How to Kill the (Unwanted) Buzz – Keeping Mosquitoes at Bay

When you plan exotic vacations, you probably imagine warm sun, cool beaches, tropical fruit drinks, and tanned skin. What you don’t factor in is the swarm of mosquitoes that is part of any exotic place.

If the mosquito threat is not taken seriously, you can end up with life-threatening diseases like malaria, dengue, and chikungunya on your vacation.

But, if you carry the proper protective gear and follow the suggested preventive measures, your chances of coming down with such a disease are slim.

Protection

Below is a list of things you will need to ward off mosquitoes. You can try carrying some of these supplies on your next holiday, or you can purchase them when you reach your destination.

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Repellents

  • Topical repellents – These products are directly applied to the skin, such as creams, balms, lotions, and liquid sprays. Common products are DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and OLE.
  • Spatial repellents – These products are used in the room or space surrounding you. Common options are a mosquito net, clip-on repellents, coils, patches, mesh screens, volatile oils, plug-in vaporizers, camphor, and special candles.
  • Natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender, peppermint oil, clove oil, patchouli oil, cinnamon oil, thyme oil, Greek catnip oil, soybean oil, citronella, tea tree oil, geraniol, and neem oil. Note that these are essential oils, and should not be applied to the skin directly. Always dissolve in a carrier oil before applying.
  • Calamine lotions with antihistamine properties that soothe skin inflammation. Always use this instead of scratching your skin after a mosquito bite.
  • Special permethrin-treated garments that repel mosquitoes like shirts and pants, and insect screening hats and bodysuits.
  • Electric fly swatter or other devices to kill mosquitoes and other bugs.

Prevention

Protective gear can indeed keep you safe for the most part. Even so, slathering on a bunch of products and constantly staying on the lookout for mosquitoes is not the most pleasant prospect. This is why some preventive measures rely on behavioral adjustments and smart decisions to reduce the possibilities of encountering mosquitoes. These tricks work both indoors and outdoors.

Indoors

These tips will be especially useful if you are staying in a hotel room.

  • Always book a hotel on a higher floor. Stay on the 4th floor or above. Mosquitoes don’t like to stray too far from their breeding grounds, so a height of 100 meters above ground level works best.
  • Put the fan on a high-speed setting, as it impedes the flying capabilities of mosquitoes. It also disperses the body odors that attract them in the first place.
  • Turn on the air conditioning. It lowers the room temperature and relative humidity to such an uncomfortably low level that mosquitoes become inactive and stop feeding.
  • Take a shower after spending a long time outside. High body temperature and sweat attract mosquitoes. So, staying cool and fresh is your best bet.
  • Use some of the spatial repellents suggested previously.
  • Check for any gaps in the doors and windows that can be an entry point for mosquitoes.
  • Use mosquito screens for large doors and windows, if you want to keep them open.
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Outdoors

You have higher chances of getting bit when you step outside, so make sure that you take the following precautions beforehand:

  • Do prior research about the mosquito-prone areas of the place you are visiting. Take extra precautions if you plan on visiting such areas.
  • Avoid tree-shaded and sheltered areas in general. That is where mosquitoes swarm on a sunny day.
  • Don’t go out during dusk and dawn. Mosquitoes are most active during these times, as it is their normal feeding time.
  • Wear light-colored clothes. Dark clothes will absorb and radiate more heat, and mosquitoes are experts at sensing heat.
  • Cover skin with loose-fitting garments. Mosquitoes can still bite through the fabric if it is stretched taut on your body.
  • Use topical repellents both on skin and clothes. Read the label for instructions of the product you are using.
  • Don’t use flowery perfumes before going out. The sweet smell draws in mosquitoes.

Buzz them Out of Your Mind

Mosquitoes can turn out to be a real issue, although no one pays special attention to them before planning a trip. The nuisance they can create is unmatched. To bypass this possibility altogether, simply follow the tips and tricks suggested here. Soon, you will be able to completely forget about mosquito bites and buzzes, no matter where you go.

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