One of the problems with being in Thailand is the huge number of mosquitoes that appear at various times of the year. In fact, with more than 400 different types of mosquitoes in the country, your chances of being bitten by one of them are quite real. Even in a major city like Bangkok.
That being said, do not arrive in Thailand thinking you are going to be bitten to death or, even worse, contract one of the tropical diseases mosquito bites can cause.
For the vast majority of people, Thais and non-Thais, your chances of catching any kind of illness from mosquitoes — including the dreaded dengue fever — are pretty low. Even more so if you follow these tips on how to avoid mosquito bites in Thailand as much as is humanely possible.
Things to do to avoid mosquito bites in Thailand
- Obviously the first thing you should bring with you on any trip to Thailand, whether for a long-term job or a short-term vacation, is a good mosquito repellent. Of course, if you forget, no worries as just about every pharmacy in Thailand — major chains and small mom and pop stores — sell them for just a few baht.
- Mosquito bracelets can also be a great way to cause the dreaded insects to avoid you. Wearing a bracelet may also be a good choice if you are not too great at remembering to use a spray repellent every time you leave your hotel or condo.
- Never leave standing water sitting around (if you know what I mean!!). That includes bowls or cups of water or other liquid left lying around your room, water that collects in the container behind the refrigerator and even water that pools in shower runners and underneath your plate drainer in the kitchen. (I always wipe all those up with a towel, and I rarely have mosquitoes in my flat as a consequence).
- If you have plants in your apartment, do not over-water them as too moist soil can also attract mosquitoes.
- Dusk and dawn are often the worst times to get mosquito bites in Thailand, simply because there tends to be more of them around at that time of day. Except for the mosquito that causes dengue fever, however, and they can bite you at any time of the day or night. To minimize your chances of a generic mosquito bite, however, you can choose to stay indoors during the early morning hours or, if you are outdoors at night, try to be close to things like mosquito lamps. This is especially true if you are eating at an outdoor restaurant.
- Avoid using perfumed soaps and perfume while in Thailand as anything perfumed attracts mosquitoes.
- The lighter clothes you wear the better as dark clothes attract mosquitoes, whites and pastels generally do not.
- If you are staying long-term in Thailand, buy a couple of mosquito lamps for your apartment or house. These are electric lamps with no chemicals, so perfectly safe to use indoors. Lazada has a huge number of lamps, insect coils and other mosquito banishing products. You can even buy a special mosquito repelling light bulb to hang over your bed.
- If you want to avoid mosquito bites in Thailand around your feet or ankles, keep your feet and sandals or shoes clean. Mosquitoes are attracted to smell and sweat, so if you have sweaty feet you are more likely to be their target.
- Drinking alcohol will often attract mosquitoes as it seems to make your skin smell differently than those people who are not.
- Lemons and limes deter mosquitoes. Thais tend to be bitten by mosquitoes much less often than foreigners in Thailand and some of that may be due to the food they eat, including citrus fruits.
- Eating spicy foods can often help to deter mosquitoes as well as the spices make you smell less attractive to them.
- Some of the cheaper hotels without air-conditioning have a mosquito net over the bed. Make sure you use it.
- Turn a fan so that it is blowing on you as this can often cause a mosquito not to be able to land on you.
All of these things should make it easier for you to avoid mosquito bites in Thailand, especially if you do a few of them at the same time.
Do not be too panicked about mosquito bites though, or about contracting dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, malaria or any of the other mosquito-borne diseases it is possible to catch from one either.
Yes, there are many cases of these illnesses in Thailand every year, but most are due to Thais contracting them while working in the fields or in deep jungle areas.
Cases of dengue fever, malaria and other mosquito-caused illnesses can and do occur in Bangkok, but in much lower numbers.
Protect yourself and your skin as much as you can when you are outside, however, and you shouldn’t have much of a problem.