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Mosquitoes in Shanghai?

Mosquitoes in Shanghai?

Old Apr 3, 19, 10:42 am
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Mosquitoes in Shanghai?

Years ago I went to Korea as an exchange student, and the house where I lived had no screens on the windows (and no air conditioning), so in the summer the mosquitoes-- some were seemingly the size of taxis-- would come in to feast. At the time, it was common to use a mosquito coil to repel them, but I was quite unprepared with any kind of repellent.

A family member will be heading to Shanghai in the summer as part of an exchange program, and alumni who have been elsewhere in China have advised that one should bring DEET and other repellents. Said family member will be living with a host family, somewhere around Jing'an (I believe), but there will be various excursions.

I'm looking to get some kind of repellent from REI or an equivalent, but we'd appreciate some input from those of you who are in, or have been in/around Shanghai in the summer.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by zippy the pinhead View Post
Years ago I went to Korea as an exchange student, and the house where I lived had no screens on the windows (and no air conditioning), so in the summer the mosquitoes-- some were seemingly the size of taxis-- would come in to feast. At the time, it was common to use a mosquito coil to repel them, but I was quite unprepared with any kind of repellent.

A family member will be heading to Shanghai in the summer as part of an exchange program, and alumni who have been elsewhere in China have advised that one should bring DEET and other repellents. Said family member will be living with a host family, somewhere around Jing'an (I believe), but there will be various excursions.

I'm looking to get some kind of repellent from REI or an equivalent, but we'd appreciate some input from those of you who are in, or have been in/around Shanghai in the summer.
I've never had a problem with locally bought (e.g. Chinese) insect repellents and coils. Mosquitoes actually aren't that bad in Shanghai, compared to other humid places I've lived, perhaps because it is so densely developed, but they are still annoying enough to warrant repellent when outside during summer evenings.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 6:30 am
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I can't say I ever noticed a major mosquito problem either. My apartment had screens and air con, but I never had insect repellant at home, and never used anything going out. There must have been the odd one I guess but must have been dispatched with a fly swat or something
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Old Apr 4, 19, 1:04 pm
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I'm a mosquito magnet and do travel with my own repellent when necessary (I didn't have a problem in Shanghai, but I was there in spring, fall & winter, I don't think ever summer...) However- I can get 100% DEET at walmart or any regular drug store - no need to travel to REI for it.....
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Old Apr 4, 19, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Hoyaheel View Post
I'm a mosquito magnet and do travel with my own repellent when necessary (I didn't have a problem in Shanghai, but I was there in spring, fall & winter, I don't think ever summer...) However- I can get 100% DEET at walmart or any regular drug store - no need to travel to REI for it.....
I'm not a mosquito magnet, especially when I'm in the company of people who are, so I don't require 100% DEET. My approach is, when mosquito season starts, walk into any chained convenience store (e.g. FamilyMart, Lawson's, 711, etc), and buy repellent and a box of coils for a total of Y20. There are few places in central Shanghai that don't have chained convenience stores within a 2 minute walk. Even if your Chinese is not stellar, you simply need to say 蚊子 (wenzi) to any staff member, and they will point you in the right direction.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 11:51 pm
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I've never noticed a mosquito there. However, when we were staying on the second floor my wife ended up bit at night.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I'm not a mosquito magnet, especially when I'm in the company of people who are, so I don't require 100% DEET. .
Yeah, that's why my husband loves traveling with me ;-) I don't use 100% DEET all the time - I will in areas with malaria or dengue, but not at home in the US. I suppose I engaged in a bit of hyperbole - if I can get 100% DEET at my local walmart or other drug or big box store, I can get other percentages there as well. No need to travel to a specialty hiking/camping store.

And for OP, since I think this is about a kid who'll be in China for a few weeks (based on other threads?) it's good to know that even if s/he brings some over to start off, it's easy to get more at a local convenience store in Shanghai.

Also, my husband LOVES those little convenience stores every 50 ft because whenever he'd get hot from all the walking around we were doing, he'd pop in and get a cheap cold beer and perk up for more walking :-)
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Old Apr 7, 19, 12:14 am
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I found this Chinese brand of mosquito-repelling floral water last spring and brought back a couple of bottles. It's made by a brand called Liushen, supposedly with Chinese medicine ingredients (the label on the bottle neck claims "Sourced Naturally" and expressly no DEET). It's available at both Walmart and Carrefour, but be aware that there is also ordinary floral water with no mosquito-repelling capability. IIRC a bottle costs 20-25 RMB(?). I'm told that some Chinese supermarkets here in L.A. and the SGV now also carry it.

I'm a mosquito magnet, and this thing works wondrously for me. Last summer, when L.A. got the full brunt of a tiger mosquito invasion from China, my family and I went through my two bottles by July. The L.A. Times ran an article on those tiger mosquitoes, suggesting that they can multiply even in water left over from garden sprinklers. My home armory has been restocked with this floral water for the upcoming summer.

added: This floral water is not an insect repellent per se. It is only effective against mosquitoes, and anecdotally, it works great for me.

Last edited by sinoflyer; Apr 7, 19 at 12:34 am Reason: added:
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Old Apr 7, 19, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post

While I've yet to buy this year, that appears to be the same product I get at FamilyMart.
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Old Apr 13, 19, 10:49 am
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Is this available in the USA ?
maybe a photo of the the bar code so we can see if it's on USA Amazon !
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Old Apr 13, 19, 12:00 pm
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I think those little devices you plug into a wall socket then insert a repellant tab into are far more popular than coils these days. And the smell is nowhere near as noxious.

That said, if mosquitoes are a problem where your relative is staying, you can be almost certain the place is already equipped with the devices. If not, then everything you need to ward off the little critters is easily found in the city. No need to bring anything. Except long-sleeved clothing and long pants.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 8:54 am
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In my 7 years in Shanghai I have never had issues with mosquitos here. For that you need to go South.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
Is this available in the USA ?
maybe a photo of the the bar code so we can see if it's on USA Amazon !
I would say that Hawaii Supermarket and T.S. Emporium, both in the SGV, are the most likely places to stock it. To date, amazon doesn’t seem to have it, but at least it recognizes the barcode.


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Old Apr 15, 19, 4:49 pm
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Thanks , next time I am out the way I will look for it
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Old Apr 21, 19, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
I've never had a problem with locally bought (e.g. Chinese) insect repellents and coils. Mosquitoes actually aren't that bad in Shanghai, compared to other humid places I've lived, perhaps because it is so densely developed, but they are still annoying enough to warrant repellent when outside during summer evenings.
I don't recalled having any major issues with mosquitoes in major Chinese cities as well, but I think a bit of common sense will help. For me, I never leave my hotel room door open for an extended period of time. And I think there if there's no vegetation for mosquitoes to live in and a water source, I think in general, I'll be ok.
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