Don’t let Chikungunya Virus bite into your holiday — your guide to locations, symptoms and protection

The tropical disease Chikungunya [pronounced: chik-en-gun-ye] Virus hit the headlines recently when celebrity Lindsay Lohan contracted the disease while holidaying in Bora Bora. After being diagnosed on her trip, Lindsay was hospitalized again upon her return home after suffering a relapse of symptoms.

How to choose an insect repellent that works

Bikinis, sun screen and wayfarers aside, making sure you’ve got the right insect repellent for protection against biting insects on holiday is another suitcase essential. The right insect repellent can reduce the risk of being bitten so you can relax and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

But faced with row upon row of insect repellent products in the pharmacy aisle, how do you know which one is best for you? Here’s our guide on what to look for when buying an insect repellent.

Dengue Fever on the rise — what you need to know

Dengue Fever on the rise — what you need to know

Ask most people to name a Mosquito borne tropical disease and nine times out of ten, Malaria will be the top answer. Yet there is another disease that is a cause for caution and according to experts is not just a consideration for those travelling to the tropics.

It’s estimated that more than 3.5 billion people, over half the entire world’s population, live at risk of Dengue Fever.  In fact around 400 million people are estimated to be infected with the virus every year. 

Two reasons why citronella is NOT the best choice of natural insect repellent

Two reasons why citronella is NOT the best choice of natural insect repellent

With the ongoing debate over the safety of DEET, more and more consumers are looking at alternative natural insect repellent products for protection against biting insects. But which ones really work? In this article we will compare citronella against Citriodiol (also known as oil of lemon eucalyptus) which is the active ingredient in our Mosi-guard® Natural range. We will specifically compare the efficacy and safety of citronella and Citriodiol.

When to reach for mosquito repellent in the UK

When to reach for mosquito repellent in the UK

We’ve all been there...the sunshine appears and we want to spend as much time outdoors as we can. Whether it's BBQs in the garden, evening walks or playing with the children in the park, when the UK starts to warm up, we all want to enjoy it... Unfortunately, so do the mosquitoes.

Although mosquitoes in the UK do not transmit diseases, if you’ve ever experienced a mosquito bite, you’ll know how irritating they can be.

Research Suggests Mosquitoes Growing Resistant To DEET

A recently published study suggests certain Mosquitoes are becoming de-sensitized to DEET repellents after initial exposure.1 DEET or (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is a man-made chemical widely used in many insect repellents. However, this latest research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has supported concerns that some mosquitoes may be growing resistant to it.

Which? Rates Mosi-guard® Best Natural Repellent

Consumer interest group Which? has rated Mosi-guard® Natural ‘best performing’ natural insect repellent in its product comparison tests published this month (July 2012). Which? tested both DEET and DEET-free products from 12 well known brands with results, unsurprisingly, revealing ‘big differences between the most and least effective repellents’. Mosi-guard® Natural earned a maximum five star efficacy rating for providing up to eight hours protection against multiple insect bites which, the report states, ‘ is on a par with our best-performing DEET products’. Mosi-guard® Natural out-performed all non-synthetic products including Jungle Formula Natural, Lifesystems Natural, and Incognito which received the lowest protection rating of all products tested by Which?.

Walkers at Increased Tick Risk Following EU Ban

Tick-borne disease charity BADA-UK (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness-UK) which is supported by Mosi-guard® Natural, and its Patron, TV bushcraft and survival expert Ray Mears, are warning the public to be especially vigilant whilst outdoors in rural Britain this summer. The charity is highlighting the increased risk to hill walkers from tick bites and tick-borne diseases following the EU ban of the herbicide Asulam. Asulam is used by hill farmers to control the invasive spread of bracken which provides the perfect habitat for ticks.

Patron Ray Mears warns: "The control of bracken is vital to the survival of numerous species of flora and fauna as well as reducing tick populations. The spread of bracken as a result of this ban will lead to increased tick numbers making it all the more important that the public takes precautions against tick bites when out and about in rural areas."

Reports suggest that the tick population and its distribution is increasing, and with it the risk of contracting Lyme disease (borreliosis) and other tick-borne diseases.

