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London, U.K. — Don’t let itchy, unsightly bug bites ruin your well-deserved holiday. Read on for our top tips on how to keep insects away and what to do if you get bitten.
We’ve all been there. You’re getting mauled by mozzies while dining alfresco so you decide to go back to the villa, only to hear that dreaded high-pitched buzzing sound in your room when you turn the lights out. Next thing you know, you’re furiously scratching at ever-growing lumps that are keeping you from falling asleep. Stick to these simple steps to keep the bugs at bay.
Whether it’s dining out or trekking through tree-studded hills on cheap holidays, it seems that mosquitoes inhabit all of our favourite holiday destinations. Prevention is better than a cure, so check with your accommodation provider to see if they already have nets installed. If not, pick up a robust net set that you can erect yourself when you get to your room.
It’s not practical to carry around the net with you when you’re out and about so it’s a good idea to get hold of a reputable repellent as part of your holiday preparation. The main ingredient in effective insect repellent is DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-Toluamide). It works by masking the human aroma. There are varying strengths but go for 50 per cent if you want the best possible protection. There are lots of ‘natural’ insect repellents on the market but no firm evidence to support the claim that they work as well as DEET-based products.
Insect bites can be more than just a nuisance. Some insects carry diseases that are spread through bites. If you’re considering cheap holidays to Tunisia, or trips to even more exotic destinations such as Goa or Gambia, you may require vaccinations before you’re allowed to enter the country. This is for your own safety – just ask your doctor for advice and you’ll be fine.
Even if you have a mosquito net, cover up with clothes or douse yourself in repellent, occasionally you may get a bite or two. Simply wash the bite and apply a cold compress with a flannel or some tissue. Scratching the bite will only make it worse so take an anti-histamine tablet or apply an anti-histamine cream to reduce the swelling and irritation.