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How To Really Repel Mosquitoes

Posted in: Travel Health 24 Aug, 2015

We've all finally collapsed into bed and then heard the dreaded whirring noise of a blood-sucking, itch-inducing mozzie. How do you kill them? Spray them? Throw a shoe? Hunt it down like Tiddles after a blue tit, never taking your eyes off until you've squashed it with yesterday's sock?

Here are some better methods of mosquito hunting.

Shoot The Breeze

Mosquitoes don't fly well in winds over 1mph. Choose a breezy spot for your BBQ (Brits shouldn't have a problem with this) or plug in some fans. It's best if you place the fan at a low level because that's where mozzies tend to fly - past your knees; the perverts.

Don't Bother With Citronella

Citronella's not that great. It only works if the smell gets between you and the mosquito, and as they're perverts flying under your hemline, citronella candles on the table and staked in the ground are too high anyway.

Do Not Exercise

Mozzies search for prey by identifying carbon dioxide in the air. If you're huffing and puffing, they'll find you. Lie back in your lounger to breathe deeply. MI5 have nothing on you. Totally incognito.


Don't bother. There's no proof they work.

Wear Tight Clothes

I don't mean mini-skirts and v-neck tops, boys, I mean tightly woven fabric so the mozzies can't crawl though. Sportswear usually works, or anything that offers sunscreen protection. Elasticised cuffs and waistbands help too. Whip out that Victorian nightie; they certainly knew how to avoid mozzie bites. And a sex life.

Sonic Schmonic

Don't bother with ultrasonic devices. They don't work, even the ones that sound like dragonflies (No, I don't know either and I looked on YouTube).

Cheer Up, Kids

Mozzies are big fans of miserable teens looking for attention. If you dress head to toe in black and complain about life, the mozzies will swarm over to feast on your blood. Ok, not really. Mozzies hunt by contrasting colours with the horizon. Dark clothing is easy to spot. Lighter is safer.

Hide When The Sun Changes

Sunrise and sunset are prime times to be savaged by a feral mosquito. This is because the wind generally drops - ask Michael Fish, I don't know why.

Use Deet

Don't pour it over yourself but use as the directions suggest. Rub a little on your wrists, ankles, forehead and other exposed spots. Don't bother with Deet impregnated wristbands and all that malarkey. They don't work because Deet doesn't use scent as a deterrent. The mosquito will land on you if you are wearing Deet but it won't bite because its receptors are blocked. Try the lotion or wipe versions to avoid breathing in the spray.

So in conclusion:

Wear a day-glo vest over a Victorian nightie in the middle of the day. Lounge on a low chair breathing slowly and wiping yourself with Deet. It's that simple. Anyone can have a go on that.

If you're travelling abroad to an area with a high malaria risk, make sure you prepare for your trip. Click to find out more about malaria treatment.

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