Mosquitoes in Sweden and Norway: what really helps
Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch auf:
Last summer we traveled through Sweden and Norway with our roof tent and dog. Of course, there was already one big question beforehand: How bad are the mosquitoes in Scandinavia really and how can we protect ourselves and our dog from them? So we did a lot of research and had almost every variant of mosquito repellent with us. In this article you can find out which mosquito repellents helped in Sweden and whether it was actually that difficult.
- Where there are few mosquitoes in Sweden - and where there are many
- Mosquitoes in Sweden: weather and season
- Mosquitoes in Norway
- What really helps against mosquitoes in Sweden
- How to protect your dog against mosquitoes in Sweden
You can imagine that when you travel in a roof tent, you are exposed to nature to the maximum. That's why a day is quickly spoiled if the weather doesn't play along at all or the mosquitoes come out to pester you. First of all, you should know that mosquitoes are not found everywhere in Sweden and Norway and that the time of year and the weather also have a big impact. Therefore, I will first give you an overview of what to expect when it comes to mosquitoes on a holiday in Sweden.
Where are particularly few mosquitoes in Sweden and where particularly many?
Put simply, the formula is: the further south you are in Sweden, the fewer mosquitoes you will encounter. For example, we didn't have any problems with mosquitoes when we were still south of Stockholm. To be honest, we were even positively surprised that we could stay outside by the lake until sunset without any mosquito repellent without being bitten. Only in the twilight or darkness did individual mosquitoes come out. At home in Germany we had much bigger problems with mosquitoes. You also have fewer mosquitoes along the Baltic Sea coast. For example, on our trip to the Stendörrens nature reserve, we were completely free from mosquitoes.
However, the further north we went, the more it became apparent that the mosquito plague in Sweden is not just a myth. At the latest when you cross the border into Lapland, the mosquitoes become exactly the plague we were already warned about. The main problem was that mosquitoes in northern Sweden hardly care about the time of day or dusk. They are just there. The situation around the Arctic Circle near Jokkmokk and in Abisko National Park was almost unbearable. It's also difficult on the Wilderness Road. There are also particularly many mosquitoes in the high mountains, such as in the Fulufjället National Park.
Mosquito plague in Sweden: Here it is the worst:
- Wilderness Road/Vildmarskvagen
- Around the Arctic Circle at Jokkmokk
- In and around Abisko National Park
Influence of season and weather on mosquitoes in Sweden
The mosquito plague in Sweden is particularly strong in the summer months of June, July and August. From September it decreases significantly. But the weather is also crucial when it comes to mosquitoes in Sweden. What they don't like at all: wind. So the windier it is, the more peace and quiet you will have, even in the north of Sweden. In addition, they are more active when the sky is cloudy than when the sun is shining. And as mentioned above: in the south you are mostly quiet during the day and should only protect yourself in the evening, in the north mosquitoes are active all day.
Are there mosquitoes in Norway?
In Norway, the situation is a bit different when it comes to mosquitoes, as you spend a lot of time close to the coast here. Therefore, it is also much easier to avoid mosquitoes in Norway. While inland and on the lakes the conditions can be quite similar to those in Sweden, you have to reckon with significantly fewer pests on the coast. Incidentally, the Lofoten Islands are almost completely mosquito-free. Incidentally, the reason is that mosquitoes do not feel comfortable in the windy and changeable weather conditions on the Lofoten and on the coast of Norway.
What helps against mosquitoes in Sweden and Norway?
As I have already said, we were well equipped in terms of mosquito repellent. That's why you'll now find out what worked particularly well and what didn't.
Don't forget: Ticks are also a danger
While most people only talk about mosquitoes, keep in mind that ticks may be less of a nuisance, but they pose a greater risk. Ticks are widespread in Sweden and Norway. So check your skin daily and protect yourself with clothing and sprays (see below). Your dog should of course be equipped with effective protection.
Which mosquito sprays help in Sweden?
There are countless mosquito repellents on the market and I can assure you that if a certain active ingredient is not included, it will hardly protect you: it is DEET.
The best-known sprays containing deet that you can buy in Germany are Nobite and Anti Brumm. We had both with us, both were equally effective (also against ticks). However, since the smell is really strong, we tried to use it as little as possible. It was therefore used particularly often for hikes in warm weather. Otherwise we let long clothes do the job of mosquito spray (more on that in a moment).
So when buying a bug spray, make sure it contains DEET. Incidentally, this also applies to mosquito sprays that you can buy in Sweden. Mygga, which is available as a spray, roll-on and stick, is particularly popular here. In addition to the active ingredient DEET, it also contains extracts from vegetable oils. And the Swedish mosquito spray Djungelolja is also based on DEET.
How to wear clothing to protect yourself from mosquitoes in Sweden
If you don't get into a heat wave, you can protect yourself well with clothing in Sweden. Light-colored clothing is preferable to dark clothing. Loose linen shirts and linen trousers, for example, are ideal. On the other hand, my hiking leggings in the Abisko National Park were a bad choice. The brakes there just bit me through the thick fabric. So it is good if the fabric does not lie directly on the skin. I would always spray exposed ankles with a heavy mosquito infestation.
By the way: In addition to sprays for the skin, there are also sprays for clothing. This is really recommended in the north of Sweden, as mosquitoes and horseflies are particularly aggressive here and will certainly try to bite through your clothing.
And even if it looks ridiculous: mosquito nets that you can pull over your head are definitely justified.
Sweden: Mosquito discs and mosquito coils: do they help at all?
