I suddenly found myself counting down for summer the other day. Why? I’m not too sure. Back in the U.K. I did it all the time, counting down for summer. But in Spain, not so much. The only reason I count down for summer here is to have a long time off work, beach days and hopefully, a long-haul holiday. California is calling my name.
But, I love autumn, winter and spring in Spain. Summer, not so much. If it’s not the endless tossing and turning at night trying to sleep in stifling heat with no air con, it’s the irritating mosquitos that are eating me alive. The endless itchiness, the bleeding. The lumps and bumps. If there’s a photo of me in summer, there’s a game of spot the mosquito bite to be had.
Alex is lucky. He doesn’t get bitten up like I do. For some reason, mosquitos love me. I’m not taking it as a compliment. It’s horrendous. The only positive thing to come out of it is that I’ve probably tried and tested every little bit of mosquito repellant and mosquito relief that there is to try. If it exists, I’ve probably already given it a go.
I find that Benidorm is the absolute worst for mosquitos. I thought Florida would be bad, but I didn’t get bitten there, not like in the past. Whereas here in Spain, were riddled with them. Even being in a high rise apartment block doesn’t help. Yet they say being high up the mosquitos don’t get you because they don’t fly so high? Well, I’m here to say I don’t think that’s strictly true.
Found yourself bitten up whilst on holiday in Benidorm? Well then, let’s get down to business and find you some relief. These are the best mosquito repellents and relief I’ve tried.
Believe it or not, one of the best mosquito bite relief I’ve ever used is pure vodka. The best has always been the cheapest, highest concentrated vodka. Using a cotton bud, dab a little vodka on to where it itches and it instantly relieves the itch. They say that the alcohol also will disinfect the bite which helps prevent infections too. The only reason we have vodka in our house is for insect bites!
I think the only reason I love the ice method is because not only does it relieve the itch but also helps to cool you down. We don’t have a lot of room for ice in our freezer, but we do keep an ice pack in there during the summer months for some instant relief, not only for bites but for the overbearing heat.
Antihistamínicas, as they’re called in Spanish, are ideal for taking after having an insect bite. As I am sensitive to wasp and bee stings, I have to carry around an antihistamine, just in case. The antihistamine is great for relieving the itch and reducing the bump and redness.
This one doesn’t always give the best relief, but if there’s nothing else at hand, it does help. Dabbing a bit of toothpaste, preferably cheap, white toothpaste, helps relieve the bite. The active ingredients, like baking soda, help to relieve the itch and its said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
I swear by Savlon cream so every time I’m back in the U.K. I always pick up a tub. Dabbing a bit onto the bite really helps to relieve the itchiness and the redness seems to go down pretty quickly.
Lighting a citronella candle is super effective for keeping mosquitos away. You can pick up a candle from Mercadona or a Chinese shop for less than a couple of euros. Though, I’ve found the best ones are the ones that are a little more expensive as they’re more concentrated with citronella. I found that casa and Carrefour did a good candle last year that did keep a few mosquitos at bay.
Use a Fan
If like me you really struggle with mosquitos, and you have the capacity to get one, try running a fan at night. Using a fan means that the mosquitos are blasted with air and can direct them away from you. If you’re in a hotel and don’t mind spending out on a fan it won’t cost you to run them either. You can pick up fans from media markt for between 20-70€ dependant on strength and size.
Definitely pack some insect repellant with you on your holiday to Benidorm. There are plenty that are good, but I’ve found the ones from the chemist in Benidorm are the best. There are also a few in Superdrug that are good too. To ask for an insect repellant look out for repelente de insectos.
I hope you’re not bitten by too many insects this year on your holidays!