Equipped with 30% DEET, mosquito net and prophylactic medication I ventured into a mosquito infested zone…
These killers carry a host of unpleasant and potentially fatal diseases: meningitis; dengue fever; yellow fever; malaria; Japanese encephalitis; West Nile Virus and the list goes on…
Hippos are credited with killing more people in Africa than any other animal but I think they’ve got stiff competition from the mosquito.
In North America, mosquitos are annoying at best and usually only cause mild skin irritation and inflammation. It seems natural to be complacent about these flying death machines but when travelling overseas one must be vigilant when it comes to these winged vampires.
Though DEET is controversially toxic, it still out performs natural remedies in getting the job done. Which would you prefer?
Temporary toxins sitting on your skin (hopefully not penetrating through it) that can be cleaned off?
the ravages of above diseases and possible death?
It will depend on the area in which you are travelling, when you go and how long you stay there but DEET for now may have to be one of the answers. (See article listed below for alternatives.)
If you would like to go a more natural route, there are some things you can do.
Supposedly consuming vitamin B12 and garlic help repel mosquitoes along with spraying oneself with essential oils of citronella and geranium. Though no conclusive evidence proves these methods to be 100% effective, one can always use a B-vitmain complex and garlic for other health reasons.
A change in routine and eating habits may warrant supplementation of B vitamins; they help your body manage stress. They are water-soluble too so if you have too much, your body will excrete the excess through urine and sweat. This is what is thought to repel mozzies. Garlic also has health properties (e.g. beneificial for heart health), enhances the taste of food and will at least repel bothersome travellers and vampires if not mosquitoes. Wonder what the garlic consumption of tourists is like in Romania?
mozzies = mosquitoes
And travelling in a tropical climate can create an ‘odorous’ effect. If you’re concerned about this, then why not create a citrus and floral perfume of eau de go-away? Pack a small amount in your checked luggage, sealed and with clear labelling should you be the next contestant on “let me go through your luggage” ( usually when you’re in a time crunch too!)
Attire can also be tailored to make yourself unattractive to mosquitoes. Long sleeved, light coloured clothing, no chemical perfumes and permethrin-treated textiles (e.g. mosquito net) help keep the mozzies at bay. Keep in mind that mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn and post-flood and Monsoon season. Pools of standing water provide a veritable orgy for mosquitoes.
And when the DEET gets all too much the essential oils can also help. Lavender and frankincense are said to neutralize toxins. The ingestion of green foods, particularly those with a high chlorophyll content, also enhance the body’s ability to detox naturally.
Repelling mosquitoes: A guide to what works and what doesn’t
CTV News, Canada