They were actually the saviors in need: mosquito coils. When lit, they emit both light smoke and an odor that repels mosquitoes. If you buy the spirals, a simple holder is usually included. We got an extra tin box as it both enhances the effect and protects the spiral from the wind. By the way, the smell didn't bother us. Once the box was set up, we actually had peace from the mosquitoes. We've been using them in the garden at home ever since. Mosquito coils are not suitable for asthmatics. The same applies: never use indoors.
Mosquito plates, on the other hand, do without steam. Mosquito discs work on the basis of an insecticide, which is heated, evaporated and spread through the air. A plug is used for this indoors. For outdoors, there are special diffusers that heat the plate and spread the active ingredient in the air. Brand new on the market is the diffuser from FLEXTAILGEAR, which you can clip to your clothing or backpack so that you always have your mosquito repellent with you and are also well protected when hiking. I find a great solution.
Do mosquito candles help in Sweden?
Whether citronella, eucalyptus or lavender, there are numerous mosquito candles with fragrances and oils that are supposed to drive away the little pests. We tested citronella candles and found the effect not quite as strong as with mosquito coils. They contain natural ingredients and are even available in organic quality.
Better not: Ineffective mosquito plugs with ultrasound
Of course, whether mosquito spray or coils, poison is used for most of the remedies. Of course you want to avoid that. Mosquito plugs that work on the basis of ultrasound quickly come to mind as an alternative. But so far all tests and studies agree: Ultrasound does not work against mosquitoes. Since it is better to fall back on clothes and save the money. Of course, exactly the same applies to the corresponding mobile phone apps that already exist.
Mosquito nets for the camper: you should pay attention to this
When we bought our roof tent, we made sure that it was equipped with high-quality mosquito nets. And in fact, not a mosquito got lost in the roof tent during the whole trip. We were guaranteed a good night's sleep. If you are traveling to Sweden with a camper, I can only recommend that you invest in a good mosquito net that can also keep out midges. Because the tiny little beasts that can be found in Lapland, as well as in Scotland, squeeze through every gap. It is important that it fits perfectly and closes seamlessly. On the other hand, nets that are only mounted like a curtain are poorly suited.
Campfire in Sweden: You should pay attention to that
In fact, fire is almost the most effective protection against mosquitoes in Sweden. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind here: In summer, there is a high risk of forest fires in Sweden. So you should never start an unsecured fire. Often you will find official fireplaces at lakes. These are elevated and solidly built and usually secure. So if you plan to make a (safe) campfire, an ax in your luggage is helpful, as well as a lighter. By the way: If you want to be on the safe side, you can invest in a mobile fireplace.
Extra tip: keep your skin cool
Did you know that mosquitoes are particularly attracted to warm skin? A little cooling can therefore actually help against mosquitoes. Incidentally, we noticed that we were a real mosquito magnet with our car after long drives, as long as it was still radiating heat.
If it does happen: This is how you relieve the pain after mosquito bites
Mosquito bites can be painful, especially when bitten by mosquito species that are foreign to the body. Stitches always hurt me a lot more abroad than at home. After all, there are a few remedies that help.
The electronic stitch healer
The electronic bite healer helps with mosquito bites, but also with wasp, horsefly and hornet bites and only with the help of heat. Simply activate the sting healer and press on the sting (preferably fresh) for a few seconds and the heat will destroy some of the enzymes that cause the pain and itching. It belongs in every first-aid kit.
Mosquito patches (Cross Tapes)
Mosquito patches (cross tapes) also do not contain any active ingredients. Not only do they protect you from scratching the sting, they actually aid in healing. Because of their firm structure, they lift the skin minimally during movement, which promotes the self-healing process.
Ointments for mosquito bites
We ointment Fenistil Gel help due to the active ingredient dimetindene maleate, an antihistamine. It counteracts the body releasing histamine after the sting, which triggers the itching or allergic reaction. In addition, these ointments have a cooling effect.
In Sweden, the active ingredient Salubrin is popular. A disinfectant that relieves itching after a mosquito bite.
Cooling ointments and gels with aloe vera or camomile rely on natural ingredients. Although they are not as effective as Fenistil, they do relieve the pain.
By the way: If your mosquito bite becomes severely inflamed, an ointment containing cortisone or even an antibiotic may have to be prescribed.
Protecting dogs from mosquitoes in Sweden
If you have a dog with you on your trip to Sweden, you should also protect it from mosquitoes and ticks. Combination preparations that help against mosquitoes as well as against sand flies and ticks are particularly useful. By the way: if you stumble across the term repellent, this means that mosquitoes do not even settle on the dog, but are deterred by a smell. In addition, effective protection against ticks usually ensures that ticks are killed immediately when they bite, i.e. they do not attach themselves.
A distinction is made between spot-ons, collars and tablets. Please speak to your veterinarian about the right protection for your dog.
Tick tweezers for dogs and an ointment that supports healing are also indispensable.
Can I also use my mosquito repellent for my dog?
Absolutely not, human bug sprays are toxic to dogs. Only use products that are approved for dogs (ideally in their weight class).
Traveling to Norway with your dog: important information
If you are planning to travel to Norway with your dog, you must carry out a tapeworm treatment at least 24 hours before entry (and at the earliest five days before) and have it documented in the pet ID card by the veterinarian. Otherwise, entry may be refused. We traveled from Sweden (Abisko) to Norway and did it easily in a veterinary clinic.
Sweden Roadtrip: Our route through Sweden to the Lofoten
In this post you will learn everything about our trip through Sweden and Norway. Including the best tips for route planning, parking spaces and sights.