Aren’t mosquito bites the most annoying bites ever? Within a few minutes you can have a dozen bites without even noticing they were there. Annoying and especially very itchy. When you travel to a country with malaria, dengue or even just normal annoying mosquitoes, it’s good to have some tips and tricks about how to prevent mosquito bites, in your back pocket.

I’ve been to China, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia where mosquitoes are very common. Some of these countries even have malaria but that shouldn’t scare you. You can take medicines to prevent mosquito bites like malaria (although preventing is not true, you will still get sick but not as serious as someone who didn’t take the medicine) but dengue bites is a different story. At this moment, there are no medicines you can take for dengue so you have to come up with some other tips and tricks.

These are my tips for how to prevent mosquito bites;

  • Pay extra caution when the sun comes up or goes down. Mosquitoes tend to bite around these hours a lot more than after or before. So use your DEET before the sun goes down and you will have no bites!
  • Somehow, mosquitoes always love to bite you around your feet and ankles. Especially in Asia, they hang around under the tables. It sounds crazy but it’s true, so wear long trousers and use DEET.
  • Don’t wear any dark-colored clothing. Mosquitoes love this and will bite through your clothing when it’s not really thick.
  • If your hotel has a mosquito net use it because it’s not there for decoration!
  • Avoid smelling sweet; female mosquitoes love the smell of flower. Also, sweat is not good so keep yourself showered every day!
  • Apply DEET about every 6 hours on all exposed parts of your body. Be careful with eyes and open wounds. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing so apply DEET where ever you think they could bite you.

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  • Get a gecko lizard; they love mosquitoes!
  • Always flush the toilet before using it. Mosquitoes love standing water!
  • Close your bathroom door before sleeping. Bathrooms tend to have a lot of mosquitoes.
  • Eat local food. This tip is given to me by many locals. Apparently the South East Asians are eating mosquito preventing food for years. I’m not sure what it is, but something in their food is not loved by our little friends.
  • Some say mosquitoes don’t like air conditioning or fans. We always use them because it is too hot to sleep but I can see mosquitoes disappearing when I have turned it on for a few hours.
  • Buy lots of DEET before you travel to a foreign country. We’ve seen many other mosquito preventing products but DEET is definitely the best and most reliable. It’s not super good for your body but when you only use it when it’s necessary, you should be ok.

How To Prevent Mosquito Bites With Medicines?

If you would like to know more about taking medicines for malaria, you can always go to your doctor or a travel organisation in your country. Our travel doc advised us to take Malarone when we are in a country with malaria. At that time it was only allowed to take malarone for a maximum of 4 weeks but apparently rules have changed about that. I’ve to be honest, we don’t take any medicines when we are in country with malaria. I guess it is different for every part of the world (think about Africa) but in Asia the chances are so small that we decided to not take the malarone. Read the subscription of malarone and you will understand why I don’t want to take that into my body. You can always carry it with you as an emergency medicine.

Malarone is a medicine you have to take every day. The pills are about €4 (in the Netherlands) and often these are covered by your medical insurance. The other medicine you can take is Lariam. This is a pill you take once a week but is much stronger. People try this pill for about 3 weeks to find out if they can handle it. The side effects are pretty serious.

Everything depends eventually on which country you are going and what kind of medicine you need to cover the malaria there.

What Do I Use To Prevent Mosquito Bites?

One of my favorite DEET repellents is Care Plus which we took from the Netherlands. Since them we’ve also been using Bushman Repellent from Australia. It doesn’t really matter which one you use, as long as it has DEET in it. The percentage of DEET will make it work longer. Apparently, more than 50% DEET is not advisable.

So, follow these tips and tricks and you will be fine! 

Safe travels, Claudia

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