Avoiding insect bites in one of the most important measures travellers can take while away. Not only to avoid unpleasant skin reactions but to reduce the risks of getting sick.
Many diseases are carried and spread by insects. In the case of malaria, it takes just one bite from an infected anopheles mosquito to lead to serious disease. Other insect borne diseases include Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Tick Typhus and Yellow Fever.
Prior to leaving make sure you are well informed about the potential risks at your destination.
8 Steps to avoiding insect bites
Globe Medical’s travel medicine experts have put together the following 8 tips for avoiding insect bites:
1) REDUCE EXPOSURE TIME BY MODIFYING ACTIVITIES
The malaria mosquito is most active between dusk and dawn with peak activity at around 9pm. The dengue mosquito is active around dusk (4 - 6pm). They prefer to bite indoors and primarily bite humans.
2) WEAR LIGHT COLOURED CLOTHING
Cover arms and legs as much as possible
3) TUCK TROUSERS INTO SOCKS
Prevent insects getting inside your clothing.
Wear covered shoes in areas with ticks.
4) USE PERMETHRIN TREATED CLOTHING& GEAR
Permethrin is a “knockdown” insecticide that is effective against many insects including mosquitos, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, chiggers, mites and flies. Permerthrin-treated bednets significantly reduce malaria rates in children in Africa and the Western Pacific region.
5) AVOID STRONGLY SCENTED PERFUMES OR TOILETRIES
The smell can attract insects.
6) SLEEP IN AIR CONDITIONED ACCOMMODATION OR USE MOSQUITO NETS
If using a mosquito net preferably choose one impregnated with permethrin
7) USE PERSONAL REPELLENTS
In situations where risk of disease is high, ourtravel medicine experts recommend repellents containing DEET
8) USE INSECTICIDE AEROSOLS, MOSQUITO COILS OR OTHER AGENTS IN IMMEDIATE ENVIRONMENT
It’s very simple - the fewer bites the better!