Yogyakarta (Jogja) backpacker's guide

Mosquito attack

Getting bites and noisy all night by mosquitoes is a total nightmare. All that stinging and itching leaves you tossing and turning then feeling like crap the next day. Even worse, mosquitoes can be downright dangerous. They potentially carry serious, life-threatening diseases including malaria, dengue fever etc.

Here 9 tips to avoid mosquito attack with different situations:

1. Mosquito net covering the bed.

Some guest houses, home stays, and budget hotels have mosquito nets permanently fastened to the ceiling above the beds. During the day, it’s best to pull up the net from the bed and tie it in a bundle. At night, pull down the net, tuck it completely in around the entire bed, and make sure there are no holes anywhere. If you find a hole, simply stitch it closed with a needle and thread .

 Not all budget places do offer mosquito nets, so depending on where you’re traveling, it might be worth carrying your own net, which you can install wherever you go. Buy one locally. It will be cheap and easy to find since many locals use them, too.

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2. Mosquito net inside a tent.

An alternative to the mosquito net is a stand-alone net tent. You can easily set up the tent on your bed wherever you stay. You can also use it for camping, obviously. Make sure you have a rain fly if you intend to camp, in case it rains, gets cold, or there’s a heavy morning dew. If you plan on camping off and on during your travels, this is a good choice. Buy a good quality, light-weight tent for long travels from a professional outdoor store like REI, Marmot, North Face or several other N. American/European companies. This is one item that’s better to buy at home, not in developing countries.

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3. Mosquito coil.

This is second choice to sleeping under a mosquito net. Mosquito coils keep mossies away all night if placed correctly in the room. One coil lasts about 8 hours- exactly one night’s sleep for me. I usually turn a fan on low, with oscillation, to distribute the smoke throughout the room. If I’m in a tiny room, or have to keep the windows closed at night (due to lack of screens or security) the smoke can become choking, which is obviously no good. In that case, I try a different technique.

Obat nyamuk_1

 Some people don’t like the smell of the coils and some believe the smoke is bad for your health. Personally, I like the smell and think of it like incense.

 Mosquito coils are extremely inexpensive and easy to find all over SE Asia.

4. Fast moving fan.

Wind from a fan can keep away mosquitoes if it’s set on high speed. Usually the oscillating setting works best, rather than stationary.

 Many travelers love sleeping under a fan. Personally, I usually find it too chilly. I also don’t especially enjoy a brisk wind blowing on me all night. If I use a fan at night, I usually set it on a slow speed and additionally burn a mosquito coil nearby.

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5. AC (Airconditioner) room.

AC rooms usually are mosquito free. One reason is that windows are usually sealed shut. There’s little chance for mossies to get in. Secondly, mosquitoes definitely prefer heat to cold. Still, check over your room just to be sure. Sometimes a few mossies wander inside.

Many budget hotels and guest houses offer a choice of AC rooms and fan rooms. AC rooms are often double price of fan rooms, but if it fits your budget, and you prefer cooler temperatures, a/c rooms are a good choice. Personally, I love the heat and greatly dislike air conditioning. I mostly use these other tactics to deal with mosquitoes. But on ocassions that do have an AC room, I notice that mosquitoes are generally absent.

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6. Electric mosquito repellents.

Electric mosquito repellents are also used all over Asia and provide an alternative to mosquito coils. You can buy the plug-in plastic repellent holder inexpensively just about anywhere. Buy some repellent pads and insert one until it runs out, then replace. Advantages over coils are a smoke-free environment and standard-size refill pads, which you can buy in most Asian countries. Disadvantages are that you have yet another electrical appliance to cart around, one which you’ll need an adapter for when you travel to other countries.

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7. Mosquito repellent

Covering your entire body with mosquito repellent. The chemical varieties are obviously somewhat poisonous, however all-natural repellents can be found around SE Asia, too. In SE Asia you can find cream, spray-on, and wipe-on types.

If it comes down to it, I’d much prefer to be covered in repellent than spend the night tossing, turning, and scratching then end up covered in mosquito bites, and risk contracting dengue fever or malaria. So, when all else fails- ie. no net, no mosquito coils, no fan- I do slather on some repellent and drift off to sleep, safe and mossie-free.

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8. Lights on.

This is a great trick I discovered somewhere along the way. I do prefer to sleep with the lights off, but if all else fails- no coils, no net, no fan, no repellent- I simply leave the lights on all night. Miraculously, this deters mosquitoes entirely. Easy. I usually wear an eye mask to block out the light. If I don’t have one, I place a bandana, towel, or clothes across my eyes. That works just as well.

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9. Wear bright T shirt.

You should know that mosquito loves dark/black color. you can try this simple trick. It can not avoid mosquito, but not much mosquito around you if wearing bright/white t shirt.

I hope these techniques help you avoid mosquitoes and their potential illnesses as well as ensure good sleep during your world travels.

yogya_backpacker_mosquito_bright_shirt

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