Tenerife Insider Tips .

Insecten: bij op gele bloem

Insects in Tenerife

On this page a short overview of the most common (and sometimes unjustly feared) insects on Tenerife. 

Wasps and Mosquitoes

Summer in many European countries equals an increased number of – often unwelcome – insects. It is hard to enjoy a cool drink on the terrace when you're constantly being pestered by wasps. And sleeping comfortably is made impossible by buzzing mosquitoes.

But how about these flying menaces on Tenerife, where it is practically summer all year round? 

Good news! Although wasps and mosquitoes do occur on the island, due to their relatively small number, they cause little to no nuisance. So no need for hysterical arm-swaying to scare wasps away when you're trying to enjoy your sangria.

You will not often find mosquitoes. However, they do occur occasionally in areas with regular watering (think of resorts with large gardens). Then it is advisable to use an ordinary anti-mosquito spray. This is available in most local supermarkets at affordable prices. A spray with DEET, as one would use in the tropics, is not necessary on the Canary Islands.

Insecten: kakkerlak

Cockroach

Especially at dusk, these 6-legged monsters emerge from every nook and cranny. Or so it seems. It is a bit of a shock when all of a sudden a 5 cm long beetle-like insect darts away in front of your open sandals.

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.

You will rarely find a cockroach in your hotel room or holiday home. It is required by law for the catering industry to hire a fumigation company that do regular checks and disinfect the place.

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 popular belief, the larger cockroaches are not a sign of lack of hygiene.

Another myth is that you should not crush the cockroach with your foot, for risk of 'taking the eggs home in the soles of your shoes'. So you can safely trample away to get rid of it (personally, I prefer to spray them). Some cockroaches can carry eggs. These are visible to the naked eye and somewhat resemble small beans. You can simply pick up the crushed cockroach and eggs with a piece of toilet paper and flush it down the toilet.

Ants

What is more common in houses and holiday accommodations are ants. Contrary to their bigger cousin the red ant, the ants you find in houses are very small. They are completely harmless, but obviously do not belong in kitchen cupboards. It is therefore important not to leave any food open and exposed, as not to attract them.

Spiders

By far, my most feared insect. But I'm probably not alone in that. I can pick up a large cockroach - so to speak - if I have to. But completely freeze in the presence of an innocent small spider.

In any case, there are spiders on the island, but you will not often find them in a house. I'm no expert on the subject, but I found an interesting piece by an eloquent fellow blogger, so if you'd like to read a bit more about the spider species you can find the Google translated version of his blog (click here) .

Bijenzwerm in boom

Bees & Bumblebees

To end the piece with an insect family that I have great respect for: the Apidae. These include the honey bee and the bumblebee. A protected insect species, and rightly so. Although every insect plays an important role in the ecosystem, the bee, for example, is essential for the pollination of 75% of flowers and plants. Not only do they produce honey, but they also ensure that fruit trees grow on our sun-drenched mountain slopes.

Incidentally, there is a multitude of honey on the island, many of which come from endemic flowers, such as the Tajinaste. Unfortunately there is no English version of the Wikipedia about Honey from Tenerife, so I took the liberty of translating this very interesting Spanish Wikipedia page (click here) .

It has happened to me: a queen bee landed at a not too advantageous place, near the front door (meaning we could not leave the house). In a matter of minutes, the queen bee was covered by the rest of the swarm. Should this happen to you, please do not use insect spray. The bees are only resting and will eventually fly away. You could also call the emergency number: 112 . They will send a beekeeper who relocates the queen (after which the rest of the swarm follows). So do not kill nor spray them please! 

en_GBEnglish (UK)