World Mosquito Day: the danger of a mosquito bite

World Mosquito Day: the danger of a mosquito bite

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World Mosquito Day: the danger of a mosquito bite

World Mosquito Day is recognized every year on August 20th, marking the anniversary of the discovery that mosquitoes transmit the parasite that can cause malaria. On this very day in 1897, Sir Ronald Ross discovered the malaria parasite in the stomach tissue of an anopheles mosquito. His work later confirmed that mosquitoes are the vector to carry the malaria parasite (plasmodium falciparum) from human to human.

Today, 125 years later, mosquito-borne diseases are increasingly widespread and difficult to prevent and/or treat. Continuous global efforts by governments and NGO’s, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to eradicate the impact of mosquitoes on humans populations, have not yet succeeded in that goal.

Mosquito borne diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. According to the World Health Organization, malaria alone leads to approximately 627,000 deaths annually (2020). But it is only malaria as a serious infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. There are other mosquito-borne diseases, now always fatal, that can make humans very sick.

  • Chikungunya, a virus transmitted by the tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus) causes heavy joint pain.
  • Zika, a virus transmitted by the tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus) can cause severe birth abnormalities in pregnant women.
  • Dengue, a virus transmitted by the tiger mosquito (aedes albopictus), can cause headaches, skin rash and joint pain. In the case of renewed infection, it also attacks the respiratory and circulatory system resulting in internal bleeding. This can be fatal.
  • Yellow fever, a virus transmitted by the aedes aegypti, is a mainly in sub-tropical African countries. Symptoms can be fever, chills, headache, backache, and muscle aches. About 15% of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to bleeding, shock, organ failure, and sometimes death. A vaccine is available and compulsory before arrival in certain countries.
  • WestNile, a virus transmitted by the house mosquito (culex). This virus was first isolated in 1937 in Uganda. Most infected persons have no symptoms.
  • Life cycle mosquito

    The mosquito has a complex life cycle. Though different species of mosquitoes prefer different places to lay their eggs, many Anopheles mosquitoes (malaria) lay their eggs in undisturbed pools of water. The eggs hatch into aquatic larvae, which grow until they are ready to pupate into flying adults. Adult male and female Anopheles feed on nectar; the females are also required to feed on blood (resulting in what humans know as mosquito bites) as the nutrients in the blood allow the females to produce eggs, continuing the cycle.

    Whereas anopheles mosquitoes can fly larger distances, and is active between dusk and dawn, the aedes species has limited flying ambitions but is active during day-time. The tiger mosquito also prefers urban areas for that reason, a blood meal is always nearby.

    Buy One, Give One

    Care Plus® aims for a malaria-free world. In specific terms, we do this with our Buy One, Give One campaign, in which 1% of our turnover goes to this higher goal of making the world malaria-free by 2030. Will you join the fight?

    Malaria-free world

    Presentation MIR on World Malaria Day

    Presentation MIR on World Malaria Day

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    Presentation Malaria Impact Report on 25 April, World Malaria Day

    On World Malaria Day Arnoud Aalbersberg, Chief Mosquito Officer of Travel Health Group presented the Malaria Impact Reportat the Floriade. Malaria is a preventable infectious disease and since 2000 the number of infections and deaths were in decline. The WHO Malaria Report 2021, with an update on 2020, shows a very different and worrisome picture: for the first time since 2000 the number of infections and deaths related to Malaria increased dramatically. This was caused merely by service disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Travel Health Group, celebrating it’s 30th anniversary, actively contributes to a Malaria free world in 2030. With only eight more years to go, this vision and commitment becomes more urgent. In addition to the presentation of Arnoud the audience enjoyed two interesting speakers. Ronald Hulsebosch, Travel Doctor, with a presentation on his experience on preparations for traveling and mountaineering. And Willem van Prooijen, Meduprof. He presented the history of Malaria, the annual impact and the necessity of the distribution of mosquito nets.

    Hurray, Care Plus celebrates its 30th anniversary!

    Hurray, Care Plus celebrates its 30th anniversary!

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    Hurray, Care Plus® celebrates its 30th anniversary!

    This year, Care Plus® is celebrating its 30th anniversary. A good time to reflect on the challenges, lessons learnt and successes of our brand and our umbrella company Travel Health Group. The most important thing is of course the impact we have made in the past 30 years, but we are also looking ahead to the year 2030. That’s the year we want the world to be malaria-free!

