How To Avoid Insect & Mosquito Bites

Mum and Daughter applying insect repellent

Biting insects & mosquitoes can spread diseases such as Malaria, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

There is a range of malaria tablets available to help treat and prevent Malaria. But did you know that there are also other simple, essential precautions that you can take to avoid being bitten, which reduces the risk of you picking up a deadly disease?

KNOCK DOWN PRODUCTS:

Use mosquito and insect killing or “knock down” products in the bedroom. Regular use of these products is necessary so that the product comes into contact with any new insects that enter the room.

SKIN PROTECTION:

Apply insect repellent to all exposed areas of skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. Also apply to clothing, reapplying frequently in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. We advise the use of DEET containing products, which has been widely used for over 50 years and has clearly been shown to be one of the most effective repellent products. The use of 50% DEET products is usually sufficient in normal conditions.

MOSQUITO NETS:

Bed nets are essential when sleeping in high-risk areas, especially nets that have been treated with insecticide which kills insects & mosquitoes on contact. There are various size and shapes of nets available which ensures you are protected through the night. If you are travelling through many areas then portable, lightweight nets are available.

AIR CONDITIONING:

If possible, it is best to stay in air-conditioned accommodation as this helps keep the room cool and reduce the number of insects.

PLUG-IN REPELLENTS:

Plug-in Mosquito and insect killers can help to reduce the risk as they release an insecticide vapour.

WINDOW & DOOR SCREENS:

Try to stay in accommodation that supplies window and door screens to keep flying insects out.

CLOTHING:

Wear long sleeve shirts and long trousers as these cover most of the body. Mosquitoes may be able to bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothing treatment will help to repel biting insects. Ideally, wear light coloured clothing during the day as these attract mosquitoes less than dark clothing.

AVOID AFTERSHAVE OR PERFUMES:

These smells can attract mosquitoes, especially during the evenings.

AVOID FLOODED OR AREAS CLOSE TO WATER:

Mosquitoes and other biting insects breed or hatch eggs around watered areas, which will increase the risk of being bitten.

Insect bites are generally small, red itchy bumps, it is important not to scratch them as they could become infected, try to keep the area clean. To reduce the swelling, anti-histamine creams or tablets can be used, this also helps reduce itching. If your bite does look infected then it is important to visit a doctor as you may require antibiotics.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of diseases such as Malaria, which includes a high temperature, sweats and chills, muscle pain, vomiting, headaches and diarrhoea. Symptoms can take up to 15 days before they begin to show, so you may already be at home when symptoms begin. It is important to visit your doctor if you feel you have symptoms, even if it is several months after you have returned from your trip.

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