Silent mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol and how to avoid them

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Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol are stealthy. They clearly have outsmarted (and undernoised) their counterparts elsewhere, and I bet they have a plan to take over the Costa. I’ve never been one of those people mosquitoes like to bite (my brother, poor thing, was their favorite meal when we were kids, which sort of made me safe) but, regardless, I’ve been bitten 17 times in one day this past summer. Now it’s a war.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol
Mosquito by Jimmy Chan on Pexels

I mostly speak about the good sides of the Costa del Sol – which, in my opinion, are much bigger than the bad sides – because I like most of what I see around here. But I try to be honest and tell the down sides as well – it’s only fair. Plus, it’s almost Halloween, so it fits – I’m really about to scare you!

Are there mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol?

Oh yes, there are. Not that we can see them often – the little suckers hide well and fly erratically, not like the mosquitoes I’ve been used to see before coming to Spain. Plus, they are silent. You know their buzzing sound that wakes you up in the middle of the night? Not a problem here – I have never heard a single ‘z’ in Spain. But they do bite, bite a lot, and cause a skin reaction!

How are mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol different?

So, the kind of mosquito I know from Brazil, US and Estonia is a buzzing little thing that barely ever bit me and, when they did, left a small, pimple-like red mark on the skin that didn’t scratch and disappeared in a few days. Compared to those, the Spanish mosquitoes are much advanced. They are noiseless, bite everybody, and leave a big bite mark.

The scariest video this Halloween. I was filming the view and a cloud of mosquitoes hijacked my focus!!! Better seen on a large screen.

What is the reaction mosquito bites cause?

On spot, right after the bite (that is just slightly painful; more like you can feel something happened) you may notice a tiny red dot on the skin. Shortly after, you’ll notice that the area around the bite gets red, hot, and swollen. It feels very itchy, too. Try to resist the temptation to scratch; if you can, it will swell less. If you can’t resist, the swollen area can grow to be a few millimeters tall and the diameter of an orange. The problem is that even if you can resist during the day, while you sleep, you’ll scratch it anyway…

The area of the body that gets bitten affects the amount of swelling too. Bites on the legs and arms will swell more than on the back (that’s from my personal experience; the 17-bites-day taught me so). Sure thing I scratched the legs more than the back, but I asked the doctor and she confirmed my impression that different areas of the body swell differently after a mosquito bite!

Other than the reaction, mosquitoes can also transmit diseases, such as dengue and malaria. Mosquitoes are present (probably) everywhere warm in the globe, so there is always a risk every time we travel or live in a hot place. Best we can do is to protect ourselves and our homes; if the worst happens, at least we know that in Spain, doctors are aware and prepared to deal with tropical and mosquitoes-transmitted diseases.

What time of the year mosquitoes come out in Spain?

Mosquitoes come out mostly in the summer months, but due to the warm climate of Spain, and particularly of the Costa del Sol, plus global warming, they can be around all year long, according to Sur in English.

If you want to check a forecast for mosquitoes, I’d recommend Their site presents a lot of forecasts beyond the weather. Just choose the city you want to check, and then choose Health and Activities. Mosquitoes will be there! Below, the Mosquitoes forecast for Benalmadena for the period of October 5 to 11, 2023.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: accuweather Mosquito forecast for Benalmadena

What time of the day do mosquitoes prefer to bite?

Mosquitos like to bite in the evenings or at night. Even though they like to live in hot areas, they prefer to eat in the shadow or when it is not so hot. They also are particularly active after rains in warm or hot places, and under the outside tables of restaurants when the costumers wear bermudas!

What kind of place do mosquitoes like?

Mosquitoes like it hot (but not directly sunny; they actually prefer a hot shadow) and humid. They particularly enjoy standing water, which can be as small as the plate under plant vases, which they use to deposit their eggs. If you live in Spain or in another hot country, avoid leaving water on the plant plates during summer, or at least put some sand into it.

Why are mosquitoes attracted to some people more than to others?

A question that probably has been asked since the dawn of humankind now started to get answers! Recently, some research has shed a light on this interesting subject. It seems that mosquitoes:

– like perfumes and floral scents, according to Cleveland Clinic;
– like to bite people who have a high metabolic rate and emit more carbon dioxide, including those who are pregnant, working out, or drinking alcohol, according to Pfizer and
– are more attracted to people that eat bananas (!!) according to verywellhealth

The three articles above have a lot of information on this specific subject, and are a good start if you want to know more.

