They are one of the most irritating aspects of travelling to warmer climates and are the biggest killer in Africa. Mosquitoes bite and carry diseases such as Dengue Fever and malaria. Avoiding bites is crucial in preventing illnesses and itchy sores on the body. Here’s how to avoid being bitten by these pesky insects.
Before travelling to an overseas country do check on what types of diseases are prevalent and what you may need to get on prescription from your doctor before going. Do ensure you buy sprays and any medication that you need beforehand as it may not be available where you are going, or the quality may be inferior.
Whilst taking anti malarials in an affected zone is really important the one thing that will help avoid bites from a mosquito is to cover up. That means wearing long sleeves at dusk and dawn when the mosquitoes are at their most active. A mosquito net over a bed or lining a tent is also effective at keeping mozzies out. Make sure the mosquito net hangs over you and is supported so it covers the bed. Light coloured clothing also helps avoid mosquito bites as the creatures have a penchant for darker clothes.
Use a Spray, Coil or Citronella
There are mosquito repellent sprays that work well in keeping mosquitoes at bay. Choose one with a 30% to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) formulary and spray it on at dusk to avoid being bitten. Citronella candles are also helpful as a deterrent to mosquitoes. Another helpful device in keeping mosquitoes out of a room is a plug in coil. Preparing the bedroom before you sleep is vital. Closing the windows and giving the room a spray with an insect repellent helps keep mosquitoes away.
Eat the Right Food
For some reason mosquitoes detest garlic. Eating a meal rich in garlic might keep mosquitoes away but you may not be popular with your friends. Another way to avoid mosquitoes is to avoid exerting yourself too much when they are about. Mosquitoes are attracted to lactic acid and carbon dioxide which is given off when people exercise. Food that is high in salt and potassium tends to give off lactic acid so avoiding potatoes, raisins, bananas and lima beans might help keep a mosquito away.
Avoid Standing Water
If there’s one thing that attracts a mosquito it’s standing water. Keep away from ponds and lakes when the mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Take care to avoid having standing water from bowls and buckets in your campsite or hotel area too as this can attract unwelcome critters. Open sewers and ponds are all top breeding grounds for mosquitoes so stay away from these areas where possible at dusk.
Whilst anti-malarial tablets will help avoid malaria it is vital to evade bites from mosquitoes.
Diseases such as West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever are not covered by malarial prophylaxis and therefore avoiding a bite is really important.