Ticks are second only to mosquitoes for carrying disease to humans worldwide. In the UK in 2010 there were 1,361 laboratory-confirmed cases of tick-borne Lyme disease, a 24.4% increase on 2009. The Health Protection Agency estimates that up to 2000 further cases go unrecorded each year.

BADA-UK, a registered charity run by unpaid volunteers who have been affected by Lyme disease and associated infections, believes that public and professional awareness is key to combating the rise in cases of tick-borne disease. The charity advises that the best defense against tick-borne infection is to avoid being bitten in the first place by taking a few simple precautions when out walking:-

  • Apply an effective insect repellent before setting out.
  • Wear suitable clothing that prevents ticks from crawling under clothes and attaching to the body. This includes using gaiters or tucking long trousers into socks and choosing clothes with elastic or drawstrings at the waist, wrist and ankle. Clothing made from smooth or waxed material is hard for ticks to climb whilst light-coloured fabrics make it easier to spot a tick. Wearing shorts in a tick habitat is just an invitation to be bitten!
  • Walk in the centre of paths to avoid over hanging vegetation where ticks may be waiting.
  • Perform regular tick checks on your body and carry a tick remover.
  • Wendy Fox, Chair of BADA-UK says, "We understand, perhaps better than most the devastating effects that tick-borne diseases can have, therefore we strive to help prevent others from falling victim to them.

People who frequent bracken-rich areas can be recreationally exposed to tick-borne disease, particularly Lyme disease. Increased interest in outdoor pursuits, combined with an increasing tick population is resulting in a year-on-year rise in cases of tick-borne disease."

In 2012, Mosi-guard® Natural is once again supporting BADA-UK and its annual awareness campaign, Tick Bite Prevention Week, in the Charity's essential mission to reverse the growing incidence of tick-borne infections in the UK. You can find out more about the work of BADA-UK at www.bada-uk.org.

About Asulam

  1. The sale and supply of Asulam is prohibited from the 31st of December 2011 and product stocks must be used by 31 December 2012.
  2. Non-chemical methods of bracken management have taken a minor role, such as harvesting for use as winter bedding for livestock or for biomass. Research into biological methods of bracken control has made little progress and its employment in Britain is unlikely in the foreseeable future due to the associated legal, environmental and socio-economic problems.

About ticks and related infections

  1. Ticks are small parasites which feed on the blood of mammals (including humans), reptiles and birds. They belong to the same family as spiders.
  2. Ticks are able to survive in a wide variety of habitats, from the highlands of Scotland, to urban parks and gardens.
  3. Ticks normally choose wildlife and livestock to be their hosts. However, people and pets send out the same signals (body heat and chemicals) as the tick's usual hosts.
  4. In the UK, tick attachment has become a relatively widespread concern. Over the years there has been a steady increase in the distribution and density of ticks, which is caused largely by human impact on the habitat and the wildlife hosts of ticks (Randolph et al.), but also may be due to climatic changes.
  5. Ticks can carry a number of infections which cause disease in both humans and animals. If left untreated, many of these infections such as Lyme disease can result in severe and debilitating symptoms.
  6. Lyme disease is endemic throughout the UK and Ireland, although some areas pose a higher risk than others. The Health Protection Agency advises that any area that supports a hard tick population poses a risk.

About BADA-UK

  1. Despite being run by a small team of unpaid volunteers, BADA-UK is recognised as the UK's leading independent campaigning charity and experts in the risk and communication of tick-borne disease.
  2. Its aims are the advancement of education in the subject of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases; the promotion of research into the areas of such diseases, their symptoms, cures and prevention and the dissemination of results of research to the public; the preservation and protection of good health through education, research and other awareness promotion.
  3. The charity is regularly consulted by public health bodies, outdoor associations, education and youth groups as well as media, and responds to more than 2 million tick-related enquires from the public each year through its website and exhibition road-shows.
  4. BADA-UK is funded solely by donations, fundraising events, and the Mosi-guard® Natural sponsorship. It does not receive any official funding. All funds are used to produce literature, provide educational exhibits and presentations, and to organise their national awareness week and various other projects.