SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Before you go on holiday, make plans on how you can protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
- Be prepared, find out about the local conditions and whether you can expect mosquitoes while travelling.
- Whether camping or renting, make sure your accommodation has fly screens fitted on doors and windows.
- Take mosquito repellent containing picaridin or diethyltoluamide (DEET) with you, as you may not be able to buy what you want when you get to your destination.
- Apply a thin, even layer of repellent (as per label instructions) to any exposed skin and make sure you reapply it regularly as required.
- Pack long, loose-fitting clothing to wear when the mosquitoes are out.
- Look after young children and babies and make sure they have the right clothes and are wearing mosquito repellent.
- Make sure you plan well and have a great holiday!
On this page
- Know what to expect before you leave home
- Check your accommodation is mosquito-proof
- Buy mosquito repellent before you leave home
- What to pack for a mosquito safe holiday
- When you arrive at your holiday destination
- Ways to protect yourself during your holiday
- Ways to protect babies and children from mosquito bites during holidays
- Where to get help
The best holidays are often spent at the beach, river or lakeside, or if you are lucky an overseas trip in some exotic location. Mosquito-borne diseases typically occur around inland waterways and coastal regions. Mosquitoes need water to breed. Heavy rains and flooding coupled with warmer temperatures can increase the number of mosquitoes.
The best protection from mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites. Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your well-earned break.
Follow this simple checklist to protect yourself from mosquitoes during your holiday.
Know what to expect before you leave home
If you plan to visit an area that has recently experienced heavy rain or are travelling to a tropical location that regularly experiences warmer temperatures, it is a good idea to find out what you can expect and what precautions you need to take.
- Do your research. Find out about where you are going and how likely it is that you will experience mosquitoes.
Check your accommodation is mosquito-proof
- If camping, check that your tent or caravan has fly screens fitted to doors and windows, and that any outdoor entertaining areas can be enclosed with mesh screens.
- Take a tent that is factory-treated with a residual insecticide or visit a camping store to purchase a product that you can apply to your tent yourself.
- Consider taking a mosquito net that is treated with a residual insecticide if sleeping outdoors, including sleeping in a tent or cabin.
- If renting accommodation, ask if the house or cabin has fly screens on doors and windows.
Buy mosquito repellent before you leave home
It may be best to take mosquito repellents with you. This can be particularly important when travelling overseas as it can be difficult to obtain effective products. Even when travelling in Australia, if you have a preferred repellent, make sure you pack it as you may not be able to purchase your favourite product in every store.
- Buy mosquito repellents that contain picaridin or diethyltoluamide (DEET) as the active ingredient.
- Apply a thin, even layer of repellent (as per label instructions) to any exposed skin and make sure you reapply it regularly, as required.
- No repellent is water-resistant, it must be reapplied after swimming or water sports.
- Repellent should be applied over sunscreen.
- All the formulations are effective, it comes down to which is easier to comply with. All must be rubbed in to ensure no spots are missed. A combination of formulations can be effective too, for example aerosol or spray for the feet, legs, and possibly the arms (faster to apply) and then a roll-on or spray in areas closer to the face (roll-on for the face or apply spray or aerosol to hands and then apply to the face).
- All use of mosquito repellent must be in accordance with the instructions on the label. Advice may differ between brands and formulations.
- If needed, purchase 'knock-down' fly spray, mosquito coils or candles containing insecticide.
What to pack for a mosquito safe holiday
- Pack mosquito repellent containing either picaridin or DEET.
- Pack 'knock-down' fly spray.
- Pack mosquito coils or candles with insecticide.
- Pack mosquito nets if required.
- Pack long, loose-fitting clothing – make sure the cuffs around the ankles and wrists are firm so mosquitoes can’t fly under clothes.
- Pack socks and closed-toe shoes.
- Pack a hat.
When you arrive at your holiday destination
Remember that mosquitoes may be present as soon as you arrive at your location, including at airports.
- Pack a small amount of repellent (such as a roll-on) in hand luggage so you can apply it when you reach your destination.
- Check that your accommodation has well-maintained fly screens. If not, make sure you protect yourself from mosquito bites indoors as well as outdoors.
Ways to protect yourself during your holiday
- When outdoors wear long, loose-fitting clothing that cover arms and legs, as mosquitoes can bite through tight-fitting clothes.
- Wear socks and shoes where possible. Mosquitoes love to bite these spots, and people forget to put repellent in these areas.
- Apply mosquito repellent to all exposed skin regularly. Do not apply excessive repellent – use a thin, even layer.
- Wear a hat, mosquitoes can often bite your scalp.
- Re-apply repellent after exercising or showering.
- Re-apply repellent after swimming. Unlike many sunscreens mosquito repellent is not water resistant.
- If mosquitoes come out at dawn or dusk, make sure you are prepared before they start biting by wearing protective clothing and repellent at this time. If mosquitoes are particularly bad at these times, stay indoors.
- Before you settle indoors or go to bed, check your accommodation and use 'knock-down' fly spray on any visible mosquitoes.
Ways to protect babies and children from mosquito bites during holidays
- Use mosquito repellents safely by following the instructions on the product label.
- When mosquitoes are out, dress children in long, loose-fitting clothes. Make sure cuffs around ankles and wrists are firm.
- Never allow young children to apply their own repellent. Choose a lower strength repellent (no more than 20% picaridin or DEET) and apply a thin, even layer as required. Avoid applying repellent to your children’s hands, eyes and mouth.
- Drape mosquito nets over prams, strollers and infant carriers, ensuring there are no gaps.
Where to get help
- Your GP (doctor)
- Your pharmacist
- NURSE-ON-CALL Tel. 1300 60 60 24 (24 hours, 7 days) – for confidential health advice from a registered nurse
- Department of Health, Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Unit Tel. 1300 651 160
- Your local council – for information about mosquito control programs in your area
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: