Forget about beating the heat, let’s talk about beating the mosquitoes in Italy

moquitoes in Italy

It is hot out! To me, when I think about heat waves, I think about mosquitoes in Italy and how I’m supposed to sleep comfortable at night.

There’s a heat wave going on right now in Italy and Central Europe that the Italian newspaper call Lucifero. It’s a front of hot air coming in from the Sahara that is sitting on its haunches across Europe that Italian newspapers are calling Cities in some parts of Italy are reporting temperatures hovering 104-110F (40-45C) degrees. Ouch.

Luckily, here in Ischia, being an island, even if it’s hot, there’s usually a breeze coming in from the sea and you can go always cool off by going to the beach for a swim. Air conditioning exists in a lot of homes and stores in the form of an embedded wall-unit called a split that functions as an AC unit in the summer and a heater in the winter. But electricity is expensive, so people will use the AC only when necessary, so for the rest of the time, especially at night when the sun goes down, the windows are open.

And besides, who wants to stay inside and close the windows when most places have a balcony, terrace or garden and there’s so much beauty to enjoy?

mosquitoes in Italy

But the downfall of keeping your windows open are mosquitoes. And depending on where you are in Italy, summers can be hot and muggy which are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes in Italy especially in the lowlands of the Veneto and Tuscany and on the islands and coastal towns. The worst are the tiger mosquitoes, which are particularly aggressive, and aren’t content with a single bite and will attack the same spot on your body over and over again.

mosquitoes in Italy

When I was little in Napoli, I remember sleeping under a mosquito net with a basil plant next to my bed, a romantic memory, but it didn’t help much since I was always covered head to toe with mosquito bites.

Nowadays, there are better ways to deal with the mosquitoes. I sleep with the windows open and listen to the Italian summer sounds, spend most of my time outdoors and eat outside in the garden in the evening, without suffering from too many bites.

I’ve made a list of things can you do to keep them whether you’re here on holiday or live here or planning to move here. I’ve made a list of both over-the-counter remedies and natural remedies.

9 Ways to beat the mosquitoes in Italy:

mosquitoes in Italy

Over the counter remedies you can find in an Italian supermarket:

  • Get a plug-in diffuser.

This emanates an insecticide that kills the mosquito. Vape is the most common brand, and has two different kinds of diffusers. One is a replaceable liquid cartridge that lasts up to 60 days with a convenient on/off switch and the other has replaceable disks that last up to 12 hours and you need to change every night.

  • Spiral coils

These aren’t for indoor use and I wouldn’t use these at night while you’re sleeping, but if you’re outside in the garden or on the balcony or terrace during the evening, these help keep those annoying beasts away. You can keep them in a corner away from the table where you and your guests are.

  • Citronella candles

The candles are pretty for entertaining and the emit a much nicer scent than the coils, but I’ve found that they don’t work as well. But they do add a nice mood to your outdoor space and you can use them in tandem with the spiral.

  • Mosquito skin spray

If you’re going to be in the outdoors for a long period of time in a particularly mosquitoe infested area, you can spray your arms and legs. This works quite well. I use it even if I’m out in the garden and I want to not fuss around with coils and candles and spray my legs, feet and ankles with this.

  • After-bite stick

Mosquitoes are incredibly tenacious and resilient, so despite the above repellents, they’re still going to get you. Keep this stick in your bag. It’s amazing! It provides instant relief for when you get bitten and will make you forget all about it.  

Natural remedies

  • Use natural oils

You can make a natural mosquito repellent spray by mixing vodka/witch-hazel, distilled water, and essential oils such as citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedar, catnip, geranium, lavender, and mint. Spray some on your body or on your sheets.

  • Use a fan

The fan circulates the air and keeps the mosquitoes from getting too close to you.

  • Hang a net curtain in front of the windows or around your bed.

Also I love beaded curtains on the kitchen door that leads out to the garden or terrace. They remind me of my childhood.

  • Keep plants that are a natural mosquito repellent on your balcony or terrace.

