Casa Corazon

Belize - Placencia Beach Paradise

Living in the Tropics

The weather is great, but heat and humidity have their downsides.  One of these is the insects.  Insect problems can, for the most part, be minimized by following a few basic rules.


Food storage / cleanup:  Never leave food remnants (even crumbs or spills) around.  It is amazing how fast insects appear (ants, fruit flies etc.) when food remnants are left out in the open.  Wipe down counters after food prep and eating.  I usually put my fruit in the fridge or leave intact fruit in a bowl covered by a towel.  I have seen the occasional cockroach, but there are ants and the occasional large black (harmless but ugly) beetle.  Any dry foods need to be kept in sealed airtight containers or they will become soggy really quickly.  Make sure container lids are on tightly. Make sure that the lid is on the kitchen garbage bin.


As far as bugs and people are concerned, the main culprits are sand flies “noseeum’s” and mosquitoes.  They can be minimized however.  The worst times for these pests to get you are in the early morning on the beach (between 6 and 8 am) and in the early evening (between 4 and 7 pm).  They are not bad if there is a brisk breeze, but on still days they can be a real bother.  By avoiding being outside at these times, especially if there is no breeze, and by using insect repellent (strong stuff!), you can reduce the number of itchy bites you get.  It is inevitable that you will get a few bites, especially on your lower legs.  The itchiness can be treated using the locally available “Jungle Salve”, or various creams and lotions that you can bring from home.  Gold Bond powder, Benadryl cream, and other insect bite and itch relieving creams are available at all pharmacies at home…bring them with you as they are not always available in Belize.  Another item I recommend you bring along is Benadryl (or similar) tablets.  If you do get some annoyingly itchy bites, taking a Benadryl tablet (25 or 50 mg) at bedtime can get you through the night.  Recently I have found that taking Reactine 20 mg at bedtime every day really works to reduce itchy bug bites.  I recommend that to most people, but of course you should check with your doctor if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.


It is always a good idea to avoid leaving clothes and towels lying on the floor or the deck, particularly if they are wet.  If you pick something up that has been lying on the ground / floor for any length of time, pick it up by the edge and shake it out, in case bugs have made a home in there...unlikely but could happen.


It is also a good idea to bring along some Imodium, pepto bismol, or other antidiarrheal (just in case).  I keep a first aid kit in the master suite on the upper shelf beside the shower.  For those physicians and nurses using our house, there are suture and IV supplies as well as airways.  There is an otoscope, ophthalmoscope, and BP cuff as well as stethoscope.  There are plastic containers with some various pharmaceuticals.


It goes without saying that sunscreen, and other sun protection is always a good idea.  Although I’m sure you will bring your own, we have a good selection in the house if you run out.



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