I still remember it with horror, the ferocious mosquitoes in Canada. Spending a summer in a Provincial Park in Canada. Every day we were pestered by the tiny little beasts and even though I was warned about the plague that are mosquitoes and horse flies, I wasn’t prepared at all.
But after being literally scarred for life, I have gathered the best tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes when you travel. Mosquitoes abroad are not only a nuisance but can also transmit diseases. Better to be prepared and have mosquito protection!
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Avoid main mosquito hotspots
Of course, the easiest way to get rid of mosquitoes is avoiding mosquitoes altogether.
Stay away from swampy areas and standing water, don’t walk around during the most active hours (dusk and dawn), avoid humidity and go out during hot, sunny days instead.
Though these are rather utopian tips as you cannot possibly predict, let alone influence the weather. Sometimes you want to travel to a specific place and there just happen to be mosquitoes.
Depending on where you are going, inform yourself of areas prone to mosquitoes. Check out the websites for Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization.
Wear the right bug repellent clothing
First and foremost, wear light coloured clothing, but don’t pick too bright apparel either. Apparently, wasps like those and you probably don’t like wasps.
Even if it might look a bit dull, neutral beige clothing is your best bet in areas with a high mosquito density.
Next, to avoid mosquito bites, wear long clothing even if it is hot outside. Try for loser garments so your clothing doesn’t cling too much and allows air circulation on warm days and in tropical climates.
However, make sure that mosquitoes can’t fly out the ends of your arms and legs.
Last but not least, the best way to get rid of mosquitoes and being fully protected, is to buy special bug repellent clothing.
There is a whole range of bug repellent shirts, jackets, scarves and pants out there. I tried the new nosilife dress from Craghoppers (it was sponsored) and I love it so far. Need to test it out more to give a full report, though.
Add a hat with a bug net on top and you are all set. I wish I had had this when I roamed Canada’s outdoors in the summer.
Stock up on insect repellent
To add an extra layer of protection or if you simply don’t have bug repellent clothing or hate wearing long clothes, insect repellent spray is a must.
You should have it with you anyway. There are different types with different deet levels in it. The higher the protection, the more toxic it is. So always shower it off when you don’t need to it.
For travelling the Australian outback, I had to stock up on Bushman, which is pretty much poison in a can. But it was the only thing that worked, so I had to endure it.
Watch your intake
Ok, I am no food expert and there seem to be vastly differing opinions on what type of food attracts or repels mosquitoes.
Some say “sweet blood” from eating many sugary foods is attractive to mosquitoes (which might explain why I am such a mozzie magnet).
Mosquito repelling food according to varying sources are: garlic, onions, tomatoes, chili or apple civer vinegar, for instance. Alcohol is said to get rid of mosquitoes as well.
That all being said – there is no scientific evidence for any of this. So take it with a massive grain of salt.
Mosquitoes need to rest in order to suck your blood, which means if you walk around during windy periods or move the air with a handheld fan, you might be able to ward them off.
At least a little. And only where you are holding it. But on a hot day, it’s nice to have a fresh breeze if nothing else..
Walking fast doesn’t really help, sadly. I tried. Though standing around quielty, is of course the worst idea for getting rid of mosquitoes.
Are you headed for a bug infected area? I hope my tips on how to avoid mosquitoes when you travel were helpful. Let me know in the comments.
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Ryan Biddulph says
Good tips Annemarie ;) I had to skeeter proof myself when visiting the deep jungles of Costa Rica for 6 weeks. No other choice. Long sleeved shirts and sweats during early morning and early evening hours and I did eat ample garlic too, for repellent. Thanks for sharing buddy :)
Annemarie Strehl says
Hi Ryan, Oh wow, that must have been quite the adventure. Did the garlic do any good?