Prevent Mosquito Bites in Asia – Protection
Prevent Mosquito Bites in Asia – Protection – Knowing how to protect yourself from mosquito bites is important, especially when you travel tropical and sub-tropical regions. As a rule-of-thumb, mosquitos are mostly active at night so pay extra attention. Here’s an easy-to-follow list:
Choose accommodation with air conditioning
Hotel rooms with AC are generally safe from mosquitos. Make sure to have the windows shut, especially at night time. If you happen to stay somewhere without AC, make sure that the windows have insect screen mesh. Sleeping under a mosquito net helps if nothing of the above applies (if the net doesn’t reach the floor, tuck it under the mattress). The safest way then is to apply repellent and purchase an insecticide spray at the nearest supermarket, kiosk or 7 Eleven (if you stay in an urban area, you probably live less than 5 minutes away from the next one). To be on the safe side, get an electronic plug and/or mosquito coil as well.
Avoid rooms with bucket showers / toilets as these most likely contain stagnant water, or, in other words, it’s a paradise for mosquitos.
Avoid bright clothing
Mosquitos are attracted by bright clothing. Choose darker brownish tones at night or when trekking/hiking. Also, use longer pants and try to cover as much as possible.
Wear closed shoes
Mosquitos in Asia stay close to the ground. Apply repellent on your feet and legs before you go out for dinner or watch the sunset. Nothing is more nerve-wrecking the constantly scratching your legs.
Opinions on taking pills to prevent mosquito bites and malaria are divided. While some people recommend it, others are strongly against it due to numerous side-effects, like e.g. diarrhea and headache, that come along. No drug is 100% protective and should be combined with other measures such as long clothes, sleeping under a mosquito net or using repellent. If you know that you’re likely allergic to pills, avoid them at all and use any of the other protection methods.
DEET sprays are known to be highly effective. Generally, you don’t need a concentration higher than 50%. Reapply the spray every 3-4 hours. There are natural DEET alternatives such as citronella and eucalyptus available.
To get rid of mosquitos, here’s an overview of the best repellents for mosquitos, Please note that repellents don’t kill mosquitos but prevent mosquitos from biting humans. You have to apply the repellent evenly on exposed skin.
3M Ultrathon – Highly effective and recommended by many doctors specialized in tropic diseases. It provides up to 12 hours protection against mosquitos.
Repel 100 Insect Repellent – Contains of 98.11% DEET and is the most concentrated available. Effective up to 12 hours.
Sawyer MAXI-DEET Insect Repellent Spray – Very effective in areas with a high density of mosquitos as it’s almost odourless. Provides protection up to 10 hours.
Don’t worry if you should get bitten, there are more harmless mosquitos than those carrying diseases. But if you develop symptoms like fever, chills, headache, sweats, nausea, etc. don’t wait and seek medical treatment immediately.
What you should do after getting bitten
Simply, avoid the temptation to scratch: when a mosquito bites you she injects saliva under your skin. This triggers your immune system to release histamines, which causes the inflammatory response that makes the area red and swollen. Scratching mosquito bites can break the skin, letting in bacteria that easy cause an infection. Instead apply antihistamine cream or take an antihistamine pill. If you don’t have an antihistamine, cold can reduce histamine-induced itching, so an ice cube can give relief as well. Before you travel, get some anti-itch medicine:
Tender After Bite Itch Eraser – Simple to apply and endorsed by experts.
Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream – An antihistamine cream that provides lasting relief.
After-Bite Itch Relief Ointment – 0.7 oz – Works fast and is especially gentle on kids.
Mosquito Control with Pesticides
There is variety of products offered on the market which are divided into three categories:
Adulticides – used in fogging and spraying adult mosquitos
Larvicides – chemicals that are directly applied to water
Synergists – not toxic and used to support adulticides
Before using pesticides, make sure to read and follow the label instruction. You can also try contacting your local health department and see if they provide mosquito control.
Here is a list of effective pesticides:
Sector 1 Gal Permethrin – A new water-based insecticide that provides residual control of mosquitos and other insects (for fogging)
Altosid Pro-G Mosquito Larvicide – Perfect to treat any stagnant waters.
Summit 20-Pack Mosquito Dunk – Biological mosquito control that kills mosquito larvae before they’re old enough to bite.
Beware though, there is a risk of possible side effects that come along with pesticides, such as dizziness, confusion, hypersensitivity and vomiting while lasting effects can be brain damage and organ failure. Make sure that no kids, ill people or pregnant women are around.
In a nutshell, travelling around Southeast Asia is a fantastic experience that you shouldn’t miss because of mozzos. Yes, getting bitten is annoying, but the right measurements and precautions will make your trip last and enjoyable. In any case, consult a doctor specialized in tropical diseases and follow news and announcements made by the World Health Organization and follow their social media channels.
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