Mosquitoes are one of the biggest irritants when travelling to certain areas of the world. Mosquitoes are particularly prevalent in south-east Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Phillipines and South America including Brazil. Mosquitoes often don’t carry disease, but in some areas they are deadly. Here are our top tips for avoiding mosquito bites when you’re travelling.
Research your area
Research which types of mosquitoes are in the area that you’re visiting, and if they’re carrying disease.
The most dangerous types of mosquito are Anopheles mosquitoes, Aedes mosquitoes, and Culex mosquitoes.
- Anopheles mosquitoes: These mosquitoes carry malaria.
- Aedes mosquitoes: These carry of dengue fever and yellow fever
- Culex mosquitoes: These are carriers of Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and West Nile fever.
Make sure you check whether your holiday destination contains any of these mosquitoes, as you’ll have to take extra precautions to prevent disease. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information.
Use Insect Repellent
Insect repellent might not smell amazing, but it’s one of the most effective ways to repel mosquitoes. When sourcing insect repellent, look for products which include DEET. You should aim to use repellents with a concentration of at least 25%, unless the mosquitoes are particularly dangerous, where you should use at least 50% concentration.
Make sure you apply the repellent to any areas of your body where the skin is exposed. For the best results, apply it as soon as you’re about to leave your hotel.
Use a Net
When you’re lying asleep it’s a perfect treat for a mosquito. In your sleeping state, you won’t swat it, so it can feed as much as it likes. Waking up covered in mosquito bites is seriously annoying, so it’s best to sleep with a mosquito net.
You could carry a mosquito net with you if you have room in your backpack. They wrap up very small and won’t take up too much room. Personally, if I’m travelling in a region with lots of mosquitos I’ll just double check with the hotel before I book that they are able to provide me with a mosquito net. Most guesthouses tend to have one available.
Wear the Right Clothing
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so if possible you should try to wear light, neutral colors to help prevent getting bitten.
You should also wear long-sleeved clothing whenever possible as mosquitoes can bite any area of your skin. You might think it’s too hot, but if you’re in south-east Asia, the Thai style lightweight, baggy trousers are really comfortable and perfect for covering your legs.
Be Careful at Certain Hours
Mosquitoes do fly around throughout the day but are generally most active at dusk and at dawn. These are typically cool times of the day and offer the environment that mosquitoes like the most. You should take extra precautions if you’re active during these hours.