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Chris Frochaux of Chris Frochaux - SERVMOR REALTY – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mosquitoes are less prevalent in Panama City, but I would love to claim they are non-existent. Panamanian mosquitoes are discriminating connoisseurs and they seem to appreciate imported blood. I have been traditionally a mosquito magnet and if there's one mosquito in the room, she'll spot me in no time, while leaving my companions unscathed. (It must be in my DNA). It's just a small inconvenience. I just make sure to keep a bottle of OFF insect repellent on hand.
 
Aside from the sheer nuisance, mosquitoes can of course transmit diseases such as malaria. The Canal was initially a French undertaking and the French were defeated by the mosquitoes. It's heartbreaking to look at vintage photos of malaria victims, while realizing that the legs of their hospital beds were placed in cans of water, the perfect breeding ground...  The health authorities have been proactive in the area of public information and eradication, and whole neighborhoods are preventively fumigated. 
Robert Martin – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Cupiennius, or  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living   I was stationed in Panama for 2 yrs with the Army.  I loved the country and the people.  The Insects and wildlife require your respect.  In the jungle regions you have to expect mosquitos year round.  They are large and relatively slow flying.  They can and will bite through clothing. 
  Ants in Panama can be quite cool.  Leaf cutters and trails can span for miles, which are mostly harmless.  The large ants we called 50 Cal Ants.  The Kuna Indians used them as stitches. They have the ant bite the wound then twist the head off.  They are huge but keep to themselves.  There are many other ant varieties down to tiny ants that were hard to see but bite like crazy.  
   Spiders were about like the American southeast, except for the creepy looking Banana Spiders, which set huge webs across trails.  Never had anyone bitten by one though.
   Snakes can be an issue in Panama. Fer De Lance snakes are very venomous, territorial, and mate for life.  The Bushmaster can break a bone as it strikes.  Both are generally found in the jungle;  actual strikes by them were very rare.  
   The animals and Insects can seem scary, but all in all, the place is great.  The climate doesn't change much through the year, the rainy season just means it rains like crazy aan hour or 2 a day.  The beaches are beautiful. I only had a sand flea issue on the Pacific side, and only on the one beach right outside the back gate to what was Howard AFB.
 
(Pictured: Cupiennius, or "Banana Spider")
Captain Carl Davis of Jungle Land Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you are planning on visiting Panama, I recommend  that you plan ahead and make sure you bring enough insect repellant. The mosquitoes and bugs bother some people more than others. However, if you will be planning on visiting the jungle, it will be hard to avoid getting bitten. 
 
Look for oil-based insect repellents. The oily layer helps with the chitra bites, as it makes it harder for them to bite you. Mosquitoes and chitras are mostly a problem after 5-6 pm. Try covering up (long pants and sweaters) and remember your repellant.
Nelson Vega of Panasurance – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Anywhere in general and in Panama in specific, the more populated and urbanized the area, the less mosquitos there are. In swampy places with lots of vegetation, mosquitos seem to proliferate in large quantities.
 
However some people do seem to attract mosquitoes and other bugs more than others. So if you are one of those persons and you are close to area with forests and humid ground nearby, you should use bug repellents, since mosquitos can become very annoying. 
Nanette Witmer – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I don't quite know where these other people posting here are from in Panama. I live in David. Although it is considered the hottest spot in Panama, I can definitely attest to the fact we have mosquitos here. All expats living here know that during the rainy season people should stay inside during dusk and dawn. And to be honest now in October, which is the rainiest month. I see mosquitos all day long outside. I have the bites to prove it. During the dry season though we do not have mosquitos.
 
No one else has addressed other bugs. I shall try to here. There are of course cockroaches here as well as large spiders, termites and ants. You can find ant nests on just about everyone's property. We spray around our house with insecticide every 4 weeks to keep all critters out. It does work. We also put screens on all doors and windows and insulated around all doors and windows with caulk. 
 
You also have to be careful when gardening. Last week the one time I did not wear gardening gloves I somehow got bit 3 times by some spider and my right hand swelled up. There are deadly snakes here as well as caterpillars. While most of the time you will not see any of these, I don't for instance walk outside at night without any shoes. You never know. 
Lucia Haines of Panama Realtor Inc. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are a variety of pests that are endemic during the first 6-8 weeks or so of the rainy season.  These include: 
  • mosquitos
  • termite swarms
  • flying ants
Chitras, or "no see ums" generally make their appearance in more costal places or areas with mangroves at sunup and sundown.  They are usually out in droves for about an hour before retreating to wherever it is they go. 
 
Ticks and Coloradilla (chiggers) are usually their worst during the drying months of the dry season, February and March. 
 
Pests as would be expected are more prevalent in rural areas than urban areas.  
 