The day of my 17 bites we had gone out on a long walk by the beach, and I had a drink. We came back home at about sunset time; I went straight to the shower and then to watch TV in bed. The bites happened one after the other while I was in bed- at first I ignored it, then I was bitten again and while I was trying to see where I had been bitten, I felt the next, then the next, then I thought I was feeling strange things – I could not have been bitten so many times in a row at home, or could I?

I didn’t see any mosquitoes and I didn’t feel all the bites – I thought it had been about 5, but later it was easy to count the 17 swollen areas. One of our windows without nets had been open during our time outside (big mistake)!

Anti-mosquito strategies we’ve tested so far

I mentioned I’m at war against the mosquitoes, and I mean it. My lists of already tested and yet to try stuff is just getting bigger. Let me tell you what I have used so far, but before, let me clarify that much of what I used has had mixed reviews. It seems that what works for one place, person, family, or home may not work well for another. I guess we each have to see what we are most comfortable with and what makes sense for us. That being said, here is my current arsenal:

Citronella spray

Seems to work well, and the smell is nice. It is a body spray, so it’s safe to use on skin, in theory; despite that, I prefer to spray it around the house, on sofas and curtains, not directly on me or my family. The main downside of this product, for me, is that Kiddo adores it and sometimes exaggerates spraying it in his room. Well, the other downside is that we have to remember to spray it.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: citronella
Citronella spray and candles.

Where to buy it: I found this in Mercadona. When I don’t find it, this citronella body spray from does the trick.

Citronella candles

I like them too, and actually have tried two different brands. They both seem to work well; no mosquito bites were reported while a citronella candle was lit in my home. The downsides: it’s a candle, which means we gotta pay attention and remember to put out the fire before going to sleep; also, for safety reasons (as Kiddo is only 9 years old and likes both candles and citronella smell) we light it up mostly in our office, far from him, which makes it a solution of limited use.

Where to buy it: we got the citronella tea candles from and the large one from Mercadona. You can get large citronella candles from too.

Citronella plant

🙂 I like plants, so this one was already a winner before we tried. Does it work? I don’t know. But I plan to get more! This cute plant guards the door to our terrace, but I think the troop needs reinforcements.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: citronella plant
My mosquito fighter, with badge and all!

Where to buy it: I got our cute citronella plant from I’ve been watering it every second day and it is growing a lot!

Nenuco baby cologne

I’ve seen a lot of people swearing this was the best mosquito deterrent ever, so I decided I should give it a try. The advantage over the citronella spray is that, as it is a baby cologne and not intended to be a repellent, I feel more at easy applying it on our skin.

It is my most recent acquisition and I intend to use it when we go outside, particularly to parks and other places with a lot of vegetation and standing water (lakes), but I haven’t had opportunity to try it yet on these most aggressive battlegrounds. One thing I can say is that I didn’t like the smell so much, unfortunately. It is not so much that it is bad, it is more like it is different from other baby colognes. Maybe that is why it works.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: Nenuco baby oil
Nenuco baby cologne

Where to buy it: Nenuco baby cologne is available in both Mercadona and Considering it is priced at € 2,95, I think it is well worth a try!

Net for window

Good. The (almost) impenetrable net for window has allowed us to sleep during summer with open windows, which in turn meant no air-conditioning, which reduced our power bill. Good for the pocket, the house, and the planet. Best buy ever. We have to get one more of these for our guest room, so that when family is visiting they can actually open their window without me becoming mosquito meal…

Where to buy it: We got our window nets from Leroy Merlin.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: window net
Window net from Leroy Merlin.

Net for door

Good too, I like it a lot, as much as the net for window. This net is divided in two parts that connects with magnets, allowing people to come and go easily. The main bad side is that it was difficult to install. Hubby complained a lot; so much so that we bought two of these nets, for our two balcony doors, but up to now have only one installed! Another bad side is that the bottom part of the net is loose.

Neither of the nets actually cover 100% of the area they protect. There is thin line between the window net and the external blind that keeps it in place; there is free space under the door net, so both can, possibly, still allow a mosquito to enter. But these are very small areas – it would take a very lucky or outstandingly smart mosquito to go through them. I think these are our best fighters yet.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: door net
Door net from Leroy Merlin

Where to buy it: We got our door nets from Leroy Merlin.

Bug bite thing

Well, that is the name. Kiddo found an ad for this one, and we decided to try it. It’s supposed to work by sucking the poison out as soon as a bite happens. We’ve all tried at home, and the verdict is unanimous: its suction power is super strong, it hurts a lot more than the bite, leaves a purple mark on top of the red of the bite area and gives no positive result whatsoever. No.

Where to buy it: well, if you want to give it a try, the bug bite thing is available on

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: bug bite thing
This thing sucks.


