Guest asking for compensation due to mosquitoes

This is the first time this has happened to me. A guest is asking for compensation because they got some mosquito bites. They claim the studio is inhabitable due to the amount of mosquitoes. I suggested mosquito spray (something I include in my notes to guests a few days before arrival). She claims that she doesn’t want to go to bed with bug spray on.

I’m worried that they might report me to Airbnb if I deny the compensation. Previously Airbnb had threatened to suspend the listing due to a false complaint about bedbugs by a guest. I had to provide an inspection report to get it reinstated.

Not sure if mosquito bites would be cause for Airbnb to suspend a listing. My guess is there is a strong possibility they will suspend the listing.

Are there mosquitos in the area where the listing is?
Do you warn guests about the possibility of biting insects?
Is the warning evident in the description, so they see it before they book?
Do you have insect repellent / spray available for the guests at the property?


Initially I didn’t think I would provide the compensation because it implies your acceptance of responsibility. Rationale: Once you accept responsibility the guest might ask for even more.

But then I Googled this mosquito issue and found a 2019 post in the Airbnb community where Airbnb offered first a partial refund, but then made a full refund! [it was unclear if this was for full stay or for one day as the guest left early.]. This host provided repellent and window netting! Airbnb CS said mosquitoes fall under the definition of “vermin.”

I am astounded.

As an aside: I’d make sure you have good screens or window netting on the windows. Also, you might want to look around the property for stagnant water, where mosquitoes could breed. Sometimes they can breed in the gutters if the gutters are not pitched properly to empty all their contents.

Keeping the communications on the platform – so the guest cannot mis-state anything – I suppose with this information I would say something like

You mentioned that you would like some compensation as a result of mosquito bites that you say you got on the property and that the property is uninhabitable due to mosquitoes. You asked for compensation but were not specific.

New Your Times’ Wirecutter column suggested that the most effective repellant includes 20% concentration of picaridin. Sawyer’s SP5442 is fragrance free and is $12,20 for two 4 oz pump. I’d be happy to get this for you with my compliments.

You mentioned that you did not want to go to bed with a bug spray on; I’m not sure if the fact this Sawyers product is fragrance-free changes that for you. In addition or alternatively I can get a mosquito bed canopy by Even Naturals from Amazon that could protect you. [Note to you: This is about $20]

I’m also happy to apply either a natural mosquito repellant inside the house (a spray of heated garlic water) or a commercial product. Please advise if you have a preference between a natural vs commercial chemical product.

Please know that we have not had a guest complain of this problem; nor am I having these issues personally. So this is new to us. But I want you to be happy and comfortable and am sorry that you’ve been having this problem.

If you would like to cancel your remaining stay I can do that for you without penalty. If you have an alternative remedy in mind, please let me know, including whether you’d like the repellant and the bed canopy installed for your bed.

I think this is ridiculous but the costs for these items are not much. I suppose if they ask for a partial refund, you might decide to grant that. But then I think I would say that they get the partial refund but then leave without cancellation penalty. Otherwise, you could give the partial refund; they stay; then they say the repellant canopy didn’t work and want a partial refund for every day.

You might add something in your house rules/house manual that says something to the effect that advises guests to keep doors to the outside closed, and says something like (I feel silly writing this) "Although Host is diligent in sealing the house with well fitting doors and fully functional window screens, everyday activities of going inside and outside can introduce mosquitoes or flies inside the house; and of course they’re outside. You might want to use an insect repellant if sensitive, and the Host cannot be responsible for mosquito bites, bee/wasp stings or the like.

I don’t know that I would regularly provide repellant or proactively advise about the bed canopy because that might set off red flags that there is a problem here.

Hope this helps.


I would be more concerned about mosquito control in areas with known mosquito born illnesses such as zika or malaria. If you mention it clearly in your description future guests should have no claim. As for the current request, I might consider a partial as a courtesy just to avoid the Airbnb involvement particularly in light of the bed bug incident.

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Mosquitos—I am so sorry. I don’t have a solution. Just empathizing. We always have mosquitos. 3 days after a tropical storm there’s standing water & I think the mosquitoes could swarm & pick up small children.


I’m in South Florida - waterfront - and mosquitos are a year round problem here. It used to be just a summertime thing but the little bastards have evolved.

It seems to me that the guests are trying it on. In the many years that I’ve been hosting in this area, I’ve never had anyone complain about mozzies because they’re hardly under my control.

It’s like the guest who marked me down for location because there were minor roadworks on the road to the beach on one day during his stay.

If mosquitos were in one of my rentals I’d assume that the guests had left the door open - probably at night without the yellow anti-bug light switched on - because I can vouch for the fact that there were none when I prepared the place.

I tell guests not to leave the door open, only the bathroom and kitchen windows will open and they have screens, bug repellent is supplied as is cortisone cream if they are bitten when out and there are citronella candles on the outdoor table.

These are all pointed out during the house tour and if a guest had the cheek to mention mosquito bites after that little lot I’d have two very succinct words for them.


Maybe it also needs to be in the listing description. If it were, the guest would have no cause to receive compensation, but it might also reduce bookings. Anyway, if you’ve hosted 50 reservations and this is the first time it’s happened, then it’s a guest problem. I wouldn’t refund. If Airbnb decides to, then so be it.


