a close up photo of a mosquito holding onto a leaf

Mosquitoes in Costa Rica

Are There Mosquitoes in Costa Rica? 

While the entire country does not have mosquitoes, some areas in Costa Rica do have them for a good part of the year. Other areas either do not have them, or the infestation window is brief. Because Costa Rica sits on the equator and has warm temperatures all year, the areas with the largest infestations will have some mosquito presence all year. 

What Are Mosquitoes Called in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica mosquitoes are called “zancudos,” which is Spanish for mosquitoes. It refers to the long legs that the mosquitoes have and the fact that they fly. This term comes from the Hispanics who are native to the area. 

A black sand beach in Costa Rica lined with palm trees and a bright blue sky with clouds

Where to Find Mosquitoes in Costa Rica? 

When travelers plan their vacation in Costa Rica, it is important to know that most of the mosquito infestation lives on the Caribbean side of the coast. They need steady warmth and stagnated water to survive. The coastal area provides the breeding ground necessary to continue growing their colonies with marshes and swamp grounds leading up to the ocean. Because mosquitoes have everything they need along the coastline, it is hard to avoid them completely. 

It is important to note that the mosquito population will decline as travelers visit more areas inland away from the beaches. Upon reaching the highlands, they are almost nonexistent since they cannot survive in the cooler temperatures in this area. 

When Are Mosquitoes Most Active? 

If someone wants to avoid mosquitoes in Costa Rica, they need to know that they are most active either early in the morning when the weather is starting to warm up and the ground is damp from morning dew. They are also active again late in the evening as the sun starts to set and the temperature drops just a little. The nighttime moisture is starting to drop, and the mosquitoes use this as a second feeding time. 

What is The Worst Time of Year For Mosquitoes in Costa Rica?

Unlike other parts of the world that have seasonal mosquitoes, the hard truth for Costa Rica is that they can be a problem all year along the coast. This is simply because the coastal weather does not drop significantly enough at any point in the year for them to leave. Because they are active all year, guests must prepare for this on their trips and be proactive to avoid getting bites.

a close up photo of a mosquito holding onto a leaf

Are There Mosquito-Borne Illnesses in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is considered one of the healthiest countries in the Central American region, but it is not without health concerns. Unfortunately, Costa Rica mosquitoes carry some of the internationally known mosquito-borne illnesses that develop as they bite one person and the next. Before booking a trip, all guests need to know what diseases are possible in the area. 

Is there Zika in Costa Rica?

The Zika virus is common throughout Costa Rica and neighboring countries among those bitten by mosquitoes. While many infected are asymptomatic, those who seem ill experience skin rash, eye irritation, and mild fever. It concerns pregnant women as it has been linked to birth defects and issues after infection. 

Is there West Nile Virus in Costa Rica?

Although it is not as common as other illnesses, there have been a handful of cases of West Nile Virus in Costa Rica over the last few years. This one is not spread as much, though. The symptoms of the West Nile Virus can be as mild as fatigue and fever and as severe as vision loss and paralysis. 

Is there Dengue in Costa Rica? 

Of all the mosquito-borne diseases in Costa Rica, Dengue can be one of the worst to catch. It is rare to die from this disease, but it can be brutal on the body, making someone catch it bedridden with sickness for weeks at a time. 

Is there Malaria in Costa Rica?

One of the most common mosquito-borne diseases is malaria, which isn’t very common in Costa Rica. Cases of this disease are few and far between, with approximately a dozen cases reported in 2020. 

Is there Chikungunya in Costa Rica? 

Unfortunately, the Chikungunya virus is prevalent in Costa Rica, and no cure or preventative vaccine is readily available for this disease. It is one of the newer viruses that appeared in Costa Rica, making its way to Latin America just a decade ago. 

Is there Yellow Fever in Costa Rica?

Fortunately, there haven’t been any reported cases of yellow fever in Costa Rica. Since yellow fever can be deadly, this is great news for those planning to travel soon.

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