Travel Tips for travellers to Amazon Rainforest, Second Part
Insects…natures little blighters.
“How do you cope with the insects?” I was often asked. Practically, is the answer.
Mosquitos are not such a problem as I thought they would be. I rarely got bitten. Along black waters, mosquitos are few or non existent. They can be found more often in areas of high density, towns and cities, then in thick forest.
I did get attacked though, by either mosquitos or bed bugs, during my second visit to Brazil. They went for my eyes as I slept in a no-star hotel on the outskirts of town. When I got up in the morning, I found the world looked a very different shape. I viewed it as if I were looking through a letter box. I went to the bathroom to wash my face and stepped back in horror. My eye lids were white, shining and hugely swollen and stretched, like a Buddhas belly. My eyes, buried in the slits, were barely visible. I spent several days hidden, day and night, behind a pair of dark sun glasses, until the swelling went down.
What I did have more of a problem with was the tiny Black fly. Especially visible in the afternoons, when I was relaxing with a book. They hovered in front of my eyes like tiny black full stops. Often floating into my eyes or up my nose, they left me red eyed and sneezing. The flys didn’t bite or burrow, they were just too familiar for comfort.
My solution was to cut up an old mosquito net and hang it from a wide brimmed straw hat. This solved the problem of the fly irritating me, but trying to read a book through a haze of nylon was impossible, so I gave up.
Another problem was wasps. I received a sting one evening, while eating at the only lit area in the forest. The light attracted a variety of flying insects, mostly beautiful moths, but also wasps.
Large, with black and yellow striped, curved bodies, primed and ready to strike, they buzzed danger. The sting I received was on my ear lobe, and it hurt. Immediately a lemon was halved and my ear was wiped with it and held in place. I was told to expect pain and swelling for several days. The next day, nothing. No pain, no swelling, no visible evidence of the spiteful creatures revenge on me for swiping it.
I did get stung by some smaller wasps, however, and the pain and swelling were extreme. My hand was swollen to twice its size. It was hot to the touch and sore. The skin on my fingers was stretched to bursting. My hand resembling a cows udder, throbbed painfully at the end of my arm for several days, but eventually went back to normal without medication.
The forest is full of biting, stinging, sucking insects. Many of these insects are beautiful and fascinating, but at all times it is necessary to be cautious and avoid touching.
Mosquito deterrents and insect bite cream are all useful. Malaria preventives are essential.