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Mosquito Protection in the Philippines for both expats and tourists

Mosquito Protection in the Philippines for both expats and tourists
Mosquitoes are very common and even life threatening annoyance in the Philippines. Each year dengue fever affects over 50,000 people and claims over 100 lives. Malaria is another life threatening disease carried by mosquitoes.

There is hardly an area in the Philippines that is not prone to the mosquito problem.

Prevention at the source

The most effective prevention is to stop the mosquitoes from reproducing by making sure there is no stagnant water around where mosquito’s can lay their eggs.  They need stagnant water in order to reproduce, so ponds, small puddles and other stagnant water provides them with a place to reproduce. Regularly disturbing any standing water will prevent providing mosquitoes with the environment the eggs need to hatch.

Preventing or drastically reducing the problem would be easier to do at a community level, and there are programs to do exactly that but they are too often infrequent and inadequate.

So its important for both expats and tourists to take precautions to protect themselves from Mosquito’s while in the Philippines.

Mosquito coils

Mosquito coils are very popular in the Philippines and can be very effective at keeping mosquito’s away. The problem is, research has shown the same fumes that keep away the mosquito’s can be a health risk to people.

The most dangerous mosquito coils identified are made in places like China. Given that the Filipino market is extremely price driven, and less regulated than many of the countries we come from, there is a real possibility of the mosquito coils available for sale emitting toxic fumes. I am inclined to avoid them altogether and look for safe alternatives.

Mosquito Coils – What are the risks?

Citronella Oil

A safer natural alternative to mosquito coils is to burn citronella oil. You can burn the oil using a special burner, but if you can find them, citronella candles are a more convenient way of keeping mosquitos away as long as the candles used are non-toxic. Many cheaper candles pose the same problem as mosquito coils. The best choice for non-toxic candles are those made from soy-wax.

Mosquito proofing

Making your home or bedroom mosquito proof is a very effective. This is achieved with fly screens and being well disciplined in keeping doors and windows closed. Despite this mosquitos do seem to get in somehow no matter how vigilant you are. They will lurk under beds and in other hard to see and access areas. As an added measure you can spray the area with a pest spray an hour or two before you retire.

Sleep Protection

If you can’t make your sleeping area mosquito proof then you need to use more personal technique to protect yourself.

Mosquito nets are an effective way of providing personal protection. They are relatively inexpensive, portable and reusable.

The use of an electric fan is also a surprisingly effective deterrent, as the mosquitos will avoid flying into the direct breeze created by the fan. The fan needs to be on a high setting, which is often not really a problem given the warm and humid weather.

Roll on repellents can also be used as a last resort. If you do use a roll on look for one that uses natural ingredients like citronella oil.

Outdoors – avoid being eaten alive!

As the Philippines is usually warm we are inclined to wear minimal clothing and only think about mosquito’s when they start annoying us.

If you are going to an unknown location, especially away from the more populated areas then being prepared can make the difference between having a great time and returning home with numerous bites and wondering for the next week or so if any of the mosquito’s were dengue or malaria carriers.

Bring sensible clothing, foot ware and a personal roll on repellent.

Your excuse to get intoxicated

Mosquitos do not seem to like blood with high levels of alcohol so now you have the perfect excuse to drink too much.

Garlic – natural deterrent

Raw garlic is a great way to keep mosquitoes away also. Simply crush a few garlic cloves, boil them in water, and put this mixture into a spray bottle. Spray it around outside your home to keep unwanted guests from inhabiting your living space.

Lemon Grass – natural deterrent

Lemon Grass as strong fragrance that helps deter mosquitoes, plant lemon grass along walkways and in locations close to seating areas. An added benefit is that lemon grass is a great addition to cooking and can also be used to make refreshing drinks. It can also be used to make an affective personal repellent.

About the Author

I have been visiting the Philippines for the past 30 years and lived here full time for the past 10 years. I have travelled extensively around the Philippines and lived in many locations. I was married to a Filipina for over 20 years and been with my current girl friend for 8 years. I have also operated businesses in the Philippines including a Dance and Fitness Studio, Restaurant, Family karaoke and disco. My background is IT and my real interest is in online marketing and outsourcing and these are the areas I currently focus on. I have made heaps of mistakes along the way and I have always enjoyed helping others and passing on my experience so that they might avoid making many of the same mistakes. - Chris Bennetts
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