It’s fun. And helps to get rid of the little monsters as soon as we see them. The problem is that we usually don’t see them. But when we do it’s amazing, it gives the immediate sense of victory and accomplishment of winning a battle.

This one also has a blue light that can be left on to attract mosquitoes and zap them, but we didn’t try this yet inside the home; outside, the light is too weak to work. Other cool things are that we can charge it with an USB, and that the head spins, allowing to kill mosquitoes against the wall – but we can get them on air too. We know when we zap a mosquito because it makes a sparkle and a snap noise. Celebration time!

Where to buy it: we got our electric racquet from

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: electric racquet
Ready to play!

Blue Lights

Hehe. These are for outside, the place with most mosquitoes. It’s intended to be the first line of defense, it works, and the best parts are that: 1) they are solar powered, so there is no maintenance and 2) we don’t have to do nothing for it to work – while citronella needs to be sprayed and candles are a fire hazard, solar lights require no thought and work on their own (like the nets). They need cleaning, though, but at least so far it has been easy, we just remove a plate from under it.

Mosquitoes in the Costa del Sol: anti-moquitoes light
Blue lights at work!

I would prefer if the lights were yellow, as it would match the other lights of the balcony better, but I don’t think such option is available. And a final plus: when the mosquito burns (yes, burn!) we hear the snap if we are near the lights. The sound of victory.

Where to buy it: we got our anti-mosquito solar powered lights from

What we didn’t try

Mosquito coils

I didn’t try those mosquito coils that we lit and let burn till the end, because I don’t like the idea of something constantly releasing smoke while we are around, even less while we are sleeping. They seem to have a huge following and many people swear they are the best solution, though.

Electric mosquito repellents

Similarly, I’m not particularly interested in the electric devices that are plugged on the socket and burn a liquid, because they are releasing poison in the air and who knows what are the long term consequences of that.

Mosquito repellent lotions or sprays

I didn’t try repellents either. Since I’ve mentioned that some solutions work for one person and not for others, let me tell this story: when I was in my twenties, I once went exploring a cave with a group of friends that studied geology. We all had to apply repellent because the cave had many mosquitoes. I was wearing pants and long sleeves, so I applied it only on my wrists and ankles (I skipped neck and face; since mosquitoes generally didn’t bite me, I didn’t think I’d have much problem).

We all used the same repellent, and none of the other people had bites – or at least certainly not many; I, on the contrary, had so many bites on my wrists and ankles, that they looked like red tennis balls. No bites on my face and neck, though. Go figure. That repellent had the opposite effect on me so, out of fear, I am not trying on-body repellents.

What to do if you have been bitten a lot

You should apply cold compresses. That helps preventing the itchiness and swelling. Other than that, wait for a few days, and it should get better. Drugstores in Spain offer some kind of mosquito bite relief, intended to prevent the itchy feeling; I guess this could be a good thing to have at home too.

When I was bitten 17 times, I was so swollen that I ended up going to the doctor to see if there was something else that could be done. She didn’t seem impressed; she looked bored, actually, or maybe annoyed that I was there for such a minor thing – or who knows, maybe I was the 10th patient of the day with the same problem? Maybe no other had less than 20 bites?

Nevertheless, she did prescribe me antihistamine pills (to calm down my body’s overreaction) and an antibiotic cream, not to treat the bites, but to prevent that some bacteria could enter through the open wounds, as chances of that happening are increased because of the constant itchy and scratch.


Though there is no single solution for the mosquito problem, we can combine a bunch of them to minimize the risks. It is a collective problem, which requires a collective response if we are to overcome it. It is a rather urgent matter, as global warming favors the conditions where mosquitoes thrive – and we can feel it; this October feels like summer in the Costa. If the worst happens, it is good to know Spain – and the Costa del Sol, in particular – have the resources to treat diseases associated with mosquitoes.

I hope I didn’t scare you so much that you would avoid the Costa del Sol altogether! Look, the area is great and there will be mosquitoes everywhere that has good weather; at least in Spain we have the means to protect ourselves, and good doctors if protection fails. It’s more of a matter of trying to be safe, and things will be ok. If you live in Spain, you can equip your home to be safer; and if you are coming for vacations, you can chose a place with some protection and add some yourself, like citronella sprays or Nenuco baby cologne. A racquet may also fit the luggage!

So, when in Spain, switch your floral scented colognes for Nenuco baby or citronella body spray, grab those solar power light, nets, citronella candles and whatever else you know works for you and enjoy life without bites. Good luck!! By the way, I am fully recovered and didn’t get sick from the bites. I am ready to fight!

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