How to avoid mosquito bites on my travels has always been an issue but never more so than on our trip to the Amazon Jungle. We’d booked our flights to Peru and our stay at Treehouse Lodge, deep in the jungle, was confirmed. It was time to get very excited. I love adventure and staying in a treehouse in the Peruvian Jungle ticked a box right up there on my travel wish list.
Then the realisation kicked in that we’d be staying in a high-risk malaria zone and mozzies see me as one big moveable feast. Did I get ravaged by mosquitos? No. Here’s what I did to avoid mosquito bites in the Amazon Jungle.
How to repel mosquitos in the jungle
If I get a mozzie bite I also get a nasty allergic reaction with swelling and itching that goes on for days. I’d seen my practice nurse and had arranged a course of anti-malarials which, I’m glad to say, had no side-effects.
But that didn’t solve the allergy problem and also nowadays there’s Zika virus to worry about which is endemic in central and South America. Dengue Fever and other nasty mosquito-borne diseases are also a threat to travellers which can have far-reaching consequences. More than a few reasons to avoid mosquito bites.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
I wasn’t going to risk a single bite but I didn’t want to drench myself in nasty chemicals either. I wasn’t going to use how Amazon tribes deal with mosquitoes by rubbing ants on their skin. Would you? So, how to avoid mosquito bites? Enter Eliis Brigham who stock the Craghopper range of NosiLife outdoor gear, perfect for fending off those pesky jungle mosquitoes.
1. Insect Repellent Clothing
I’d heard good things about anti mosquito clothing. I also knew that independent, family owned, outdoor experts Ellis Brigham stocked it in their 26 stores around the country and on their website. Insect-repellent treatment is woven into the fabric of the clothing to protect against biting insects and the diseases they spread.
The anti-insect treatment is permanent and provides protection for the lifetime of the garment wash after wash to prevent mosquito bites. The technology is non-toxic and protects against all insects including mosquitos, sand flies and those pesky little midges. Here’s how I got on using Craghopper NosiLife clothing from Ellis Brigham.
After having a look through the extensive Nosilife by Craghopper range I chose a long-sleeved adventure shirt – well I was going on an adventure, a short-sleeved keisha polo shirt and a pair of convertible hiking pants. Perfect for my three-day stay in the Amazon Jungle.
NosiLife Convertible Hiking Pant
Convertible Hiking Pant – These lightweight trousers are great for warmer climates and aren’t too tight in the leg which is great for walking and hiking as they don’t restrict movement.
They’ve also got the added bonus of Solarshield inbuilt UPF 40+ and, of course, anti-mosquito protection. The zip-on, zip-off legs mean you’ve got shorts or long trousers if the weather changes. Great for space-saving because it saves having to pack a pair of each.
Other useful features are five pockets including three zipped pockets. There’s a detachable, mini dry-bag in one of the pockets – handy for keeping my mobile dry during trips out on the boat. Drying loops mean you can hang the trousers up to dry without pegs. Heel tape on the hem guards against wear and tear and there are handy ankle zips so you can easily slip the legs over your boots when converting the trousers to shorts.
I wore these trousers when we went out wildlife spotting on the skiff and for hikes into the jungle and nearby village. The fabric was strong enough to protect against prickly undergrowth and the tight weave and Nosilife protected against bugs. They were comfy for long walks and hiking through dense jungle.
Nosilife Adventure Shirt
Womens NosiLife Adventure Shirt– I liked the flattering tailored fit of this shirt which looked good but also gave free range of movement.
Like the trousers, there are lots of handy features; lightweight fabric which is quick-drying and easy to wash; collar with cooling wicking mesh built-in; lots of pockets including a hidden, zipped security pocket, a stud-fastened sleeve pocket, vented back, roll-up sleeves and a handy drying loops.
The Solashield inbuilt UPF 40+ protection was welcome when we were out paddling up the waterways under the hot jungle sun and of course the Nosilife gave great bug protection. Light-coloured, loose clothing is recommended to put off mosquitoes so I chose the shirt in a pale ‘dove grey’. I didn’t think the white would be very practical in the jungle.
Nosilife Keisha Polo Shirt
Women’s Nosilife short-sleeved Shirt – My last choice was a simple short-sleeved polo shirt in soft moss. With sun protection and permanent insect repellency built-in it was perfect for relaxing in the Rainforest Lodge. The lightweight, moisture wicking fabric meant I didn’t get hot and sticky. This little sloth loved my polo shirt!
The gear was incredibly lightweight which meant it took up hardly any space in my luggage. I just popped it all into a small packing cube which was easy to transport to the treehouse in my hand-luggage.
The Craghopper NosiLife range is well-made with good attention to detail and plenty of useful little features. Most importantly this clothing really helped to avoid mosquito bites. I didn’t get bitten once in the jungle, except maybe by the adventure bug! I wish I’d worn it at Machu Picchu because the sand flies attacked big time.
If you’re looking for good quality hiking or adventure gear with plenty of pockets, insect and sun protection at a decent price then Craghoppers NosiLife should suit you perfectly. Those amazon jungle mosquitoes will keep well away and Ellis Brigham often have this range on sale.
2. Best Insect Repellent for the Amazon Jungle
We also took Hc45 cream which is a hydrocortisone for after-bite treatment and an after-bite stick in case we were bitten. I’ve used Avon Skin so Soft in the past which is also an effective anti-bug spray which doesn’t contain Deet and actually smells okay.
3. Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
An ultrasonic pest repeller is an excellent way to repel mosquitos. I have a solar powered bug repeller which emits an ultrasonic noise, which is only just audible to the human ear but not intrusive. It repels mosquitoes as well as ants, spiders, cockroach and mice and lasts for hours. We switched this on under our mosquito net at night for added protection.
But what if you do get bitten….
4. Bite Away – for if you do get bitten
Odds are, after taking all the above precautions, you might still be unlucky enough to get bitten. This is where ‘Bite Away‘ comes to the rescue. This little device uses heat technology to relieve itching, pain and swelling caused by insect bites and stings in just two minutes.
Bite Away works by contentrating heat at 51c on the affected area for three seconds. Place the device tip on the affected area and press the button. Don’t worry it’s not painful – just a warm feeling. The result is a decrease in itching and inflamation within a couple of minutes. Since I’ve started using Bite Away I’ve not had a single allergic reaction to a bite. Bite Away halts the pain and inflamation in its tracks.
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I prefer Bite Away over creams and lotions for a few reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t have a use buy date so I know I’m safe to use it at any time. Creams don’t actually work to stop my bites becoming large an infected as it’s allergy related so this is a perfect alternative. Also, there are no nasty chemicals absorbed into my skin. Finally, if you’ve got Amazon Prime you can get next day delivery and stop those bites in their tracks right away. Bite Away
Disclaimer: Many thanks to Ellis Brigham for providing my Craghopper NosiLife gear and saving me from the mosquitoes in the Amazon Rainforest.
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