Bug Bites: How You Can Stay Safe When Travelling

Photo by Jailam Rashad on Unsplash

Tropical vacations are a dream come true for most people, but you should protect yourself and your family against insects. Insects such as fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes thrive in humid and hot climates and may also carry disease.

Others are bugs that bite that you can’t see but still pose serious health risks to travelers, such as Lyme, dengue fever, Zika virus, malaria, etc. A single bite can cause severe illness or make your holiday uncomfortable because of itchiness.

We have compiled a list of effective ways to stay away from bug bites when traveling.

1.Cover Your Skin

Although long-sleeved pants and shirts may be out of fashion in warm weather, staying covered is an effective way to avoid bug bites. You can wear moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirts as they are breathable and light, and they will protect you from the sun and bug bites. Wear knee-high socks for lower leg, feet, and ankles protection if you’re wearing shorts.

Also, wear closed-toe shoes and do not wear brightly-colored clothing as insects are attracted to vibrant colors. Bear in mind that some insects can penetrate through the thin fabric. For extra safety, treat your clothes with a topical insecticide.

2.Tuck in Your Clothes

Again, this might not be fashionable, but tucking in your shirt is essential in insect protection. Apart from tucking your shirt inside your pants, tuck your pants into your socks. This will prevent crawling insects from getting under your clothes and hiding.

3.Apply Insect Repellent on your Skin

Most bug sprays are only effective on mosquitoes despite many other types of insects. Before you leave for your trip:

  • Buy a repellent that acts on all insects.
  • Follow the instructions of the product label when applying the repellent.
  • If you are also using sunscreen, start with the sunscreen and apply the insect repellent.

4.Maintain Screen Doors and Windows

It is common to have a tear or two in your screen window and door, especially in high traffic areas. When you get to your destination, inspect any screens and repair any damage immediately.

If you are staying at a resort, ask the maintenance crew to care for the problem. Insects can utilize a tiny opening in a screen and seek shelter in your room.

5.Keep Insects Outside

Use screens on air conditioning or windows to prevent mosquitoes from slipping inside. If you do not have screens, get a fine mosquito net and hang it over your crib or bed. Some mosquito nets are treated with Permethrin insecticide, making them ideal for camping outdoors.

Be Extra Cautious When Travelling Abroad

The risk of falling seriously ill from bug tings or bites in the US or UK is small. However, insects can cause serious illnesses such as malaria in some other parts of the world, so you should be extra cautious.

Before you travel, find out about the risks available in your destination and if you require a vaccination beforehand. Vaccines can help prevent some illnesses caused by bugs, such as yellow fever. You can visit the Travel Health Pro website to obtain this information.

You can also speak to your general practitioner about any medication or extra precaution you need; for instance, take antimalarial tablets or carry a mosquito repellent treated net to keep malaria away.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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