No matter where you are going, mosquitoes are there! They are found on every continent, except the places where there are no people living.
In many tropical places, they are year round pests. Individuals traveling to tropical countries of Asia, Africa, and Central America are at risk for developing mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.
Yet there are some things you can do to protect yourself and have a safe and comfortable trip.
Use insect repellants. Apply insect repellant to the exposed skin, avoid eyes and mouth. Watch kids when applying it by themselves. One of the better insect repellants is DEET. Use products containing less than 10% DEET and follow label directions carefully. Products containing soyabean oil and PMD are perhaps the best among botanical repellants.
Chloroquine pills can reduce the risk for malaria. In countries with chloroquine resistant malaria, mefloquine and Doxycycline are reasonable alternatives. Chloroquine and mefloquine are administered weekly whereas Doxycycline needs to be taken daily. Start Chloroquine or mefloquine 1-2 weeks before travel and continue for 4 weeks after returning. Doxycycline can be started 1-2 days before travel to destination.
Use protective clothing. Wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets, pants socks. The less skin area exposed the better.
Pack light colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark and colorful clothing such yellow, red or blue.
Try to avoid places where there are a lot of mosquitoes. Try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
If you are going to be near a river or lake, stay far from water. In windy areas there less mosquitoes as they are poor flyers and will avoid such places.
Stay in climate controlled hotels and inns when possible. Air-conditioned lodgings afford better mosquito protection.
Try to plan to travel during the seasons when there are no or less mosquitoes.