Hi all - this is not the most pleasant topic, but I'd really like to avoid the annoying insects that seem to plague some Caribbean locations. I've only experienced this once, on a trip to the Grenadines. Apparently it was uncommon there and was just our bad luck to land there the same time as the sand flies. Anyway, it seems that some locations, such as Cocobay in Antigua, have a real problem. Do any of you know if this is seasonal? Best to just avoid these locations, or what to do? Cocobay and some other properties sound wonderful, if not for this.
Oh Disneygal! This is our problem also. It seems most Caribbean destinations have this problem. I have found the worse ones in Belize on the coast. I have been infested! I think in the Caribbean islands such as Anguilla and St. Maarten, we typically only have the problem at dusk. If it has rained or been rainy, we have some during the day. When we travel to Central America, I sometimes use a sunscreen that is sunblock plus insect repellent. It seems to work pretty OK. This still has not stopped me from going! I just bring sunblock, insect repellent, and a cortaid if I start itching!!!
Hi bonniejoy03 - thanks for commiserating with me. I think I did read about the Placencia area in Belize having this issue. I wish there was a way to know for sure how bad it was going to be. But maybe, like the weather, it's unpredictable. It sounds like you have the right idea. Come prepared, and then just enjoy your time there.
I suggest you e-mail the entemology department at a local museum for the real scoop (or is is swat?) on this subject. In factr, island tourism offices avoid this subject --and crime--with equal vigor. Most beach areas have an insect "problem" at various times, though it isn't really seasonal. Except in this sense: heavy rains and bad drainage can leave standing water, in which various insects--particularly mosquitos--breed, There are salt water mosquitpos --that's what they're called, though I don't know if that's what they are--that come out at dusk, and perhaps dawn. There are sand flies, different from "no se"ums", that can attack at any time but are literally blown away by breezes which sweep most Caribbean beaches. No question, some places have it worse than others. On Exuma, the Four Seasons uses (or used) Mosquito Magnets along the beach in a pro-active attempt to clear the air. Only partially succesful. Some places that seem not to have this problem, or have it to a very much smaller degree, are the British Virgins and Turks & Caicos. Though that really means it wasn't a problem when we were there. Really, talk to a scientist at a local museum or zoo to find out what's biting and where. Also, this issue is particularly important if you are going to a resort or hotel without air conditioning. Not only does a/c encourage you to keep doors firmly closed and shutters shut. And that helps keep pests out. But cold air seems to suppress insects beahvior. Or so it seems to me.
I often go to islands that have strong trade winds, like Barbados, where the wind keeps the bugs at bay. I've also never encountered any problems in the British Virgin Islands which have regular tropical breezes. Beware of places like the Dominican Republic which not only has a real mosquito problem but still has malaria. Although a lot of the beach properties use defoggers (which is problematic for health reasons) the mosquitos still prevail. You'd be surprised if you check out the Center for Disease Control, how many of the islands still have malaria and dengue fever alerts. It is best to check there first before you decide to visit a new island.
Hi Joycat. I agree with you about the winds however, we found this not always the case at different times of the year. For example, anytime an island has rain, the buggies keep coming out. We were in VG many times and only had a problem this past year. It was bad even during the day. (not just at sunset.) Dengue Fever is definitely on the rise and it is tough to prevent or take medication for. At least with malaria, there is medicine. When we go to Central America during the rainy season, we tend to get an anti-malaria prescription. For the Caribbean, we just bring TONS of bug stuff.
Hey Guys....take it from those of us who make our homes in the tropics...you can spray, sit in the wind, light special candles, etc., etc......in the end, the bugs will always prevail! You don't need to study Entomology to know they were here before any of us arrived and they will be here long after we are gone. Just enjoy your tropical visits, scratch a little here and there and don't worry about the bugs! Your memories will outlast the bites!
Omegaet, that is so true about memories outliving the bites, but at the time, for some people itmay not be a very nice experience. Which makes me remember my experience last year in the Seychelles. Our villa was surrounded by trees and lots of foliage and also our pool and close to the sea so we were bound to get lots of insects around our villa, but we never had a problem until the evening the house keeper left the mesh door to our villa open whilehe was inside doing our turndown service. That night in bed, while reading, I felt something hit my shoulder which made me jump and flick off what had hit my shoulder and there on the bed was this horrible "thing". That was the start of a very horrid experience. Soon after, I felt something else land on me, then another, then yet another and another. What made things look worse was that the bedding and the walls were all white so everything which flew in or crawled in was very noticeable.Anyway, I grabbed the tin of bug spray and started spraying everything I saw. Within minutes the bed was covered in half dead insects that had been falling from the ceiling after they were dying off sinceI was using the bug spray like it was going out of fashion. I was jumping around the room and could feel all these insects landing on me, but all my husband could do was to laugh at me. Eventually, I think I must have killed off every insectin our room after using nearly a whole can of spray, cleaned all of them from the bed and eventually managed to calm down.I was having a beautiful holiday in a wonderful location but at that time, all I wanted to do was to get away from there and go home. I eventually fell asleep with the covers over my head!! In the morning I had nearly forgotton all about it until I saw all those insects all over the floor. there were absolutely lots of them. After the room was cleaned, things did get back to normal and we went on to enjoy the rest of our holiday. We did make sure our door was kept closed in the evening from then on. Yes, I have forgotton the experience with the bugs but still have the wonderful memories from the rest of our time in the Seychelles and they are wondeful memories.
Ihad done a lot of research on it and also the hotels there and it looked absolutely beautiful. I stayed at the Banyan Tree and that is what really clinched it for me. I went on to their website and was totally hooked. Idefinately made the right decision. Banyan Tree was amazing. The view from our villa was like something you thought you only saw in those upmarket travel brochures. It was totally breathtaking.I don't mind travelling such a long distance from the UK if it is worth the time and effort and Seychelles and Banyan Tree certainly were. Highly recommended in my opinion.