There is arguably nothing worse than sipping your cocktail, on a beautiful beach, watching an endlessly romantic sunset, only to be interrupted by the high-pitched whining of an incoming mosquito. The following moments are a blur; cocktail flying, you begin to frantically slap yourself in the vain hope of confronting the monster, only to feel the sharp bite of that stealthy mosquito, as it bites down on the one unprotected bit of skin available.
Bug bites are one of the few downsides to travel, and the relentless itch some can inflict can certainly take the edge off things. There are, however, ways you can look to prevent becoming a victim to a nasty’s noshers, and we’re here to provide you with some top tips to doing just that.
If you’re off to an exotic paradise, packing your best floaty dresses and Hawaiian shorts may well seem like a good idea. It is, however, worth considering some of the fabulous bug-proof clothing on the market. Brands such as Nix provide everything from hats to tops, all with the aim of protecting you from bug bites through the use the chemical Permethrin.
Embedded insecticide helps fends off unwelcome visitors, while preventing you from having to reapply repellent. Long lasting (usually between 50 and 70 washes) insect-repellent clothing is a great consideration for your packing essentials. It’s also worth noting, that wearing light coloured clothing can also help prevent attracting insects.
Finding a trusted repellent is absolutely essential to having a bite-free trip. Insect repellents are widely available, in many forms including bracelets impregnated with Citronella, through to traditional liquids and sprays. For especially sensitive skin, or that of children and babies, its important to consider the chemical ingredients of these products. Organic, chemical free ranges, such as that offered by Alfresco, provide long-lasting protection from all manner of critters, while giving you the peace of mind that your defence contains only natural products.
If you’re camping, glamping or spending lots of time outdoors, finding a great mosquito net will hopefully save you the hours of itching ahead. Particularity useful if you are sleeping outdoors, nets come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from those to be worn around the face, right through to ones designed to protect your entire body when asleep. In areas where bugs are particularly prevalent, keeping bugs out of your clothing and hair is as equally useful as preventing them access to bare skin. Young children in particular can become quickly irritated by clouds of flying bugs, and in these cases netting that attaches around a hat can be a wise investment
Again, if you are looking at spending long periods of time outdoors in the same place (camping etc), a bug deterring candle might be a useful additional to your packing list. Most such candles contain Citronella oil, a derivative of Lemongrass, and something with natural insect repelling qualities. Once lit, most candles provide around 9 hours of protection, and come with the added advantage of providing light, especially important for camping trips.
Be Aware of Standing Water
While a body of open water might seem like a particularly idyllic spot to pitch a tent, or enjoy a picnic, standing water is notorious for attracting clouds of insects. It’s always best to try and maintain some distance between yourself and the water, taking the higher ground is possible.
Even buckets with water in, can attract attention, so ensure you keep uncovered water to a minimum. If you do want to enjoy the waterside view, bare in mind that dawn and dusk are the times when insects will be in the highest abundance, and venturing out during this time will require repellents or clothing.
Travelling is one of the purest forms of enjoyments, and experiencing the world first hand is a pure joy. By being prepared with the correct equipment to prevent bug bites, you’ll help ensure your time away is uninterrupted by biting insects, leaving you in peace to enjoy the sights before you.