The simple answer to both questions is yes.
Like anywhere – and especially in tropical places – you will find bugs in Belize. They’re one of the not-so-pleasant parts of vacationing that you just have to accept. They’ll buzz around your ears, may bite you, and can cause irritating itching. And, unfortunately, some of the most popular places to visit in Belize – jungles, beaches, and forests – will have more than their fair share of resident bugs.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that, without them, the tropical habitat of Belize wouldn’t be the same. So arrive prepared for bugs, and look upon them as an essential part of the environment.
What bugs are there in Belize?
Here are the two most common types of bugs you’re likely to encounter in Belize:
Probably responsible for the majority of traveler misery, mosquitoes are sneaky little blighters that you might not know are there until it’s too late and they’ve already bitten you. Often, the only sign of a mosquito is its telltale high-pitched buzzing – which is fine if you’re somewhere quiet where you can hear it, but not so great if you’re enjoying a drink at a lively beach bar.
Although mosquitoes are particularly prevalent at night, they are also around during the day, so protecting yourself is essential. If you do get bitten, usually the worst you can expect is an itchy, swollen lump for a few days. But mosquitoes can carry malaria and dengue fever, both of which can make you very ill, so do try to avoid being bitten as much as possible.
Mosquitoes love damp, humid conditions, and so are unsurprisingly more prevalent in the rainy season, which runs June through November in Belize.
Sandflies are tiny – often called ‘no-see-ums’ for that very reason – but despite their size, they can cause a nasty reaction if they bite. Incidentally, it’s only the female of the species that bites, but that’s no help when you’re on a beach surrounded by these flying biters.
The main advice if you’re bitten by a sandfly is try not to scratch. It will only make the reaction worse, and you’ll end up with lumps, welts, and possibly broken skin, leaving you vulnerable to infection.
Sandflies, like mosquitoes, love to hang out where there’s moisture and will be most active just before sunset.
What can I do to protect myself from bugs?
There are some general tips you can bear in mind to avoid being bitten by bugs, or to relieve the symptoms if you are.
Avoid being bitten
â Deet-based repellant – This is the single easiest way to stop bugs from biting you. Mosquitoes (and to a lesser extent sandflies) hate this type of chemical-based repellant, so bring plenty with you and regularly reapply.
â Baby oil – A failsafe way to create a barrier between you and sandflies is with a thick application of baby oil.
â Clothing – wear long pants and long-sleeved tops at night, so bugs can’t get to your skin.
Relief from bites
â Hydrocortisone cream – If you’re bitten and you’re feeling that all-too-familiar itchy burning sensation, hydrocortisone cream will soothe and stop the itch.
â Antihistamine tablets – Allergy tablets like Benadryl can bring down the swelling and reduce the effect of bug bites.