Posted By: Carib

Critters.....? - 07/22/08 04:17 PM

Ok, as a newbie, I was reading "Why does anyone with a brain love Belize" (or words to that effect).... and I picked on the "M" word .... mosquito.

How saturated is it down there with 'em, do I need Malaria shots, and what combats 'em...?????
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Critters.....? - 07/22/08 04:20 PM

No shots or pills needed here on Ambergris Caye, but if you go into the jungles you may consider them.
Our mosquitos only get active at Happy Hour but OFF takes care of that.
Posted By: LaraTravelBelize

Re: Critters.....? - 07/22/08 04:38 PM

well, actually, i think it really depends on where on the island you are. There's a reason they call it "mosquito coast" down south here....cant put out the trast this time of year without some bug spray. all those rain showers...
Posted By: Carib

Re: Critters.....? - 07/22/08 04:43 PM


Maybe what I'm looking for is an overall crash course here ....:

- Critters and their downfall (we've talked about that, but more is good)

- Are sneaks and flipflops really practical..? Maybe a good pair of moisture resistant hikers..?

- Any other daily keep-yerself-alive-and-healthy-stuff-info would be ....well, ... nice.
Posted By: KC Jayhawk

Re: Critters.....? - 07/22/08 04:46 PM

Sandals, sneaks, flipflops, crocs . . .all work fine. No need to pack hiking shoes unless you plan to go to the mainland and trudge thru the jungle.

Posted By: 6string

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 01:55 AM

For staying alive and healthy, we found; eat many meals with the locals, and buy their fruit. Take lots of long walks on the beach, drink plenty of water and island rum, oh remember Happy Hour happens many hours/day. The rest of the time we just bumbled through the day, having few plans or schedules and the days/nights were always an adventure.
Posted By: azbob

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 02:11 AM

6string, hey guy! And he is right on! "just a little blues thing"!
Posted By: Renee-md

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 02:04 PM

Carib, we always take malaria drugs when we come but then we do go into the jungles on the mainland. Use a good sprya like OFF with 100% DEET! Usually if there is a breeze the mosquitos are not bad.
Lots of Belikens and rum punches seem to ward off anything! Just hang loose, enjoy the wonderful locals, the fabulous food, snorkeling, long walks and you will be fine.

We always wear flip flops or sandals and have had no problems. Just be sure to drink only bottled water!

Posted By: sweetjane

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 02:51 PM

i've never taken malaria drugs, and spent time in the jungle...maybe i just got lucky? i have always noticed more biters on the island than the mainland. never get bit in cayo. hmmm.

mossies are dependent on weather too - the they only breed in standing water. dawn and dusk are the worst times, and worst places are anywhere with no wind.

renee is right - bottled water. flip flops and sandals are fine, sneakers for a daytrip. i buy cutter and a seperate bottle of 100% deet, and mix them. it generally works well. benedryl cream fixes up any that get thru right quick.

don't sweat the small stuff...come with no expectations and you will have an amazing time!
Posted By: Renee-md

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 04:10 PM

SweetJane, I know that many people have told me that I don't need the malaria drugs and probably don't, but I am the kind of person that the one mosquito in all of Belize carrying malaria would be become my new best friend! LOL!.

Otherwise the only thing you have to worry about is nothing!!! Just have fun and enjoy a beautiful island!

Coming back for our 7th time in February.
Posted By: Carib

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 08:28 PM

I don't mean to sound like I'm ultra-paranoid .... this is a place and latitude to which I've never been ...and I'm doin' some research....

Can't wait to get there...!
Posted By: Renee-md

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 09:03 PM

Don't think that at all. It is always good to ask questions about places you have never been. Avoids lots of surprises. You are going to love it. That I can tell you for sure. We were hooked the first time we went!
Posted By: Leah-Ann

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 09:54 PM

everyone has different perspectives on this, if you do a search you'll find there are several threads on the topic. We have taken the anti-malarials any time we are coming for an extended visit and plan to be off the island very much. I am a mosquito magnent and it just wasn't worth the risk for me. Out of the four of us none had any adverse side effects at all, but I have heard complaints about side-effects from others. I don't take them for short trips when I'm not planning on leaving the island.

Deet is still pretty much the best as a mosquito repellant. All the studies I've read say the only difference in terms of percentage is the length of protection; i.e. 4.75% DEET provides about an hour of protection, 23.8% DEET about 5 hours. 100% will protect for up to 12 hours, but you would have to reapply after swimming or bathing anyway and it's pretty harsh stuff so I wouldn't reccomend anything higher than about 30%. We love those OFF towelettes, much easier than a spray. I think everyone agrees you should get the hepatitis innoculations.

I drink the water from the tap, have never had a problem and think it tastes fine. Some will tell you it depends on where you stay.

Everyone travels differently - do what you need to do to put your mind at ease and then go with an open mind. You'll have a great time!

Posted By: Three_Palms

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 09:59 PM

Go with the 98.6% Max Deet stuff. You might grow some kind of mutated second head growing out of your neck, but you won't get bitten by anything.
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: Critters.....? - 07/23/08 10:07 PM

LA has a good point about everyone traveling differently. i drank the tap water at banana beach, but NO WAY at cloisters. not an issue of taste, but where it comes from and how it's filtered.

i have heard to use anti-malaria stuff if going south around punta gorda, and would if going there. i would not bother for cayo, but that's me.
Posted By: ExOkie

Re: Critters.....? - 07/24/08 01:47 AM

I've never had a problem with the water but have only used it for showers and brushing my teeth.

Perhaps the Belikins I drank all of the rest of the time counteracted any little microbial critters.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Critters.....? - 07/24/08 04:55 AM

I have yet to taste a bottled water that tastes as good as the rain water here.
Posted By: nug_luvr

Re: Critters.....? - 07/24/08 08:24 PM

Carib, I too am ultra-paranoid plus a little neurotic. I took the malaria meds just for peace of mind. Didn't have any side effects. Plus I get to go back in Sept. and not worry.
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