There is definitely one major drawback to travelling, those itchy and painful mosquito bites! Not only do these bites look unsightly and cause discomfort, they can also lead to deadly tropical diseases such as Malaria. Before embarking on your trip, it is always wise to prepare yourself by researching your destination’s malaria risk, as well as visiting your GP for anti-malarial medication advice. You should also invest in some good quality mosquito repellent products to reduce your chances of getting bitten.
Medical Measures – Anti-Malarial Medication
When visiting countries with a malaria risk, it would be strongly recommended that you take anti-malarial tablets, there are many different options available and your GP will be able to advise which would be best suited to you and your destination. Travel Clinics will also be able to advise you on the best medication for your needs. Types of Anti-Malarials available include Doxycycline, Atovaquone and Mefloquine. It is worth noting that taking anti-malarial tablets can sometimes cause side effects, including sun sensitivity and nausea.
Don’t Encourage Mozzies – Dress to Protect
With mosquitoes being drawn to areas such as the ankles, neck and wrists, covering these areas as much as possible is key to keeping bite free!
Mosquitoes are known for targeting areas of the body where the blood flows closest to the skin’s surface. If you cover these parts of the body as much as possible by wearing loose trousers and long sleeved shirts, this can help to prevent them making a meal of you.
You can also use a special permethrin fabric spray on clothing to help repel mosquitoes (this should only be used on clothing and not on your body).
To DEET or not to DEET? – Mosquito Repellent Protection
One of the most effective methods of mosquito bite prevention is DEET mosquito repellent; this can be found in several forms, including sprays, lotions and roll-ons.
DEET (Diethyl-Meta-Toluamide) is the most commonly found mosquito repellent on the market and is available in a range of strengths from 20% for low infestation areas through to 95% for high infestation areas and countries with a high risk of Malaria.
Some travelers have found DEET mosquito repellent’s to be a little harsh on their skin. For those with more sensitive skin, there are more natural options available such as Picaridin (Icaridin) based repellents.
If you’re travelling with kids, you will find that many mosquito repellents on the market are only suitable for children aged 2 years and over, however, Lifesystems offer protection suitable for children from 6 months old.
Mosquito Repellent Devices & Gadgets
Mosquito repellent isn’t the only way to combat mosquitoes, there are a number of gadgets and devices out there that can stop those pesky critters in their tracks! Mosquito repellent bands are impregnated with DEET and other insect repellents to create a halo of protection around your body, these should be worn on your ankles and wrists to achieve the optimum level of protection. A great option for travellers who don’t like sprays and lotions.
It can be difficult to keep mosquitoes and other insects out of your room on a night, but with a mosquito plug-in device, any uninvited insect visitors will soon regret their decision to enter your sleeping territory! You can also get battery powered insect killers if you’re accommodation doesn’t have an electrical supply.
When outdoors, handy accessories such as mosquito coils and insect fumers can be used to ensure mosquitoes and other irritating insects keep their distance.
Create a Protective Barrier – Mosquito Nets
You are the most vulnerable and prone to mosquito bites while you’re sleeping. Mosquitoes will see you as an easy target and waking up every now and again to interrupt their feast with a quick swat won’t be enough to protect you!
Mosquito nets are the best solution and preventative step to keep mosquitoes from making a meal of you while you sleep. Mosquito nets are available in a variety of styles to suit your sleeping arrangements.
Ridge shaped nets come with two hanging points and look similar in shape to traditional tents, these types of net are great for people sleeping outdoors and can be suspended between two trees.
Wedge nets are possibly one of the most common styles available; these have a single hanging point and sometimes come with a spreader bar to create more space inside the net.
Box style nets have four hanging points and offer a larger sleeping area inside, although finding four hanging points can sometimes be a challenge in some accommodation – taking a few of your own suction and screw in hooks can usually remedy this problem, though!
Free-standing nets are great for outdoor use and do not require any hanging, simply pop them up and climb inside for a bite free night’s sleep. Most mosquito nets will be impregnated with an insecticide such as Permethrin, this stops mosquitoes and other insects from landing on the net and trying to find a way in. If your net is not impregnated, you can buy a mosquito net impregnation kit and treat it yourself prior to travelling.