Caitlin Plummer from The Travel Doctor strongly advises travellers to use insect repellents and to follow techniques for insect avoidance.
This is to protect against insect-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever. She recommends a 30 percent DEET product or a 20 percent picaridin product to her patients. In some cases she will suggest a product with higher doses of DEET depending on where the person is going.
The risks of travel in some parts of Asia, Africa and Central, South America and the Pacific Islands are well known.
Travellers in these areas should use DEET at a concentration of 30 to 50 percent. If you’re adventure-trekking or spending time away from resorts you’ll need even more protection. Clothing which covers as much of the body as possible – long-sleeved shirts and trousers – will reduce the amount of DEET you need to use.
For maximum protection, use permethrin on your clothing or mosquito nets as well as DEET on your body. Permethrin soaks into the fabric and kills insects on contact. Its protection is effective for up to 2 weeks, even through several washes. Permethrin soaks and sprays for treating clothing, tents and mosquito nets are sold by some tramping and outdoor supplies stores and by travel medicine clinics. You can buy mosquito nets pre-treated with permethrin.