Malaria Mosquito Nets
Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are often most active at dawn, in the evening and after dark. Sleeping under a mosquito net is a highly effective way for travellers to protect themselves against mosquito bites and malaria infection. If you are travelling to an area where there is a risk of malaria and your accommodation has no insect screening or air conditioning, it is important you purchase a mosquito net to sleep under at night.
Mosquito nets treated with permethrin, which is a pyrethroid insecticide that kills and repels mosquitoes, are more effective than untreated nets. You can buy a mosquito net that is already treated, or treat your net yourself with a mosquito net impregnation kit.
Types of Mosquito Nets
Travellers have a wide variety of choice when it comes to choosing a malaria mosquito net. Options include:
- Wedge mosquito nets – wedge mosquito nets are hung from one end and drape down over the bed to form a wedge shape
- Ridge mosquito nets – ridge nets can be hung between trees or vehicles to form a ridge shape
- Bell mosquito nets – hung from a single hanging point, bell mosquito nets have a spreader at the top to enable the netting to spread out and cover the bed, forming a bell shape
- Box mosquito nets – box nets require suspension from the top four corners, forming a box shape over the bed
- Freestanding mosquito nets – rather than being hung with hooks and string, freestanding mosquito nets are self-supported with their own frame, similar to a tent
- Cot mosquito nets – protect your baby from insect bites with a mosquito net that fits securely over his or her cot. Mosquito nets for pushchairs are also available
- Mosquito head nets – a mosquito head net fits over your hat, face and neck for complete protection in areas with high numbers of flying insects
When deciding on a mosquito net to buy, ask yourself the following questions:
- How often will you need to use your mosquito net?
- Will you be sleeping inside or outdoors (or both)?
- Will hanging the mosquito net be a problem or would you prefer a self-supporting net?
- How often will you need to put up and take down the mosquito net – or will it be stationary?
- Will you be backpacking and require a small, easy to pack, lightweight mosquito net?
- Will your mosquito net need to sleep one or two people?
- How great is the risk of malaria and other insect-borne diseases in the area you are travelling to?
- Do you require a pre-treated mosquito net or will you be treating it yourself?
- How much money do you have available to spend on a mosquito net?
Once you have decided on your criteria for a mosquito net, it will help you to narrow down your choices from the vast array of mosquito nets on the market.
Make sure your chosen mosquito net is supplied with all the necessary hooks and cords required to hang it. It may also be a good idea to purchase a separate mosquito net hanging and fixing kit in case your net gets damaged or you lose some fixtures and fittings on your travels.
Look for a malaria mosquito net from trusted brands such as Lifesystems, Trekmates, Highlander, Care Plus, Sea To Summit, Gelert and Scotmas.
CDC: “Protection Against Mosquitoes, Ticks & Other Insects & Arthropods”.
SafariQuip: “Choosing a Mosquito Net".