Dealing with mosquitoes can be quite a hassle not only because they get under your skin when they bite (pun intended!), but they also have the ability to transmit diseases which may be life-threatening. In case you are itching to know how to deal with them pesky mozzies during your next vacation, hiking trip or outdoors adventure, here are 4 simple tips:
Use insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET
The duration of protection accorded by insect repellents varies with the level of concentration of DEET in them. DEET stands for N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, which is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents that protects against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs – a higher concentration would provide more lasting protection. Be sure to follow the application directions and instructions on the label, and avoid using insect repellent on infants under 2 months old.
Consider natural repellents
For those who prefer something more natural, as recommended by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lemon eucalyptus oil may be used as a substitute active ingredient in repellents. However, the use of such oil is unsuitable for children younger than 3 years old, and is less effective than insect repellents containing DEET.
Permethrin is a stable, synthetic form of an insecticidal compound. It exists in pesticide form but is most commonly used to treat fabric such as clothing, shoes, camping gear and mosquito bed nets. Pre-treated apparel and camping gear are commercially available, and continue to be effective even after several washes.
Give the mozzies as few entry points as possible by covering up! Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck your shirt in and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection. Loose-fitting cotton clothing is also recommended. In addition, mosquitoes are most attracted to dark coloured clothing, so remember to wear light or neutral coloured clothing such as beige, khaki, grey etc.
Choose suitable accommodation
Stay in rooms with air-conditioning or fans since the breeze created makes it difficult for mosquitoes to land. Alternatively, keep bugs out by ensuring that the rooms have good window and door screens. Use mosquito bed nets if the accommodation is outdoors or not well-screened.
Now you know how to keep the mozzies at bay during your next vacay!