Mosquitos can be a real pest in Bangkok and these insects are not only annoying but they also bring with them a health risk – carrying diseases such as dengue fever and malaria. Also, mosquito bites can become infected quickly within the hot and humid climate, leading to deep, oozing sores that can eventually require antibiotics.
Your best strategy for dealing with mosquitos while you are in Bangkok is to avoid them as much as possible. So how do you stop these annoying little buggers from biting you? Here are some helpful tips:
What's Happening Under the Table?
I found that when I was in Bangkok, I got the most mosquito bites when I was sitting at a table in a restaurant in the evening with shorts and flip flops on. The evening is an active time for these bloodsuckers and they tend to fly low to the ground, so your exposed feet and ankles are a prime target. While you are trying to enjoy your meal you will be feasted upon by mosquitos, so make sure that you wear socks and shoes to dinner or spray your feet and legs with a bug spray containing DEET.
Smell Nice, But Not Too Nice
Mosquitos are attracted to your body odour and sweat, so make sure that you defy the stereotype of smelly traveller and instead shower frequently and wash your clothes often.
However, since female mosquitos also feed on flower nectar you don't want to smell too nice.
Sweet and flowery scented soaps, shampoos and lotions will attract mosquitos, so look for a neutral or unscented type of soap.
Mosquito Repellent Options
Although it is somewhat toxic to humans, DEET is the most effective chemical for repelling mosquitos. It works by stopping mosquitos from recognizing you as prey by confusing their senses. Spray the DEET onto your clothes or your unbroken skin, but avoid ingesting it, spraying it on broken skin or applying it to infants or children. There are natural alternatives to DEET such as citronella oil and eucalyptus, but in reality the health risk from mosquitos is much worse than that of DEET.
As another level of protection, consider using mosquito coils in your bedroom or under your table while you are sitting outside. They will burn slowly to provide protection for hours, as they are made from a powder that is derived from chrysanthemum plants.
Last but not least, it is a good idea to sleep with mosquito netting to protect yourself from mosquito bites at night. If the hostel or hotel you are staying at provides the netting, make sure that you check it for holes or tears before you go to bed. You can either patch up the holes or spray them with DEET to stop the pests from getting in.
Keep these tips in mind and you will be able to protect yourself from annoying (and possibly dangerous) mosquito bites while you are in Bangkok.