Plants such as lavender, rosemary, basil, lemon balm, and geraniums (now I know why geraniums are so popular in window boxes!).

mosquitoes in Italy

Hope this helps and let me know below if you have any other tips to share!  

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  1. Roua wrote:

    Thank you for the advice. It is nice of you to have taken the time.
    We just moved to Roma, from UK (close to London).
    Enjoy your life on your island!
    Best, Roua

    Posted 10.1.19 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Thanks Roua! I hope the mosquitoes don’t give you too much trouble. They seem to have gotten more aggressive in September and October over here. Congrats on your move and all the best!

      Posted 10.11.19 Reply
  2. Julie-Ann Hind wrote:

    Hi thanks for the tips. We are looking to buy a holiday house in Italy. I react badly to mosquito bites so I’m looking for a location where it may be less of a problem. We spent a summer in Lucca so I know how bad it can be. You mentioned the coast being a problem. I would have thought the sea breeze would help to lower the numbers. Is there any area in Italy where you think it’s less of a problem? Thanks

    Posted 10.17.19 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Hi Julie-Ann,
      Hm, I’m not sure of areas that would be less prone to mosquitoes as I haven’t been to all the regions of Italy. The Veneto region, being flat with lots of marshland, has a lot of mosquitoes. As I live on an island, the sea breeze definitely helps with keeping mosquitoes at bay, but you’re surrounded by gardens and lots of green space with fountains, lakes, streams ect, you’ll have mosquitoes. Perhaps some dry places in Puglia, Calabria or Sicily might have less mosquitoes, but they could come back easily during the rainy season.

      Posted 10.24.19 Reply
  3. Susie Montano wrote:

    I have a bottle of Avon’s Skin So Soft body oil. I have a small spray bottle and spray when mosquitoes are around. They are definitely repelled by it. It’s available online.
    vitamin B6 also works, but you need to take it every day. It apparently gives the skin an odor mosquitoes can’t stand but is undetectable by humans
    Lastly, there are several apps that give of sounds that repel mosquitoes. The one I use is free and has a picture of a mosquito inside a large turquoise circle. If put it on when I sleep and it’s wonderful It has 3 volumes, the lowest is still very effective. I do notice, if I play it on the loudest, my two little dogs and cat seem bothered by it, so I keep it low.
    I went to Italy last year in August for two weeks and toured all over. What gorgeous countryside!! I don’t remember being bitten once, so maybe being extremely happy, enchanted and eating well is a good repellant also!!
    Peace, happiness and good luck to you and all travelers!!

    Posted 10.22.19 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Thanks so much for all of these tips, Susie! I didnt know about the noise apps, but I will definitely check those out. Right now, since it’s been a warm October, the mosquitoes have been particularly aggressive. More so than during the summer. Thanks again! xx

      Posted 10.24.19 Reply
  4. Charles wrote:

    Excellent article and since we live on the island of Elba we suffer from vicious Mosquitos in the summer and can agree with all your comments. The mosquitos are very determined and persistent as you say. I find the spray is the only really effective solution although the coils are also effective but at times when they are particularly hungry they will ignore this. Mosquitos love to bite me but leave my wife alone. I have in the past purchased a very good remedy from amazon called “Sawyer premium ultra 30”insect repellent. It contains 30% Deet which is not ideal but it does work very well for most of the day.

    Posted 4.5.20 Reply
    • Giovanna wrote:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Charles! I think the best outdoor protection is a combo of the spray and coils. My husband is from Venice where the mosquitoes are ruthless in their attacks so I definitely need the spray and coils for sitting outside in the garden when I’m there. x

      Posted 4.19.20 Reply
  5. Tara wrote:

    They’re a nightmare here in Florence since I moved. They are vicious and bite anything- ears, face, fingers. I go mosquito hunting every night and still wake up with bites even with a Vape etc. Love Italy- hate mosquitoes

    Posted 10.4.21 Reply
  6. A.DiRe wrote:

    In australia we use Fly Sreens on doors and windows to keep them out of the house. For outdoors same as you.

    Posted 10.25.22 Reply