OMG this is my life.

It’s south Florida. Those suckers are brutal. My pool - inside a pool cage - has been hit by the Pollening. I can’t do anything about pollen.


I don’t know where you are located but in most places for at least part of the year, mosquitos would be foreseeable like hurricanes in New Orleans in September. My point is that it wouldn’t even qualify for the extenuating circumstances policy. This guest sounds like a dope to me. I’d only refund if it made my life easier somehow. If it’s going to be a pain in the ass either way then don’t refund anything.


I do the same except for the citronella candles. Is there something non-burning I could use?

Summer 2019 I had my youngest guests ever. One young woman sent me pictures of mosquito bites. “The condo was infested”.

Turns out they sat on the docks after sundown & on the screen porch without using the provided mosquito spray.

She was convinced the porch was infested because the mosquitos shouldn’t have gotten through the screens. I pointed out the screen porch as not total bug protection because there is a 2 inch drainage gap between the floor & bottom of screening.

Sigh. I was glad when she left. High maintenance.


I’ve tried everything, everything, but citronella (candles or in a tiki torch) is the only thing that works for me.

And I know that as @Christine_Shirtcliff says they can spread some unpleasant diseases but mostly, mosquitos are annoying but no big deal.

Interesting fact I read somewhere - it’s only the female mosquitos that bite. The female of the species is deadlier… etc.


You ask whether there is anything non burning you can use. Yes! Get citronella plants. I buy them early in the season and they grow HUGE, like a bush. And they’re beautiful. Maybe where you live you can grow year long??

They also smell great in my opinion. I’ve read that there are other plants, Tulsi for example, that can be planted outside windows.

I also got a service that sprays and looks for stagnant water, as I do. Whether it was the citronella plants or the spraying or a bad season for mosquitoes last year, we had NO problem with. mosquitoes last year.

I also read @jaquo comments on yellow bug lights and I think I will replace our soffit lights with yellow bug lights, which are near windows (so deter mosquitoes there), plus I think they look less harsh, nicer than white lights.


Always :wink:

In New England the mosquito season is about a month, it is refreshingly short compared to where I’m from in TX, but for that month (sorry, not trying to rub it in :rofl:) they are a nuisance. We have a big backyard with gardens and people really like to sit out there so we provide citronella candles on the tables (too many dogs running around for tiki torches) and no less than 4 different kinds of spray or pump repellant.

We provide so many different kinds because I’ve found that people are very opinionated about what they are willing to put on their skin or what they believe works the best, so we just cover it all. And because a lot of our guests explore our nature areas we provide a couple that are specifically good for ticks because the ticks here are a bigger nuisance and definitely cause lyme disease.

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You are much nicer than me. I give a sports bug spray & a non-aerosol floral scented. Want something else? Walmart is 1/2 mile away.


Thank you good to know

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Any guest who demands a discount or refund for a mosquito bite is nothing but a scammer or someone who should never leave the safety of their own 4 walls.

Mosquitoes are endemic to an area, and probably to most of the world, at least seasonally.

But hosts who live where there are lots should have mosquito nets over the beds.

I agree with you. That is why I was so astounded by Airbnb CS 2019 decision as related in the Airbnb community forum. Here though the OP is concerned about suspension because of the previous false report on the bedbug issue.

I guess the issue concerning the OP is risk given that one Airbnb CS might be reasonable and deny any kind of compensation to the guest but another might do something very different: suspension is the OP’s concern because, in the background, is the previous false report of the bedbugs.

I’m curious what the seasoned hosts recommend this OP to do, although @jacquo left to our imagination on his recommendation? Or do you need more information from the OP – like is he a super host, current rating, how many reviews? Is this an area especially prone, rife with mosquitoes? Is that the kind of information needed to form a recommendation? The OP says that he did suggest to the guest in a message that they get mosquito spray, but I haven’t read of anything in the listing about the possibility of mosquitoes.

[I don’t mention the possibility too, but maybe I should add something about when you’re outdoors, well you’re outdoors where wildlife exists, nature too, and insects could bite you. Also, here in MA, there will be snow storms, high winds from time to time, in winter icy streets, often rain, rarely hurricanes and tornadoes, and sometimes acts of God. Risks attendant to life exist here too!]. But I suppose that kind of disclosure shows a bad attitude.

I’m not putting mosquito nets over the beds in Florida. I’ve used them in Panama in the open-air eco-lodge and still got bitten (through the net), but that’s ridiculous in a modern home or condo. Bugs happen. Everywhere.


??? Mosquitos can’t get through a mosquito net unless it’s got holes in it, or is made out of the wrong netting.

What about a modern day home makes a mosquito net “ridiculous”? There’s nothing ridiculous about a mosquito net anywhere that mosquitos are prolific.

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They can if your husband hogs the bed and your butt is up against the netting and you are the person who attracts all the mozzies.

And my home has screen doors, a screened pool, a screened lanai, and I’m not putting netting over the bed. Some will get in. I have citronella candles and bug spray. The County sprays on a regular basis in the wet season. I sometimes spray the yard, but since I live on the water, that isn’t my first choice.