20 Moroccan Mosquito Bites in one day!

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Summertime, mosquito bites and an odyssey to find allergy medicines in Marrakech.    

Welcome to my first mosquito nightmare! And before you call me a fool, let´s clarify that I bought insect repellent before travelling to Morocco. I even researched on google: “Mosquito in Morocco?”, but the answers I got were: mosquito bites are not a big a problem there.

Now let´s tell the truth: THERE ARE MOSQUITOES IN MOROCCO and they are PRETTY BADASSES!

In just one day 20 mosquito bites, is that enough for you??

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Thank God I feel better now. Allergic people like me have a serious problem when travelling. For most of the people it can be just a mosquito bite, for us it can be a life threatening moment. That´s why I’m writing this post.

We arrived in Marrakech on a Friday morning, in my backpack: a spray repellent and an electric repellent. I thought I was protected, in most of the countries I visited (Europe and South America) those two items were more than enough to avoid mosquito bites. But for the Moroccan mosquitoes they were nothing.

On Saturday morning I already had some bites on my back and on my legs. My first thought was: Fuck!! There are bedbugs in this Riad!!!!

We looked at the bed, sheets, pillows and nothing. I was itching but we decided to go for walk and sightseeing. I wore long clothes and applied mosquito repellent just to make sure nothing would happen. I was so naive, mosquitoes in Morocco are from a higher level!

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By the end of the day I had more than 20 mosquito bites all over my body. I think the insects got under my skirt and literally ate my legs.  Ahhhhhhhh… Come on!!??? How do they do it???

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To figure out what was happening we sought help from our friend Google and discovered that I got bitten by Sandflies, and only DEET repellent can avoid them. The normal natural repellents are nothing for those horrifying insects.

Mosquito bites 4 source sandfleas.org

Source: www.sandfleas.org

They are tiny flies. You don’t see them, but they land on your skin, suck your blood and leave a damn painful itching swelling bumps.

I needed a medicine! We checked all the pharmacies around the Riad and Jemaa el-Fnaa Square and all of them were closed for the weekend. 🙁 The guy from the Riad tried to help us, but even him (a local person) couldn’t figure out which shop should be opened that weekend. They have a kind of rotation schedule for weekends and holidays.

I could do nothing! I went back to our room and cried… Feeling awful, that was the first time I wished to be at home. Back to my comfort and safe zone.

Sunday was another allergic horrible day! The Lady who clean the Riad realised that I was having an allergic reaction and she made a natural mix (salt + herbs + oil) to cover my mosquitoes bites. It helped the itching problem, but the allergies symptoms were still there.



By now you are thinking: Why didn’t she go to the hospital?

I didn’t go to the hospital because I was afraid. Because I had a big cultural shock when I arrived in Morocco and I didn’t want to go to  a strange place, also we don’t speak arabic or french.

Monday morning finally arrived, I got dressed and we ran to the “big pharmacy” where supposedly someone would speak english. Before leaving the Riad, we looked at Google translate how to explain my problem in french, just in case no one speaks english.

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The pharmacy was open and the pharmacist was at the door smoking a cigaret. I got inside and started talking with a girl, I showed her my arms and back covered of mosquito bites. She replied something in french and the guy at the front door called me.

He was still at the door and still smoking when he looked at my bites. He said something like: “Moroccan mosquito bites, bad allergy!” and the girl gave me a box of antihistamine tablets and an ointment. We paid around 21€, immediately returned to the Riad for one more shower and to apply the medicines.

Rob went shopping, trying to find some DEET Repellent. He found a really strong one to spray around the room. Better than nothing!

To sum up, after three days I was better, and to avoid new bites I was using the DEET Room Repellent over my clothes and legs. Everything was fine till we travel to  the desert… More bites, fleas and a brand new nightmare…

Do you have any insect allergy? Have you  ever had any problem with bites while traveling?

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21 Comments

  1. WOW what happened with you and the those mosquitoes? Seriously I live for almost 10 years in Morocco, and I rarely see any mosquitoes at all. I haven’t been in Morocco this year because I’m traveling, but maybe there was a kind of mosquito plague which is not normal in that country – I remember a couple of years ago we had a sudden plague of grasshoppers. 1 week, 1 time, impossible… ahhhhh strange, intriguing and interesting. I hope this will not repeat itself and that mosquitoes don’t stay in Morocco. This was one of the things I always brag myself about it haha. Big hug from China, Great blog I love it! bon voyage!

    1. Ha! I was just in Meknes (northern part of Morocco for 6 weeks) and during the day we were plagued by the neighbors burning the dry fields around our homes (gotta roll down the shades to keep the smoke out) and before dusk, ya gotta roll down the shades to keep the plagues of mosquitoes out. I only got a few bites, but my beloved 2 year old son has SCARS on his legs from all the mosquito bites! It’s hot, but you can’t crack those roller blinds the slightest bit at night … and somehow the mosquitoes STILL get in. The best we could do was get a fan to keep the air moving so the mosquitos wouldn’t land on us. And they are tricky little escape artists, too, I’ll tell you that! They know how to hide when you’re looking for them!

  2. Ohhh you are so lucky! 10 years in Morocco and no mosquitoes??!!
    I loved there but the bites were a big thing for me. When we were in Marrakech I saw other travellers with the same problem, maybe it was a plague.

    But even with the mosquitoes we enjoyed a lot, such an amazing country!!
    Thanks for stopping by, hope you liked our posts!

    All the best, safe travels!
    Hugs from Thailand!
    Nat

  3. I have a HUGE, huge problem with mosquito bites that have only gotten worse over the years. Southeast Asia is rife with them so stock up on everything you need. I’m currently in Sri Lanka and it’s painful, and that’s coming from a girl whose bites swell and cover the surface area equivalent to 10x the size of yours.

    If they want you, they will find you! Now…how to find a way of eradicating those little critters!!
    Becki recently posted…Vietnam – The Positive Collision of Tourism and MicrofinanceMy Profile

    1. OMG!!
      I know what you are talking Becki, I have already had horrible allergic reaction too. I learnt the lesson, in my bag I always carry DEET repellent and antihistamine. Those mosquitoes are nasty! Wish there is a vaccine to avoid them! 😉
      Nat

  4. Hiya, my friend and I are off to Marrakech in May this year. Thanx for the info about the mossies. I was told by my neighbour to use a Body cream called Skin so Soft by Avon (UK) as the Royal Marines swear by it against those little buggers. I get eaten alive by them when I go to Switzerland to visit my family but next time I will be well armed with the bottles from Avon, as I will when I go to Marrakech. Anyway check it out for yourself about what the Royal Marines use. Good Luck J.P.

  5. I live in Gibraltar and can see Morrocco from my house. The not so little buggers are even here and are the worst mozzies I have ever come across. I’ve been places like Mexico, Cuba and Sri Lanka and have never been bothered but here they are terminators. They are big, come out day and nights and Citronella just does not bother them. Plus the bites swell up huge. The Skin so Soft by Avon works a treat but spray under clothes too!

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