Something in the citrus helps the itch.
- Put ice on it. I found this really soothing and effective and reduces the swelling too.
- Rub cider vinegar on your skin.
- Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to bite.
- Press on the bite firmly (but don’t pierce skin) for 10 seconds. It’s a temporary fix but when you literally want to rip your leg off from all the itchiness, it helps!
- Put a plaster on it. I went through a phase where even the wind blowing against my legs was making the bites itch insanely so although not the most attractive fix, putting a plaster on them does help you get through those first couple of days post-bite.