Mosquitoes in Malta: Insights and Prevention Tips
Are a Mosquitoes a Problem in Malta?
Mosquitoes are a common nuisance in many parts of the world, including Malta. As a local, here’s what I can tell you about the mosquitoes you can find in Malta. You will also find information on where and when you can find them, and how to keep them at bay.
There are many mosquitoes in Malta during warmer months. While these mosquitoes do not transmit mosquito-borne diseases, their bites can be irritating, causing itchiness and potential skin irritation. In some cases, individuals who are bitten may experience allergic reactions or infection, requiring medical attention from a doctor.
The most common and only native mosquito species found in Malta is a common house mosquito. It is brown in colour and is known for its irritating bites.
These mosquitoes are called Culex Pipiens, and are found in other parts of the world where they do transmit disease. However this is not the case in Malta.
In most cases, if you resist the temptation to itch the affected area of the bite, the irritation will subside over time. You can also apply a product called After Bite which you can find on Amazon. It’s a popular over the counter product you can also buy from some pharmacies that soothes the affected area of the skin.
In general the common mosquito is not overly troublesome. Although their bites are itchy they do not generally cause significant issues.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
The more problematic mosquitoes are the Asian Tiger mosquitoes that are black with white stripes. They were inadvertently imported from southeast Asia to many parts of the world including Malta.
They are highly adaptive and have managed to survive our local climate since they were first spotted in 2010. These mosquitoes can transmit disease because they may change victims to feed.
The good thing is that there aren’t any endemic mosquito-born diseases in Malta. So most of the time people seeking treatment for Asian Tiger bites are due to infection or allergic reactions. The most allergic reactions stem from bites of the Asian Tiger as opposed to the common mosquito. So if you see one of them try to prevent it from biting you in any way you can.
When You Find Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes in Malta are most commonly found during the warmer months, typically from spring to autumn. The specific timing may vary depending on weather conditions and temperature fluctuations each year. During this period, mosquito activity tends to be higher, and people are more likely to encounter mosquitoes.
While mosquitoes are less active during the colder winter months, it doesn’t mean they are completely absent. In milder climates, there is very little to no mosquito activity whatsoever.
Typically, mosquitoes in Malta are active during dawn, dusk, and night time. Personally, I have noticed that my encounters with them are mostly at night when I am trying to sleep or already asleep in summer.
However, since they do not like cooler temperatures, using the air conditioner helps keep them away. With an ac they will be in the room with you and will not touch you. However to get them out of the room, you can simply open the bedroom door for around 15 minutes while the ac is running on a very low temperature.
Where You Find Mosquitoes
Most of the time in a city, town or at the beach you will not encounter mosquitoes during the day. However they may come out when there is little to no light from the sun as mentioned above.
Mosquito activity is influenced by factors such as rainfall, humidity, and the availability of breeding sites. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so you should avoid areas with standing water.
Flower pots, plant saucers, or buckets, can also become breeding sites for mosquitoes. So if you are at a holiday rental with pots and many mosquitoes you should check the containers just in case.
With most places you visit you will not have any issues with mosquitoes in Malta. However if you are going to a park or nature reserve where there are more insects, you will inevitably find mosquitoes.
How to Keep Mosquitoes at Bay
Local Maltese use a few different methods to keep mosquitoes at bay. Usually they put on the ac indoors which is a very effective way to control them.
You should also make use of window insect screens. So if you open the window where you are staying, you should make sure to slide the insect screen to make sure no insects including mosquitoes come indoors into your space.
Locals also use citronella candles like these ones on Amazon outdoors. Usually they bring them out when they organise BBQ’s in their garden or at the beach in the evening.
Although citronella candles can control mosquitoes to some extent, I never found them great. Asian Tiger mosquitoes in particular are not affected by citronella candles and will bite you anyway. In fact I always end up with mosquito bites whenever I attended BBQ’s where hosts use citronella candles.
Ideally you should wear clothes to fully cover yourself to avoid getting bitten. However when it is hot you will want to let your skin breath and wear short sleeves and shorts.
In this case you should ideally wear light-coloured clothing because Asian Tiger mosquitoes are attracted to darker colours. Additionally you can also buy an insect repellent that contains a high amount of DEET like Jungle Formula. It is effective against both the common mosquito and the Asian Tiger, smells nice and 90ml perfect for packing into your carry on luggage.
Moreover the product provides up to 6 hours of protection and is suitable for anyone 12 years and over. Plus you can use it in other countries not just for Malta, not just to keep mosquitoes away, but also other insects.