    Buy One, Give One for a malaria free world

    The beginning of Care Plus®

    In 1989, Pieter Aalbersberg (Arnoud’s father) started the company Primmed B.V. This company was a distributor of vaccines from a Swiss manufacturer at the time. The majority of these vaccines were for combating infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and hepatitis A. These vaccines were supplied to vaccination centres, Municipal Health Centres, pharmacies and general practitioners and were often administered to travellers who were travelling to distant destinations where the hygienic conditions were different from those at home.

    At the beginning, the company’s mission was primarily to prevent travellers from falling ill during or as a result of their trip. But if you look at all the health risks a traveller faces, even today, and which vaccines can reduce infectious diseases, according to the WHO, you only get to 2%. For the remaining 98% precepts such as the credo ‘cook it, peel it, boil it or forget it’ are adopted. In addition, preventive products could also contribute to health protection. With this knowledge, the Care Plus® brand was established in 1992. The idea behind Care Plus® was, and still is, to develop freely marketable products that have a preventive quality.

    Safe Travels, Great Stories

    When the Care Plus® brand was first established, the mission was primarily to prevent travellers from falling ill, or even worse contract infectious diseases, during or after a trip. Over the years, this mission has been transformed into not only safe travel, but also coming home with great stories. Nobody looks back fondly on a trip where 6 out of 10 days were spent being sick on the toilet. To this day, our mission is ‘Safe Travels, Great Stories’.

    Today, we protect not only travellers to faraway destinations, but also active outdoor people at home. In the last 15 years, we have developed our prevention of insect stings and bites, because mosquitoes and ticks are a potential health risk not only in faraway countries. These little creatures can transmit dangerous infectious diseases all over the world, even close to home.

    Care Plus® goes international

    In 1999 Arnoud Aalbersberg took over the company Tropenzorg BV from his father Pieter. In that same year, Arnoud completed his Post-Bachelor course in Export Management. The most important conclusion from his graduation was that the Care Plus®concept, providing information and education and offering products, had less than five competitors on a global scale. The time had come to roll out the business to several countries. The first ‘real’ export country was Germany, but today Care Plus® is available in more than 25 countries, and you can find the products online as well as in outdoor shops, pharmacies, drugstores and supermarkets.

    Up to now, exports have mainly focused on Europe because the most important products in the range such as insect repellents, impregnated mosquito nets, socks, water disinfectants, hand gels and first aid materials are covered by European regulations. However, there are also products available outside Europe, such as in Canada, the Netherlands Antilles and Japan.

    Innovations over the years

    During the last 30 years, Care Plus® has introduced several relevant product innovations on the market. With product categories including Anti-Insect, First Aid, Hygiene, Anti-Lice and Sun Protection and over one hundred different products, you could say that Care Plus® has become the expert in the field of protection. Not only information and education, but the products have also been continuously renewed. We would like to look back on a number of Care Plus® milestones in the field of health and safe travel.

    headlice prevention

    1992 | First launch of the First Aid Kit for long-distance travel

    Travelling to countries where medical care is not as good can entail health risks. It was advisable then, and still is now, to bring your own first aid kit with sterile materials such as needles. Care Plus® was the first to bring such a first aid kit onto the market in 1992, with a doctor’s certificate to avoid problems at customs.

    1994 | introduction of 50% DEET in the Netherlands

    DEET is the most effective agent for keeping stinging and biting insects at bay. A percentage of 50% protects the user up to 10 hours against mosquitoes, including the aggressive tiger mosquito. Care Plus® was the first to bring DEET to the Dutch market.

    headlice prevention

    1997 | mosquito and UV-resistant clothing

    Care Plus® wanted to protect travellers and outdoor sportsmen from head to toe. The uncovered skin could already be rubbed with an insect repellent, but clothing was not yet resistant to mosquitoes in many cases. At that time, a new development was introduced whereby a UV-B protective value was stated on clothing. Care Plus® was the first to offer travel clothes that could live up to both claims.

    headlice prevention

    2003 | long lasting impregnated mosquito nets

    In this year, Care Plus® was the first to launch the long lasting impregnated mosquito nets. This innovative development meant that impregnated mosquito nets could be claimed to be longer lasting. The active ingredient permethrin (the insecticide used) is released slowly, which means that the nets do not have to be re-impregnated every six months. This is an important development, especially in malaria-prone areas.

