Are there mosquitoes in Italy? Hell, yes. Unlike India, Afghanistan, and a few other countries, the mosquito bites in Italy don’t give malaria or other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue or Zika, but they are incredibly annoying.
Whether you are in the city or in a beach resort, there are many places you can find mosquitoes in Italy, and if you get bothered even only a little as my husband does, you are going to appreciate our tips to avoid them as much as possible.
This year, there have been actually a few cases of infected mosquitoes, especially in northern Italy. While this is very rare, it’s important to take preventive measures to minimize any chances.
Let’s dig in and see how we can protect ourselves from what can be easily listed among the most annoying insects of the Italian summer!
Mosquitoes in Italy – Where are they?
I found mosquitoes in several places in Italy. Sometimes near the beach, sometimes inside a city, you can never really predict where they will be because it’s not always the case that they are limited to humid areas or near a lake or a pond.
When planning your trip to Italy, it’s always good to keep in mind that mosquito activity is highest during the warm months, from April to October. They can be active at any time of day but it’s in the evening that they become a nightmare. The exact mosquito population and activity level can vary depending on the region, weather conditions, and proximity to water bodies.
Yes, in summer, you are likely to find mosquitoes in Rome and other major Italian cities. They are the so-called “tiger” mosquitoes that you can recognize because their legs have black and white stripes and can be quite aggressive. There is also another type called Culex pipiens or common house mosquito and it’s quite annoying, too.
Mosquitoes in Rome can be in the city center but I found them especially where we live on the outskirts and in some parks.
Due to its high humidity levels, it comes as no surprise that also Venice can get mosquito-infested, but among the famous Italian cities, Florence, too, makes no exception.
We recently went to Parma and found plenty of mosquitoes. Unlike Rome, we were told that they can be found only up to August so from September on, much less. Good to hear because we found them very aggressive and got bitten a lot.
If you are heading to Parma in summer, I suggest a mosquito repellent and also an after-bite cream or lotion to stop itching and prevent swelling.
Among the popular summer destinations in Italy, we have found mosquitoes in Sardinia even though not directly on the beach but rather near the coast or around water like lakes and ponds. Some of the places where we found mosquitoes near Sardinia’s beaches include Arborea near Oristano, S’Archittu, and the beaches of the Orosei Gulf.
Also in other famous beach destinations such as Sicily, Puglia, and Emilia-Romagna, tiger mosquitoes can be quite numerous and annoying.
The countryside in Tuscany, Veneto, Piedmont, Lombardy, and the Pianura Padana plain in the Emilia-Romagna region are among the areas where you can find more mosquitoes than in other areas. This year 2023, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna have been particularly under attack by the zanzara tigre or Asian tiger mosquito.
Not only the northern regions, obviously. Also countryside areas of Puglia and Calabria can become quite infested, so the overall recommendation is to pack your favorite mosquito repellent from home to use until you can buy one in Italy.
I spent August in the northern region of Trentino-Alto Adige a couple of years ago and I don’t recall being bothered by mosquitoes. In this beautiful mountainous region, you are likely to find these horrible pests in the cities and where is hotter.
For example, I would think they are more frequent in Trento rather than Bolzano or Bressanone. In none of the latter two, I remember having to battle mosquitoes. If you head to the Dolomites and generally higher altitudes, mosquito bites become more rare.
Mosquitoes in Italy – Our tips to avoid them
Use a good mosquito repellent
My husband is a big target of mosquitoes. In fact, when we are together, I don’t even need to apply repellent because mosquitoes are mainly concentrated on him. Needless to say, he tried a million mosquito repellents and his favorite is Autan. To the point that he bought also the one for children to apply on our son, another big target of these pests.
I’m a big fan of natural remedies so we have also tried Neem Oil, citronella, and lavender, but I have to say that they haven’t been always helpful.
Pack the essentials
Apart from the mosquito repellents, I found that wearing lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants helps protect yourself from mosquitoes. Also, a mosquito net for sleeping could be useful especially if you are planning to go camping or stay in rural areas.
Research your destinations
Some regions in Italy have higher mosquito populations than others. Research your destinations in advance to be prepared. Coastal areas and regions with lakes and rivers are usually more mosquito-prone, even though, as I mentioned, you can find these insects also in the main cities.
Turn on the A/C
When you are in your hotel room, switch on the air conditioning to keep mosquitoes at bay. I noticed that even if there are some in the room, they don’t bite and are easier to catch. This is why I strongly recommend you opt for an accommodation that features the A/C.
Whether it’s your hotel, a cafe/restaurant, a church, or a museum, indoors, mosquitoes are rarer.
What to do if you get bitten by mosquitoes in Italy
Here are some remedies you can adopt if you actually get bitten by mosquitoes in Italy.
Apply topical cream
This is the easiest and most straightforward solution. Over-the-counter creams containing hydrocortisone or calamine can help soothe the bite and alleviate itching. You will find them in every pharmacy in Italy, ask the chemist for instructions on how to use them.
I know, this is easier said than done. As tempting as it might be, do your best to refrain from scratching the bite. Scratching can break the skin, leading to infection and prolonging the discomfort and the itching.
Look for natural remedies
Consider using natural remedies such as aloe vera gel, two drops of tea tree oil applied through a vector such as coconut or almond oil, or diluted apple cider vinegar to help soothe the bite. I often found that wet alum rock applied directly on the bite also gives some relief.
I have used all these remedies and never had any issues but to be on the safer side, patch-test them on a small area of your skin to ensure no adverse reactions occur.