Which Mosquito Net do I Need?

Selecting the ideal mosquito net with features specific to your needs can be somewhat daunting. It is important you get it right as it will keep mosquitos and other insects, such as lice, bed bugs and fleas away, contributing to a good night’s sleep and preventing infection.

Where you are travelling, how you are travelling, size and shape, weight, your accommodation and your own personal preference are all factors which can affect your choice. We have provided a short guide to the types of mosquito nets and their features to help you chose the ideal net for your travels

Where are you going?

When travelling to areas of high malaria risk such as Africa, the Amazon region and parts of South East Asia, nets which have been treated with a pesticide such as Permethrin are advised. For European adventures, non-Permethrin treated nets are ideal and will reduce your chances of a bite.

Where are you staying?

For multi-day hikes, freestanding net tents are ideal. Their small pack-size and simple designs mean that they can be erected and dismantled easily. Backpackers and Travelers have a broader range of options, although it is helpful to know your accommodation before making a purchase as fixing points could be an issue.

Pyramid

Pyramid nets are triangular in shape with only one fixing point, pyramid nets take up very little pack space, so they’re great for when space and weight are key considerations.

Freestanding

No fixing point means that freestanding nets can be pitched anywhere, indoor or outdoor. Probably the most versatile net on offer, the pole construction means that the mesh hangs away from the body at all sides. Most freestanding nets include a built-in groundsheet, resulting in all-round protection.

Box

The four hanging point construction results in a spacious internal area which allows for better air flow, ideal for humid climates. Box shaped nets can also be adapted into wedge shaped nets by utilizing two of the four hanging points. This may be of advantage to backpackers who are using multiple means of accommodation throughout a trip.

Wedge

A similar shape to the pyramid net, wedge shaped nets differ by hanging from either one or two fixing points positioned at each end of a spreader bar, keeping the net spread wide to the bottom.

Impregnated Mosquito Nets

Impregnated means that the net has been treat with pesticides such as Permethrin. The pesticide treatment prevents mosquitos from penetrating or biting through the mesh and kills the mosquito on contact. Mosquito net mesh size can vary (mesh size is the amount of holes per square inch of fabric), the World Health Organisation recommends that when visiting areas of high malaria risk, nets should contain no less than 156 holes per square inch. Some nets can contain up to 400 holes per square inch which are commonly used for midge protection, although mesh of this size will protect you against even the smallest of insects, you’ll find that nets with a higher hole count will restrict air flow and may become uncomfortable in hot and humid climates.

As always, it is important that your net is erected correctly as holes and tears may form if it’s pitched wrong. Be sure to check your net for holes before and after use and it is recommended that you re-treat your net with appropriate pesticides after every 20 uses.

Conclusion

Whilst using a suitable net for your needs is an effective method of reducing your chances of a bite, you should also further protect yourself against mosquitos through a combination of protective measures;

  • Use insect repellent containing 20-30% DEET
  • Wear light colours – mosquitos are attracted to dark colours!
  • Wear appropriate clothing – Cover up!
  • When camping, avoid pitching near standing water.

 

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