Insects in Tenerife
On this page, you'll find a brief overview of the most common (and sometimes unjustly feared) insects on Tenerife.
Wasps and Mosquitoes
Summer often brings about an uptick in the number of insects, which isn't always a pleasant experience. Enjoying a refreshing drink on the terrace becomes challenging when constantly bothered by wasps. Sleeping without a blanket is often made impossible by the buzzing of mosquitoes.
But what about these airborne nuisances in Tenerife, where it feels like summer all year round?
Good news for those not fans of the flying nuisances mentioned above. Although wasps and mosquitoes do occur on the island, due to their relatively low numbers, they cause little to no inconvenience. So, no need for frantic arm-waving to shoo away wasps while enjoying your sangria
You won't often encounter mosquitoes, or at least not much in the bedroom. In areas where regular watering occurs (think tourist complexes with large gardens), they do occasionally appear. In such cases, it's advisable to apply a regular mosquito repellent when you're enjoying your evening on the terrace. This is available in almost every supermarket. A spray with DEET, as used in the tropics, is not necessary.
Especially at dusk, these six-legged creatures seem to emerge from every nook and cranny. Or so it seems. It can be quite a shock when one suddenly sprints right in front of your feet.
The cockroach is related to the praying mantis and is actually quite harmless as they do not sting nor bite. They are not out to 'get you', so no need to panic.
In your hotel room or holiday home, you will rarely encounter a cockroach. By law, the hospitality industry is required to hire a disinfection company for regular inspection and disinfection.
In the rare occasion that a cockroach might run around your hotel room, stay calm! The problem is usually solved fairly quickly with a so-called 'cockroach spray'. This is for sale in supermarkets. Or inform the reception of your accommodation, they often have a spray that you can borrow. In the slightly better hotels, a staff member will probably even come to the room to remove the unwanted intruder.
Contrary to what many people think, the (large) cockroach is not a sign of lack of hygiene.
Another myth is that you shouldn't squash the cockroach because you could 'carry the eggs home through your shoe'. You can safely squash a cockroach (although I prefer to give them a good spray treatment... the sound of a squashed cockroach kills my appetite). Some cockroaches may carry eggs, which are visible to the naked eye and resemble small beans. You can simply pick up the squashed cockroach and eggs with a piece of toilet paper and flush them down the toilet.
More common in both homes and holiday accommodations are ants. The ant species Monomorium pharaonis (Pharaoh ant), with its 1.5 mm, is really tiny compared to the Lasius niger (black garden ant), which averages about 5 mm. It is especially the Pharaoh ant that often becomes a nuisance indoors.
They are completely harmless, but obviously do not belong in kitchen cupboards. It is therefore important not to leave food open and exposed.
Bees & Bumblebees
And then there is another insect family that I have great respect for: the Apidae. These include the honey bee and the bumblebee, a rightly protected species. Although every insect is important for the ecosystem, the bee, for example, is essential for the pollination of 75% of flowers and plants. They not only produce honey but also contribute to the growth of delicious fruit on our sun-drenched mountain slopes.
On the island, there is an abundance of honey, many types of which come from endemic flowers like the Tajinaste.
It can happen that a swarm of bees settles in an unfavorable place, such as your balcony. The most important thing is not to panic and certainly not to use insect spray to drive them away. All you have to do is call the emergency number - 112. Through this service, an apiarist will be sent to take the bee colony and relocate it to a safe place.