Travel Agent Tips: Easy Ways to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes
Do you love going to tropical / hot places but can't stand the mosquitoes? Pesky bloodsuckers can put a real damper on your travels especially if you are prone to getting bit like me. I'm been eaten alive all around the world. From experience, the mosquitoes are the worst in Brazil especially on Ilhabela. Having visited this island for less than 12 hours, I managed to get at least 50 bug bites just on my legs alone. Other notable places include: Paris along the Seine River in the summer time believe it or not and pretty much EVERYWHERE in the Caribbean - it's unavoidable. Most recently, I traveled to Jamaica and I was totally overwhelmed by the level of mosquitos. It's equally as bad in Puerto Rico and even Curaçao where I had to wrap my legs with paper napkins one night at a restaurant it was so bad. It goes without saying that Southeast Asian mosquitoes are no joke especially in Thailand and The Philippines... Heck, I even get bit sitting in my living room in New York City during the summer. What can I say, I'm a mosquito magnet. The struggle is real especially nowadays with the threat of Malaria, Dengue, Zika and other mosquito borne diseases.
Here are some easy tips for mosquito prevention to minimize getting bit while on the road. The last souvenir you want to bring back home are scars from bug bites! Our main word of advice is don't let mosquitoes prevent you from seeing the world; and always be ready to safeguard yourself against the "deadliest animal in the world"! If planning on going to a destination where malaria is present, particularly in Africa, it is advised to take an antimalarial protective drug. Malaria is a worldwide epidemic so its important to do research in advance and plan accordingly.
1. Always use mosquito repellant all day, every day
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellant is legit. I've used "natural" repellants in the past and I don't believe they are as effective as repellants with DEET. Make sure the repellant you use has at least 30-50% of this active ingredient.
2. Burn citronella candles
Who doesn't love the smell of citronella? To me, It's the scent of summer. If you are trying to enjoy the outdoors sans mosquitoes, light citronella candles in the area where you are sitting.
3. Wear mosquito repellant wrist bands
I used this product on my trip to The Philippines. It acts as an added defense against mosquitoes. Plus, it's great for children. The trick is to use both mosquito repellant and mosquito repellant bracelets at the same time. Better safe than sorry!
4. Wash with citronella soap
Check out this mosquito-repellant soap company - Osana. They have a great all-natural product and are doing great things to combat malaria around the world.
5. Use a bed net
Bed nets aren't placed in hotel rooms for decoration! Make sure to use one if your room isn't air conditioned or if bugs can easily get in via broken window screens or whatnot. Before going to sleep, make sure the net is completely tucked under the mattress and treat it with a pyrethroid insecticide if possible, otherwise spray it down with bug spray!
In addition to using a bug net, make sure all windows and doors are completely shut.
6. Wear light colors & long sleeved clothing / pants
Minimize areas of exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, boots, and hats. Tucking in shirts, tucking pants into socks, and wearing closed shoes instead of sandals may reduce risk. Repellents such as permethrin can be applied to clothing and gear for extra protection. If your normal clothes aren't sufficient, purchase an anti mosquito clothing.
7. Use outdoor fans to blow the mosquitoes away
Sit by an electric fan and let the wind blast the bugs away. If the fan speed is on high, mosquitoes will have a hard time flying on your skin. Why make it easier for them?
8. Burn coils
Be careful! They can be potent so mostly use them in outdoor settings. I've used them in cabanas / bungalows and while they work effectively, the smoke and smell are strong.
9. Take showers - mosquitoes love sweat
10. Avoid using flower scented perfumes and strong smelling colognes!
11. Avoid going out at dawn and dusk
Mosquitoes go on a feeding frenzy at dawn and dusk when the temperatures tend to be cooler. Suit up (with repellant and protective clothing) if you have to go outdoors during these times.
12. Close your bathroom door in your hotel room before sleeping.
Bathrooms tend to attract and have a lot of mosquitoes. Try to avoid places with stagnant water as much as possible.
13. Keep the toilet seat down
14. Travel to one of these destinations!