 
 
 
Judy Sacco – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Biting bugs (no-seeums, mosquitos) are very bad in Bocas, especially at sunset.  Coffee flies are bad biters in Boquete, also some mosquitos and no-seeums.  This is a tropical country, and there are biting bugs.
Mikkel Moller – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I am not bothered by mosquitos and other bugs and insects as much as my wife; she is a "Bug Magnet." However, she has found that Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition with SPF 30 Sunscreen, Avon Skin So Soft Bath Gel and for after the fact Avon Skin So Soft Anti Itch Spray (Contains NO DEET) works well.
 
She is not an Avon rep, just found that these products work for her.  Try it, it just might work for you. We live in Pedasi, near the beach and there are lots of bugs here, including Mosquitos, Sand Fleas and "No See Ums." Buena Suerta!
GISELLE SOCARRAZ of Real Estate Chiriqui – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The three biggest annoying pests in Panama are  in no particular order:
  • Political Solicitors
  • Bad Scooter Riders
  • People Who Loudly Discuss Their Gastrointestinal Diseases  In Restaurants
But enough about human pests. Let's talk about the kind of insect pests you'll encounter in Panama.

1.  Fire AntsPanamanian fire ant  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
Most likely encountered in: cities and homes.

While Panama is host  to many ant species, the Panamanian Fire Ant is the one best adapted to plaguing heavily inhabited areas, stealing food, stinging folk and generally proving to be poor house guests. Their sting, while not dangerous (unless you are allergic) is still irritating and the welts they leave behind are itchy enough to make their visit an unpleasant one.
 
Counter:

For the welts, I often use zinc oxide cream to alleviate the annoying itching.

To get rid of them, I suggest scrubbing their trail with detergent. Without a scent trail to follow they will not repeat the same path again. But to really end their visit, you have to find their nest and hand an eviction notice to their queen (if it's on an area away from my lawn, I usually just pour a pot of boiling water on the mound. In my lawn, I usually use boric acid crystals arranged around the mound).


2. MosquitosPanamanian mosquito – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living

Most likely encountered in: wetlands, jungle

The mosquito has been a bane of Panamanian living for centuries. In fact, much of the difficulty in building the Panama Canal was because of the Dengue and Malaria these aerial annoyances like to carry. Fortunately, the Panamanian people aren't ones to falter under insect invasion, and as such have been regularly spraying, drying areas, and otherwise driving the bugs off. As of this date, it is hard to find a mosquito in a city.

Counter:

Zinc oxide for the bite. Coconut oil as a repellant (odd but true, pure coconut oil seems to annoy the bugs).

3. Sand Flies (aka Chitra) P:anamanian sand flea or chitre – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
Most likely encountered in: beaches, islands

These little, hard to see pests bite hard and bite often. If you have beachside property you will learn to loathe the life out of these tiny terrors. Fortunately, they fear fire and smoke more than most flying pests (so if you ever plan to have a beach BBQ, you'll find that the chitras will give you a wide berth.

Counter:

Benadryl for the bite.

To repel them, I usually mix up baby oil, citronella oil, and alcohol hand sanitizer.
 
Bonnie Williams of Fundacion Bid 4 Bouquete – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I am bothered less by insects in Panama than I was in north Florida. We live in Boquete, in the mountains of Chiriqui, where mosquitoes are rare. We do have chitras, or "coffee flies," tiny gnat-like insects that proliferate near where coffee is grown, and I have found that the more remote the area, the more insects there are. Flies can be a nuisance at certain times of the year, but, overall, insects are not a significant problem.
 
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mosquitos and other bugs (like chitras), are common in some areas of the city, especially in Costa del Este, El Valle or areas surrounded by vegetation, like Gamboa, or the "interior", pass by the Bridge of the Americas, like, but not limited to Howard.
 
The best month to avoid the interior is May, as that's when the rains begin.  But this problem is no more or less than every city around the world.  The jungles are different.  For example, a very bad place for bugs is the jungle in Darien.
Karyn Saunders of Inside Panama Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Let's put it this way.  I have more issues with mosquitoes and any biting flying insect in Toronto in July than I do all year in Panama.  The mosquitoes come out at dusk and will hang around until about 8 pm.  They breed in standing water.  No standing water around your house and you will have no mosquitoes.  In the dry season the winds take care of the flying pests and you will virtually have no mosquitoes from December through to April.  
Yuri Sapozhnikov of Cpanama.com – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
We don't notice the mosquitoes at all in Panama unless you're in the jungle. The only bugs that can be a bother are sand flies which are almost invisible and it is recommended to stay off the sand during dusk and dawn hours.
Col Davis Stevenson RET of Condor Tours & Travel, Inc – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mosquitos are almost non-existent within the suburban area of Panama City. You do, however, have mosquitoes in the jungle and bush areas of the country.
 
One thing that we do have in Panama is Sancudos which are small mosquito-like bugs that thrive in the Dry Season. We do have our usual bugs to contend with from horseflies to the common house fly.
 
With modern air conditioning the days of being bothered by mosquitos in the evening are very low. The Dry Season from mid-October to late March is a great time of year in Panama to find the country bug free.

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