It’d be a pretty safe bet to imagine that there’s no one here that’s particularly fond of mosquitos, and if any of us were given the chance to have our way we’re sure they’d no doubt all be gone by lunch time tomorrow.
No matter how much we might like it, it would seem that they aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and they’ll continue to be something we have to contend with for the time being, especially when it comes to hot, humid places like Bali and the rest of Indonesia and South East Asia.
So if you’re in the middle of booking a trip to Bali, or you have one coming up and you’ve been wondering the extent to which you’ll have to deal with these annoying little blood suckers, then the good news is we’ve compiled this handy little guide to take you through everything you could possibly need to know about mosquitos in Bali, from where to find the them, how to avoid them, and how to inevitably deal with them.
Are there lots of mosquitos in Bali?
The short answer is yes, there are indeed lots of mosquitos in Bali. But there are lots of mosquitos in a lot of places, so this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to get bitten all day and night and wind up sick.
While they’ll be common enough, you shouldn’t be worried about having to deal with swarms of them every day, so don’t let them put you off the trip of a lifetime. Obviously there aren’t enough to put off Bali’s other 3 million visitors each year, so chances are you’ll be absolutely fine. You’ll just want to ensure you do what you can to prevent the chances of getting bitten.
Where in Bali can Mosquitos be Found?
Mosquitos can be found just about anywhere in Bali, especially after dark, and even more especially during the rainy season between October and March. The following are some popular mosquito hangouts in and around Bali:
- At outdoor cultural shows
- In the mountains, with the Ubud rice fields and the Monkey Forest
- Wherever animals can be found, such as the Bali Safari and Marine Park, or the Bali zoo night tour
- In the suburbs of Denpasar and Kerobokan
- Beside the ocean in beachside locations, such as Legian and Kuta
- In surf spots around Dreamland, Bingin and Uluwatu
- In Seminyak and Canggu’s shopping districts
So just about everywhere.
Do I Need Mosquito Repellent in Bali?
You definitely won’t want to leave for Bali without a good mosquito repellent in your luggage. While malaria is more or less non-existent in Bali, Dengue fever is a fairly big concern, and no one wants to be bitten by non-disease carrying mosquitoes at the best of times anyway.
The best mosquito sprays and lotions you can find will be those that contain deet, an active ingredient found in many insect repellents, and you won’t want to be using one with any less than 30%.
Make sure you’re applying your mosquito repellent before you head out anywhere, and always reapply it before each night (night time is when you’ll quickly find the mozzies are at their worst). Furthermore, it’s often not a bad idea to spray repellent on you clothes, as they’re not always going to provide much of a defence to a mosquito that’s eager and peckish enough.
Special mosquito coils are also available, which burn slowly and emit a light smoke around the room to help keep any hungry mosquitos at bay. These are super inexpensive, and can be found pretty easily just about anywhere in Bali (or online). Setting one of these up either inside or just outside your room in the morning and the evening should do the trick nicely.
Can You Get Sick from Mosquito Bites in Bali?
The last thing you want while on your trip in Bali is to get sick, and unlike some other mosquito-popular destinations, those that you’ll find in Bali could be dangerous, and in more extreme cases, even potentially life threatening.
There are two types of disease-carrying mosquito to come across in Bali: the tiger-striped Ades mosquito, and the Anopheles mosquito, otherwise known as the “night biting” mosquito, carrying Dengue fever and malaria respectively, which can obviously make you incredibly sick if contracted.
What Diseases do Mosquitos Carry in Bali?
As mentioned above, while different types of mosquitoes all over the world carry all number of diseases, those you’ll find in Bali tend to carry only two: malaria and Dengue fever. While malaria isn’t at all prevalent, Dengue fever can be, so you’ll want to do everything in your power to avoid contracting the disease.
The two break down as follows:
The chances of catching Malaria from a mosquito in Bali are pretty low, especially if you’re mainly staying around resort areas. If you decide to venture out into more rural areas though, you should make sure you take precautions.
Some of the main symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pains, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and chest pains, and while there unfortunately isn’t any vaccination for malaria, antimalarial medications do exist that can reduce your chances of catching it by about 90%.
To further help with avoiding the disease, long sleeves, trousers and mosquito nets are your best bet, especially if you’re planning any jungle hikes or mountain treks.
A flu-like illness, Dengue fever unfortunately has no vaccine either, and isn’t particularly uncommon in Bali.
The mosquito responsible for Dengue fever is the Aedes mosquito, and these can typically be found in densely populated spots like Denpasar, ready to nibble day and night (especially at night). If you catch Dengue fever it can be incredibly painful, and in some more extreme cases even potentially fatal.
The main symptoms of Dengue fever include strong headaches, nausea, vomiting, bedside fever, and aching muscles and joints, and it’ll typically take a number of days before these symptoms will subside.
Again, to help avoid the chances of contracting Dengue fever from a mosquito bite, ensure you stick to long sleeves, trousers, and mosquito nets, and wear plenty of mosquito repellent.
How Do I Know That My Accomodation Will Be Safe From Mosquitos?
A big concern of many travellers to Bali is that their hotel will be riddled with mosquitos, and depending on the setup of your hotel, there may or may not be anything you can do about it .
There are a few steps you can take ahead of time though to ensure you’re picking accommodation that’ll be nice and mosquito free, or at least give you the tools you need to avoid them. So before you book, make sure you’re on the lookout for the following:
- Find a fully air conditioned room, so you won’t be getting too hot and needing to open any windows to cool down
- Make sure you’re booking somewhere that’ll allow you to fully close all doors
- Remember, just because you’re close to the beach it doesn’t mean you’ll be away from all the mozzies
- Keep all vents in the bathroom closed
- Be aware of an abundance of greenery and shade close to your room
- Try and avoid booking any open plan rooms, especially if you have kids who are prone to not keeping things shut
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed before dusk
- Steer clear of places with nearby ponds, stagnant water, or outdoor bathrooms. These will be a huge draw for the mosquitos
What Can I Wear to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites?
There are a number of measures you can take clothing wise that’ll help prevent the mosquitos from turning you into their dinner.
While some of these may have a little more truth in them than others, some of the simple ways you can nevertheless dress to help to prevent mosquito bites include:
- Stick to wearing light coloured clothing (this comes with the added bonus of helping you feel more comfortable in the heat, too)
- Ensure you’re wearing long trousers and long sleeves whenever you’re in areas such as rice paddies or forests
- Wear long sleeved and trousered pyjamas when going to sleep
- Invest in a sarong
- Wear long sleeves and trousers when out at night—an especially crucial must for any children
Is It True that Certain Foods Help to Repel Mosquitos?
The science may or may not be behind this one yet, but for a long time legend has told of certain foods that can help to build resistance to mosquitos. Luckily enough, beer is one of these, which is definitely a cause for celebration.
By making sure you’re getting plenty of the following foods into your diet in the run up to your trip to Bali, you could help bolster your resistance to any mosquitos looking to make you a part of theirs:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Marmite (or vegemite)
Again, science has yet to give a clear and definitive answer on this one, but it can’t hurt to try.
More Bali Travel Guides: