So, you’ve got some time off work, college or school and you want to get outdoors and enjoy it. Maybe even go on holiday. What a good idea! Nevertheless, what happens when you get where you are going? The mosquitoes come out to get you.
If it were not so routine, it would sound like Freddy Kruger and Nightmare on Elm Street. The female mosquitoes need blood to produce eggs and they seek it out as voraciously as any vampire in a horror movie, while the males go sucking nectar from plants like fairies.
Well, that is the nightmare setting, but it is not that far from the truth either. For many nations in the world it is also a real life and death problem. Millions of people die every year from malaria and loads more from dengue too. Yet both of these diseases are curable as are most of the other mosquito-borne diseases like Yellow Fever, Japanese Jungle Encephalopathy and Nile fever.
The first thing to understand is that usually these diseases can be inoculated against, particularly if you are going on vacation. The next thing to keep in mind – it might help – is that not all mosquitoes are the same. For example, in Thailand, the dengue-bearing mosquito (often called the ‘Egyptian’) comes out during the day time and so bites then too. Between about an hour before dawn and an hour after dusk, whereas the malaria-carrying mosquito, the Anopheles, is a night time huntress.
I am not suggesting that you can slacken your vigilance during the day, although many people take for granted that they can. Nobody wants dengue fever either.
So, what can you do? Before you go anywhere, read up on the district or check with medical experts. That bit is not difficult, especially, if you know how to explore the Internet. Then prepare yourself with inoculations if the risk is serious enough in your estimation or a medical expert’s estimation. In my judgment, that is the minimum that a conscientious person should be expected to do to protect him or herself, the family and the community at large.
Then there are a few other things you can do. For instance, wear voluminous clothes, but long sleeves and long trousers. If you are thin on top by choice or not, wear a hat or cap. Wear socks or stockings in the evening to safeguard your toes. Get a good-quality mosquito repellent and rub it on your exposed skin, as often as necessary by the manufacturer, which is typically every four or five hours.
You could rationally stop there, but I like to go a bit further, if the situation warrants it. If I am outdoors in the garden at home or in a hotel, I like to have one of those tennis racquet style electric bug zappers with me. They are great for zapping the odd mosquito that irritates you. They are good for clearing the bedroom before sleeping too and lastly, if I’m renting, hiking, camping or caravaning, I might find space for a rechargeable lantern-style bug zapper too.
If the little so-and-sos are going to give me a fever, they are going to have to try very hard to do it.
Owen Jones, the author of this article writes on several subjects, but is currently involved with work on mosquito bite allergy problems. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Mosquito Bite Swellings.