Summer holidays are fast approaching, and after so long in lockdown many of us are looking abroad to get some some much needed relaxation and nice weather.
However, if you are as tasty to mosquitoes as I seem to be, summer holidays can also mean, scratching, itching, red welts and an uncomfortable nights sleep.
These biting insects not only inflict multiple itchy bites upon us, but they can also spread a range of diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and the Zika virus.
Thankfully there are a couple things you can do to avoid mosquito bites. These tips will help avoid spending endless days of itching and scratching those irritating bites.
How to avoid mosquito bites
Below is a list ways to avoid mosquito bites:
1. Avoid mosquito hotspots
One way you can avoid mosquito bites when travelling is to check if your holiday destination is a hot spot for mosquito activity, and in particular the areas where the mosquito borne diseases are more prevalent.
Luckily organizations such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and “The World Health Organization, have all this information available. A simple google search will let you see which areas are hotspots for diseases such as dengue and yellow fever.
2. Wear light coloured clothing
A little known fact is that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours. This is believed to be because of the contrast dark coloured clothes provide against the horizon during dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Wearing lighter coloured clothing is a good way to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
However, it is important to note that it’s also a good idea to stay away from bright colours, as these are known to attract stinging insects such as wasps. Because of this, neutral and pastel coloured clothing is advised to help prevent mosquito bites.
3. Use insect repellent
When it comes to avoiding mosquito bites insect repellent is your best friend! This is because it is one of the most effective solutions.
You can buy insect repellent from your local supermarket and/or pharmacy, and apply to any exposed areas of the skin. Those products, which include DEET, claim to be the most effective, but there are alternatives if your are allergic.
It’s a good idea to apply insect repellent before leaving your hotel or apartment especially during the later parts of the day.
Depending on the strength of the spray, apply frequently to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
Always follow the product label instructions carefully.
4. Avoid certain times of day
Generally, mosquitoes are more active at dusk and dawn, although this may differ depending on the species.
These times of the day are often cooler and less windy making conditions more favourable conditions for mosquitoes.
To avoid mosquito bites it’s a good idea to plan any activities you might have during the times of day when mosquitoes are less active.
5. Wear appropriate clothing
More often than not, mosquitoes will bite on any area of exposed skin. Because of this, it’s a good idea to wear long sleeved clothing to protect yourself against mosquito bites.
Now I know this may sound ridiculous as long sleeves and warm climates aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, but this doesn’t mean you have to wear jeans and a jumper.
Long sleeved t-shirts and linen trousers are both good options.
6. Remove standing water
We’ve all been guilty of leaving the buckets and spades from our beach trip out on the porch or balcony. However did you know that these can attract mosquitoes?
Standing water provides mosquitoes with the perfect breeding environment!
You can avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes by making your accommodation less appealing to mosquitoes. This can simply be done by remembering to empty water out of glasses, mugs, cups, buckets and spades if being left outside.
7. Use insect net
How many times have you woken up to find yourself littered with mosquito bites? That’s because, when conditions are favourable, a mosquito’s dining experience can lead well into the night.
Preventing mosquito bites can be done with the use of an insect net.
If you’re worried about mosquitos when travelling it’s a good idea to check that your accommodation has either mosquito nets around the bed, or insect screens on the doors and windows.
8. Keep air circulated
Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers (that’s why they are more active during dusk and dawn when there is little wind).
Keeping air circulated with the use of fans is a good way to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito, as it makes it difficult for them to fly near you.
What to eat to avoid mosquito bites
There are many discussions online around eating certain types of food such as garlic can help repel mosquitoes.
To put it simply, eating specific foods to repel mosquitoes is not an effective, reliable method. Although for some people it may seem to work, the majority of the time it has little to no effect.