Mosquitos in Bali
Bali mosquitos are usually worse in the rainy season (October to March) but you do need to be vigilant all year round – they are evident in varying degrees.
While we didn’t see many mozzies at all on our late August trip last year, we did hear that all-too-familiar buzz during overnight stay at Bali Safari and Marine Park. The mozzies there seemed to be on steroids too, but that made them easy to swat. Perhaps the swarm was something to do with the water-filled moat right outside the hotel door that led to our animal-viewing porch? The same moat that kept the friendly (but very large close up) Zebra and Ostrich from venturing too close.
Funny. We didn’t notice mosquitos in the actual park on either our first or second day, nor during our night-time tour.
Bali Diseases – Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever is a viral disease spread by the Aedes mosquito who carry the disease from infected human to healthy human. These tiger-striped mozzies are active during the day, so are hard to avoid. They also thrive indoors, and in shady areas so you need to take care to avoid them. Dengue fever causes a mild flu-like feeling with joint pain and most people make a full recovery, but a serious dose can be life-threatening. There is no vaccine for dengue fever & prevention is based upon insect avoidance via repellents, nets & insecticides.
Malaria in Bali
Can you get Malaria in Bali? Malaria is transmitted by a night biting mosquito. The risk of exposure is very low in Bali, particularly when the stay is restricted to the main tourist areas. Medications to reduce the risk of disease are not generally recommended but any illness which is flu-like in nature after returning should still be checked for malaria
Bali Travel Tips – Avoiding Bites
Families visiting Bali need to avoid insect bites to stay healthy. Prevention is better than cure.
(The following information must be viewed as a guide only. It is not intended, nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Visit your local doctor for up-to-date information about safe travel to Bali)
Here’s our top tips.
- Cover up with loose fitting clothing on the arms and legs. Sarongs are a good investment, particularly useful over kids in strollers.
- Cover up in shady areas such as forests.
- Just before dusk, change into long sleeve and long pant clothing. This is a MUST for kids. We take long sleeve and pant lightweight cotton pyjamas too.
- Wear light coloured clothing. There’s an old wives tale that mozzies like black or dark clothing best. We can’t say for sure, but we do this just in case.
Regularly apply personal insect repellant
- Carry insect repellant wipes in your hand luggage and apply that on the kids arms and legs before stepping off the plane. (On all the adults too)
- Add some DEET insect repellent to exposed skin, and make sure the kids are protected too. We use roll-on during the day (20% strength) and the more intense 40% spray from dusk. Just to be clear, at home, we don’t often use insect repellent at all. But in Bali, the risk is real so we choose a DEET product for our short-term trips as we know they work.
- If you prefer a non-chemical alternative, apply a non-DEET, more ‘natural’ repellent like Vanilla Mozi instead.
- Remember to reapply insect repellent frequently, especially after every swim. Make it a habit.
- Do take a good antihistamine with you if you are prone to swelling and redness after bites.
- Calamine lotion helps to stop the itch too.
Check out Roam the Gnome’s Ultimate Mozzie Repellent Checklist of Products you need for Bali too.
Make sure your accommodation is mosquito-proof.
- Use mosquito nets over your beds when sleeping where possible.
- Close doors & windows before dusk.
- Burn mosquito coils or sandalwood incense sticks on your hotel or villa verandah. These can be found in all local mini marts for under a few dollars.
- For those who can bear it, spray your room with regular insect repellant before going out to your evening meal. Exit quickly as these sprays are toxic and smelly. (We’d NEVER do this at home, but when the mozzies are bad in Bali, it’s one of the tricks up our sleeve that lets us get a good night sleep without hearing that piercing “eeeeeeeee” sound all night long and knowing they are out to get you!)
- If you don’t like the smell of mozzie coils, use a plug in mozzie zapper. Some hotels provide these. Enquire when you book. Otherwise, you can buy these at the supermarket in Bali with the correct power adapter. (Look for the HIT brand.)
- Book accommodation where you can close the doors completely. NOT too open plan. Fully air-conditioned rooms are essential.
- Staying close to the beach does not necessarily mean less mosquitoes.
- Avoid properties with outdoor bathrooms.
- Close vents in bathrooms.
- Close the windows before dusk.
- Burn Vanilla Mozi candles in your room. Bonus – they smell divine.
Avoid Mosquito Havens at all costs
- Be extra careful in shady areas and forests.
- Take preventative care in wetlands, rice paddies, and anywhere where there is stagnate water.
We know lots of travellers to Bali swear by these home grown remedies. Try at your own risk.
In Bali, locals swear by Minyak Sereh, 100% citronella (sereh/lemongrass) oil. It’s primarily used as a mosquito bite and insect repellent. It’s properties are said to relieve joint pain, aches, and sprains too. It’s available in most mini-marts and supermarkets.
A few regular Bali visitors who travel there with their kids have told us about the Dettol trick. (We’ve heard this is used in North Queensland tropics too)
- Mix a solution of 1/2 Dettol and 1/2 water in a spray bottle and spray the body a number of times during the day.
- Alternatively, mix 1/2 Dettol and 1/2 Baby oil and rub it on like moisturiser.
- You can also add a small amount of dettol to the children’s bath water.
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