How To Avoid Insect And Mosquito Bites

How To Avoid Insect And Mosquito Bites| Health Guide & Blog | Travelpharm Online Pharmacy

How to Avoid Insect and Mosquito Bites

Here at Travelpharm, we have a passion for keeping our travellers healthy and that includes preventing mosquito bites. Learn how to stop annoying mosquito bites with Travelpharm.


How to Prevent Insect Bites with TravelPharms Top Tips:

Check out the Travelpharm guide to preventing mosquito bites. Here are some simple but essential precautions that you can take to avoid getting mosquito bites.

Did you know that whilst mosquito bites are a nuisance, mosquitos can also spread many deadly diseases? Read on to find out more!



Use mosquito and insect-killing or "knockdown" 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. Typically knockdown products use pyrethroids like permethrin which are deadly to insects. Keep windows and doors shut to prevent mosquitoes from coming back in.

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Apply insect repellent to all exposed areas of the skin, avoiding eyes and mouth. We advise the use of DEET-containing products, which have been widely used for over 50 years and have been proven to be the most effective repellent products.

How do you know how much DEET is in your repellent?  Typically, products that describe themselves as "Maximum Strength" or "Tropical Strength" will contain the recommended 50% DEET.  50% DEET is the recommended concentration for travel to tropical areas of the world where you can find diseases spread by mosquitoes and biting flies. 

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Whilst strong DEET products are the repellent of choice some people will want to try synthetic or natural alternatives. One of the most popular non-DEET synthetic alternative repellents is Saltidin (also known as Picaridin which is a key ingredient in Trek Sensitive and Lifesystems Expedition Sensitive).  

Looking for a natural alternative? Why not try Incognito?

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Mosquito nets are essential when sleeping in high-risk areas!  Always use a net that has been treated with insecticide to kill insects & mosquitoes on contact.  The nets are usually soaked in insecticides like Permethrin or Deltamethrin.

There are various sizes and shapes of nets available but you should have a clear picture of how you want to use your net, where you are using your net and what type of bed you will be sleeping in.

If you are travelling through many areas then portable, lightweight nets are available,e and if you are unsure about hanging points then consider a pop-up mosquito net, like the ones from Pyramid.

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Where possible stay in air-conditioned accommodation as this helps keep the room cool and reduces the activity of mosquitoes that may have avoided your knockdown sprays and screens. Which takes us very nicely o on to .....



Try to stay in an accommodation that supplies window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.  These fabric screens over doors and windows allow air to circulate without letting in the pesky biting insects!



Plug-in mosquito and insect killers release an insecticide vapour killing mosquitoes and other insects in the room. These plug-in units are very similar to Knockdown aerosols but provide long-lasting protection throughout the night. A great example is Jungle Formula Plug-In Mosquito Killer.



Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers as these cover most of the body. Ensure any clothing you wear is loose fitting and not tight to the skin as mosquitoes may be able to bite through thin clothing.

Most DEET products are not suitable for application to clothing so there are specialist products available to help. Ideally, wear light-coloured clothing or non-contrasting colours during the day to keep you off the mosquito's radar.  Tsetse flies are particularly fond of Blue and Black.  You've been warned!



These smells can attract mosquitoes, especially during the evenings.

Did you know that pregnant women are also more prone to mosquito bites?



Mosquitoes and other biting insects breed or hatch eggs in stagnant water and you will find that some species of mosquito are very adaptable.  Aedes aegypti mosquitoes live indoors and lay drought-resistant egss while Aedes albopictus live outdoors laying eggs that can survive the cold.

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


Why mosquito bites could be deadly?

It's estimated that mosquitoes cause nearly 750,000 deaths per year through the spread of diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever to name just a few.

It is important to be aware that the symptoms of diseases such as Malaria are very similar to those of a cold or flu.

Symptoms include a high temperature, sweats and chills, muscle pain, vomiting, headaches and diarrhoea.

It may take 15 days or more before they begin to show, so you may already be at home when symptoms start.

Tropical illnesses are often mistaken for "Flu".  Don't be a statistic, if you develop a fever, and flu symptoms within one year of travel toa country with malaria get screened!



Insect repellents are available in various forms and concentrations. Many skin preparations such as sprays, lotions or roll-ons are available, mostly containing diethyltolamide (DEET).

DEET has been proven to be the most effective in preventing mosquito bites so it is the repellent of choice in areas with diseases such as malaria and dengue.

For those allergic to DEET, alternatives include Incognito or Saltidin-containing sprays like Trek Sensitive.

Aerosol and pump-spray products are available which are suitable for treating clothing - if using these on the skin it is best to spray liquid onto your hand and then rub onto exposed areas.

Liquid, creams, lotions and sticks are designed for skin application.

DEET within products is measured in concentration levels, for example, 50% DEET.  The lower the concentration of DEET the less effective the repellent will be.

Repellents that contain DEET should be used with caution when applied to clothes as it will damage some materials or fabrics. If you are applying DEET products to children, then it should be applied with adult supervision and washed off once inside away from biting insects.




Clothes are the best protection - normally only use repellents on the remaining exposed areas of skin, for example around shirt collars and cuffs and the ankle bottoms of trousers or slacks.

Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.

Don't apply DEET to eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears. When using sprays do not spray directly onto the face; spray on the hands first and then apply to the cheek bones and jawline.  Never use on the forehead or between the nose and upper lip. 

Do not allow young children to handle repellents - they may get them into their eyes. Apply to your own hands and to the child's skin. For children, use clothing as the main barrier and repellent only where necessary.

After use, wash the treated skin. This is particularly important when repellents are used repeatedly.

If you suspect that you or your children are reacting to an insect repellent, discontinue use, wash treated skin and then contact your doctor.