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Home About Us Worlds Greatest Retirement Detectives Other dangers in Panama your real estate agent will never tell you

Other dangers in Panama your real estate agent will never tell you

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 Ok, I have protected myself against mosquitos (dengue fever), Bofu frogs (actually toads) and African bees. Any other dangers in Panama I should know about? 

 Aside from mosquitos - there are scorpions (the smaller white ones' bite is the worst (they sting like crazy), and exposing one's big toe on the beach over night can result in bites from vampire bats (I am unsure why someone would sleep on the beach overnight with their big toe exposed - but it is ill advised), snakes (flur de lance pit vipers and coral snakes are the deadliest - but they are rare (I have had one pit viper in my pool in the past six years). 

There are sand fleas (no-see-umm) and ticks (if your dog gets bitten by ticks they can become lethargic and may need medication - they can die if not treated), fire ants, leaf cutter ants, flying termites..... There are something like 2,800 varieties of ants in Panama - and I have an on-going war with all of them (it is a stand-off right now)

"No see-umm" can be easily dealt with by drinking 1/4 ounce of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) in a salad, in juice or straight up - 15 minutes later - they may land on you, but will not bite you for the rest of the night.

As a last resort, rub it on your legs and arms.

Scorpion sprays, "Snake-Away" crystals, tick and ant powders, and mosquito eaters can all reduce your discomfort to a minimum. I was bitten by bugs far more often when I went back to Ontario last summer! 

To me, the most dangerous animal in Panama is the broke expat - yes - that despicable beast that having run out of money - preys on newcomers in the guise of helping out a fellow countryman. Before you buy - or hire anyone - ask around, attend expat meetings, get to know people and ask around.

Trust your instincts - if expats do not have a Cedula - or a work permit - they are prohibited from working in Panama. If they run into financial difficulty, they may turn to newcomers, as they make easy prey ad don't know how or where to complain if they are taken for a ride.

Most expats that do work down here are great people - they have learned to speak a fair amount of Spanish, they have their Cedula or even their Panamanian Citizenship, and they are not afraid to provide at least three references. Call their references.

The pests I can handle - it is the cheats and con artists that I cannot stand. My wife describes them as "they left their home country because they were either WANTED or UNWANTED" and to some degree, that can be true.

My wife also told her mother that hawks can sweep down and snatch her cat away at night - now that is a horrible thing to tell someone. I have never heard of a bird eating a cat in Panama! However - it is best to keep your animals in at night anyway (there are nasty spiders, snakes, frogs, bats and all that do come out at night).

If you are reasonably cautious - you will have no problem in Panama.

Remember the song: ONLY FOOLS RUSH IN.

This is Panama - take your time. Roberto


Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 18:32  
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