If you’re off travelling around Asia, the Americas or sub-Saharan Africa then make sure you take a mosquito net with you. It is said that mosquitoes have killed more people than war. Their danger comes from their ability to transfer diseases and illnesses between humans. The elephantiasis-causing filariasis worm, yellow fever, various forms of encephalities and malaria can be transmitted by mosquitoes. Even today, between 1 and 3 million people die each year from malaria. Children are particularly vulnerable, due to their weaker immune systems.
It is important to make sure you have the right size mosquito net for your bed. A variety of styles are available for single and double beds. For bell, box and wedge nets which require hanging, the necessary hanging kit is supplied. All that is required is somewhere to attach them (e.g. a hook, beam or cord).
Obviously, if you’re out camping then there aren’t going to be that many beams from which to hang a net. Freestanding mosquito nets, as the name suggests, don’t need to be hung.
Those who are moving around and/or don’t necessarily know where they will be sleeping, compact mosquito nets are ideal. Whilst products large enough to cover even double beds are available, their design means they can be collapsed down small enough to be stored in a compression bag. They are small enough to be carried in backpacks or hand luggage; the perfect choice for those off travelling the globe or trekking around Africa.
To make doubly sure of being protected from malaria, you’ll need a net that is impregnated with insecticide. Long Lasting Impregnation (LLI) kills mosquitoes as soon as they land on the net. The LLI lasts for 2 years, after which it can be reimpregnated with commercially available anti-mosquito treatments. You simply mix a solution of the anti-mosquito treatment to the right level of concentration and then draw the net through. Once dry, the net will be reimpregnated with LLI.
Mosquitoes bites are most likely to occure during the night, as this is when the insects are at their most active. As well as a net, it’s important to keep yourself covered if you are out and about at night, during the early morning or evening. You may be up and moving, but that won’t stop them trying to bite. Head nets are made of a fine mesh that offers you clear vision while also keeping the mosquitoes off your face.
Mosquito nets are also handy if you are in non-malarial zones. You may not be so at risk in the UK or France, but mosquitoes are still annoying. Non impregnated nets are available to keep the bugs off.
When you are travelling in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or the Americas, it’s important you take a mosquito net along with you. Whether you’re staying in a double bed in a single hotel or hiking through the foothills, sleeping beneath the stars every night, there’s a net suitable for your requirements. Malaria is a terrible problem, but there are easy steps you can take to avoid the worst of it.