    2011 | introduction of sunscreen products

    A new sun protection category has been added to our outdoor protective products. Wherever you are and whatever the season, sun protection is needed every day to protect the skin from harmful UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. In 2011, Care Plus® was the first to market with a series of sunscreens that, in addition to a high SPF, also protect against jellyfish stings!

    headlice prevention

    2020 | launch of products in the Anti-Lice category

    In 2020, the brand launched another new product line, Care Plus® Anti-Lice. Care Plus® was the first to bring both a preventive and a natural treatment product to the market. The products prevent a lot of inconvenience such as irritation and itching and endless combing and embarrassment at school.

    2021 | the launch of organic Anti-Insect products

    In this year, the first Care Plus® organic products were launched. In addition to a social objective, Travel Health Group, the umbrella organisation of Care Plus®among others, also strives for sustainable production and packaging of its products. An organic formulation of both content and packaging is a logical development for this and future generations.

    Care Plus organic tickspray

    Our greater goal: a malaria-free world by 2030

    Care Plus® is not only committed to the health of travellers, but also to people living in malaria risk areas. In 1999, Arnoud Aalbersberg was driving on the motorway in the Netherlands. A billboard with “Drive Against Malaria” caught his attention. The photo showed a Landrover with mosquito nets on the roof. The advertisement for MEMISA, now Cordaid, made the penny drop for Arnoud. This was the true goal for his company.

    Arnoud immediately contacted MEMISA and Care Plus® became the main sponsor of this unique Drive Against Malaria project. Drive Against Malaria is an ongoing initiative of David Robertson, a philanthropist dedicated to telling the world about malaria and helping malaria-endemic countries. Together, Arnoud and David came up with the idea of ‘a net for a net’. Travellers who bought a Care Plus® mosquito net also donated a net to Drive Against Malaria. This was the beginning of our Buy One, Give One campaign.

    In 2000, Arnoud accompanied David to Cameroon in Africa for a fortnight to see for himself how his initiative helped to eradicate malaria. After this trip, Arnoud knew for sure that this would be the bigger goal for Travel Health Group and Care Plus®, to contribute to a malaria free world in 2030! In the 10 years of cooperation with Drive Against Malaria, Care Plus® has donated more than 10,000 mosquito nets to the inhabitants of Cameroon. Since 2009, Travel Health Group has supported numerous initiatives that fight malaria.

    buy one give one for a malariafree wereld

    Today, we are investing 1% of our turnover in this great cause: a malaria-free world by 2030. Besides distributing mosquito nets, we also support the production and publication of the weekly newsletter MalariaWorld. This newsletter is produced locally in Kenya and distributed to more than 11,000 malaria professionals in over 140 countries. This means that everyone has access to all the latest malaria publications every week.

    How can you contribute to the fight against malaria?

    The year 2022 is a festive year for Care Plus® with our 30th anniversary. We will be celebrating this extensively with fun activities for our partners and customers, including raffling off a travel cheque worth €2030! But we can’t sit back and relax and we need to make every effort. Our greater goal, a malaria-free world in 2030, is getting closer and closer!

    We still have a lot of work to do to finally eradicate malaria, but it can be done. If all institutions with the same goal, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), but also the local population and travellers, join forces to implement such a ”cocktail” of education, product innovation and rules of life, malaria will have almost no chance. Malaria is and remains an avoidable disease because if you are not bitten, you cannot get malaria.

    In the coming years, the fight will focus on the malaria parasite in all its stages of development in both humans and mosquitoes. There are fantastic initiatives by young, talented people who help eradicate malaria with the latest techniques. In 2020, for example, drones were developed that spray the rice fields in malaria-prone areas with biological insecticides. The rice fields are a fantastic breeding ground and thousands of mosquitoes live there. The workers and their families work and live next to the rice fields and are therefore at great risk of infection. Scientists in the United Kingdom are also testing this method of prevention. They are using satellite data to locate breeding sites of the malaria mosquito. Drones are then used to spray the breeding sites with a pesticide. There are also scientists who use ‘gene drive’ to try to eradicate malaria. Through genetic manipulation, malaria mosquitoes are given a gene that makes them unfit to transmit malaria.

    By supporting Care Plus® as a brand, every partner, every shop, every platform and every consumer contributes to a malaria-free world. Together we can beat malaria! Read our Malaria Impact Report here.

    World Mosquito Day

    World Mosquito Day

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    World Mosquito Day

    Today is World Mosquito Day, the day we pay extra attention worldwide to the major consequences of mosquito bites. Did you know, for example, that the mosquito is the deadliest animal on earth? Mosquitoes can transmit tropical diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, zika or West Nile virus.

    Ronald Ross

    On 20 August 1897, the British doctor Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting malaria. His discovery laid the foundation for a broad understanding of the deadly role that mosquitoes play in spreading various diseases. Since then, this day has been designated World Mosquito Day and aims to raise awareness about the risks of a mosquito bite and how it can be prevented, as well as fundraising for research into the cure of malaria.

    In the World Mosquito Day podcast, Arnoud Aalbersberg (Chief Mosquito Officer at Care Plus®) and Bart Knols (mosquito biologist) discuss some urgent and interesting topics such as the eradication of malaria and the increasing risk of the growing population of tiger mosquitoes in Europe.

    Buy One, Give One for a malaria free world

    Buy One, Give One

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria causes an estimated 228 million deaths and 405,000 deaths annually. Many of these victims are children under the age of 5. At Care Plus®, we have been working for years to achieve a malaria-free world by 2030. With our Buy One, Give One programme, by buying every Care Plus® product you contribute to our fight against malaria. We invest 1% of our turnover in this fight. We do this by distributing mosquito nets to families in malaria risk areas, supporting applicable scientific research and facilitating news to malaria professionals worldwide. With this programme and the help of our partners, we are well on our way to achieving our goal. Did you know that by 2020 we will have protected 13,200 people from this dangerous mosquito, including 6,600 children?

    Tips to reduce the chance of a mosquito bite

    Apart from transmitting dangerous diseases, mosquitoes also cause itchy red bumps and can seriously disturb your sleep. Fortunately, there are preventive measures you can take to reduce the chance of a mosquito bite:

    • Check for stagnant water in and around the house. Females like to lay their eggs here and the larvae grow to maturity here until they become mosquitoes.
    • Place insect screens in front of windows and doors and keep doors closed as much as possible.
    • Sleep under a(n) (impregnated) mosquito net, both at home and when travelling.
    • Wear light-coloured, airy and skin-covering clothing with long sleeves and legs.
    • Lubricate the uncovered skin with Care Plus® Anti-Insect based on DEET, Icaridin or Citriodiol®.

    Have you nevertheless been bitten by a mosquito or other insect? Our Care Plus® Insect SOS Gel has a soothing, cooling and calming effect when used after an insect bite or sting.

    How does DEET work?

    How does DEET work?

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    How does DEET work?

    DEET is the strongest insect repellent for application on the skin and has been commercially available since 1957. Compared to other insect repellents DEET has been the most researched in scientific (field) studies and has been proven to work effectively. It is worldwide the most used agent to keep away insects like mosquitoes and ticks.

    What is DEET and how does it work?

    DEET was developed in 1944 by Samuel Gertler of the US Department of Agriculture. He developed the ingredient for use by the US Army. DEET is an abbreviation for N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or slightly shorter: diethyltoluamide. It masks volatile odourants on the skin. These odorous substances, for example from lactic acid bacteria, cannot be converted into olfactory neurons that can attract mosquitoes. The mosquito will therefore continue its search elsewhere and you will not be bitten.

    tijgermug Aedes albopictus

    DEET-based products are recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC) and almost all national advisory bodies for Travel & Health.

    What does the percentage of DEET mean?

    There are different percentages available of DEET-containing insect repellent products. The percentage does not say anything about how well the product works, but it does say something about the product’s duration of action. A higher percentage offers a longer duration of action. In the table below you can find a handy overview of the protection duration against mosquitoes and ticks per percentage.

    Between 50 and 100% DEET there is almost no difference in the duration of action, but the safety is negatively affected. Such a high percentage of DEET can cause skin irritation. In malaria areas a percentage of 30-50% DEET is advised. If you apply the product before sunset, it will provide sufficient protection until you sleep under the impregnated mosquito net.

    Points of attention with the use of DEET

    When you use products containing DEET you have to take into account a number of things. The agent can dissolve some synthetic materials such as rayon, spandex, synthetic fabrics, painted or varnished surfaces and nail polish. In addition, the agent can soak into hard plastics, making them softer and more flexible. Therefore, be careful when it comes to your clothes and other items when using DEET.

    Alternatives to DEET

    Besides DEET there are 3 other active insect-repellent substances. Since 1994, Care Plus® has an insect repellent based on natural lemon eucalyptus extracts (Citriodiol®). In a number of European countries, Care Plus® also has Saltidin (Icaridin™) and IR3535™ in its range. The availability of these products depends on local regulations.

    3 facts about DEET

    1. More than 200,000,000 Americans use DEET products against mosquito and tick bites every year.
    2. Care Plus® has conducted its own efficacy studies with 3 mosquito species including the house mosquito (Culex), the malaria mosquito (Anopheles) and the tiger mosquito (Aedes).
    3. DEET is not toxic for humans, although every now and then stories pop up in the media.

    3 frequently asked questions about DEET

    1. Is DEET safe for children??
    There are age recommendations for the use of DEET. The age depends on the percentage of DEET. For example, DEET 30% is suitable for children above 13 years and DEET 50% for children above 18 years.

    2. What if I travel to a malaria area with children under the age of 13?
    Government advice for the use of higher percentages of DEET in the (sub)tropics may differ. For example, they look at whether the risk of infection with a disease is higher than the risk that the child will suffer from skin irritation through the use of DEET. Besides that, younger children are more prone to getting body parts in contact with their mouth or eyes. Something that has to be avoided with DEET.

    3. Why is there no DEET with sunscreen?
    In areas where the tiger mosquito is active it would be useful if DEET and sun cream were combined. Tiger mosquitoes prefer to bite during the day. However, both products affect each other negatively. As soon as you use the products combined, both the SPF of the sunscreen and the DEET protection are reduced. Tip: apply the sunscreen half an hour before you go out into the sun. Then, 10 minutes before you go outside, apply the DEET-product in a thin layer on uncovered skin.

    How do I choose the best mosquito net?

    How do I choose the best mosquito net?

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    How do I choose the best mosquito net?

    More and more people travel for work or for holidays to a distant tropical destination and take a mosquito net with them in their luggage. Tropical destinations are known for their mosquitoes and other insects and the diseases they can transmit. With a mosquito net, you can protect yourself against these critters. A mosquito net is also ideal for use at home or during holidays in your own country, such as at the campsite. Because wherever you are, mosquitoes are everywhere.

    Choose a mosquito net that suits your situation

    The importance of a mosquito net close to home

    You may be familiar with the buzzing of mosquitoes in your ear when you are trying to sleep. But a mosquito can be more of a nuisance than just an itchy bump. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and the West Nile virus. These diseases are particularly prevalent in tropical regions, but there are increasing reports about infections in Europe. Although the risk of illness after a bite from an infected mosquito in Europe is limited, it is not entirely without risk. The number of tiger mosquitoes (transmitters of several infectious diseases) and the number of infected and deadly victims due to the West Nile virus have increased significantly in Europe in recent years.

    That is why the use of a mosquito net is increasingly recommended during holidays in Europe, at home or in the bedroom. There are a number of advantages to sleeping under a mosquito net:

    • Your sleep will not be disturbed by mosquitoes and other insects.
    • A mosquito net is easy to hang up and put away. You only have to hang up a mosquito net once to enjoy it for years.
    • A mosquito net also creates a nice atmosphere in your bedroom.

    Which mosquito net should you choose?

    Mosquito nets are available in many types, sizes and colours. It’s important to choose a mosquito net that suits your situation best. Will you only use the mosquito net at home or will you take it with you when you travel? Will you sleep alone or together under the mosquito net? Does it have to be lightweight for your luggage or is that not important? These are all factors you need to take into account. You should also consider the impregnation, the shape and the quality of the net.

    Impregnated or not?

    This choice depends on where you are going. For use at home, in Europe or in areas where there is no risk of malaria, a non-impregnated mosquito net is sufficient. For areas at risk of malaria, Care Plus® recommends using an impregnated mosquito net. The impregnated nets by Care Plus® are treated with a sustainable Durallin® impregnation technology. This impregnation technology prevents mosquitoes from landing on the net and biting through it. With daily use, the impregnation lasts up to 3 years.

    The shape of the mosquito net

    When buying a mosquito net, it is wise to take the shape of the net into account. Care Plus® has 3 basic shapes, so there is a suitable mosquito net for every situation.

    1. Bell Mosquito Net. This shape has 1 suspension point and thanks to the flexible built-in ring in the ridge, the net has a stable shape. This form is available impregnated or non-impregnated and is suitable for a maximum of 2 people.
    2. Wedge Mosquito Net . This shape also has 1 suspension point, but the attachment is not in the middle of the mosquito net. The attachment is at the head-end, which gives it the shape of an elongated triangle. It is an impregnated single mosquito net with an extra tuck-in strip at the bottom to fix the net under the mattress.
    3. Box Mosquito Net. This form has a rectangular box model. It may take a little more effort to hang up the mosquito net because it has 4 suspension points. The advantage of this shape is that it has straight sides, so you have more room to move and are less likely to lie up against the net while asleep. Moreover, this mosquito net can also be hung like the Wedge net or as a tent shape. The Box mosquito net is available for both 1 and 2 persons.

    Hanging the nets is easy. Each net comes with a description and a suspension kit (including cord, safety pins and screw hooks). In addition to these 3 different shapes of mosquito nets, Care Plus® also has an impregnated pop-up dome without attachment. This mosquito net is perfect for spending the night outdoors or in a tent. There are also 2 head nets available that you can use during outdoor activities like hiking or fishing.

    The quality of the net

    The quality of the net is also important. There is a wide range of mosquito nets, but not every mosquito net lasts as long as others. A mosquito net has to meet a number of requirements in order to provide effective protection against (malaria) mosquitoes. It is important that the net is made of durable polyester and that the mesh size is not larger than 1,75 mm. The size of the holes can also be indicated by the number of holes per square inch. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a mesh size of at least 165. This ensures that you get enough air under the mosquito net, but the holes are small enough to keep out insects.

    Furthermore, the net must be closed on all sides and long enough so that no insects can crawl in through the opening or from the ground. You can also choose a net that you tuck under the mattress so that it is properly sealed. Also make sure that the net is not too small, because if you lie up against it you can still be bitten or stung.

    All Care Plus® nets are manufactured under the strictest quality standards and comply with the minimum mesh size set by the WHO. The high-quality and lightweight multi-fibre is uniquely suited for durable impregnation and guarantees a long lifespan of the mosquito net. Do you use the net occasionally, for example only during holidays? Keep it in the supplied storage bag to extend the life of the mosquito net. The active impregnation agent is broken down by sunlight (UV radiation).

    Choose the right mosquito net and protect yourself from mosquitoes

    Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

    Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

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    Tips for preventing and treating insect bites

    As soon as the temperature rises, more insects appear. Insects can cause itchy and irritating bumps, but an insect bite can also be dangerous. Ticks can transmit tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease among other things, and mosquitoes are responsible for spreading several diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever.

    Tips to prevent mosquito bites

    Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce the chance of a mosquito bite. It is wise to check your sleeping quarters for mosquitoes before you go to sleep. This will prevent buzzing in your ear and itchy red bumps in the morning. Place mosquito nets in front of windows and doors to keep insects out. Despite these measures, a mosquito or other insect may still invade your bedroom, or it may only show itself once you are in bed. A mosquito net will keep insects away while you are sleeping.

    Relieve itching after an insect bite

    Mosquitoes favour stagnant water. These are breeding grounds where the females lay their eggs. Remove stagnant water in and around your home (e.g., watering cans, rain barrels or bird baths) to prevent mosquito breeding sites. Wear covering, light-coloured and finely woven clothes and apply insect repellent based on DEET, Icaridin or natural lemon-eucalyptus extracts to uncovered skin.

    Tips to prevent tick bites

    There are also measures you can take to reduce the risk of a tick bite. As with mosquitoes, you can opt for covering, light-coloured and finely woven clothes. When walking, stay on paths and tuck your trouser legs into your (tick-resistant) socks. Apply insect repellent such as Care Plus® Anti-Tick to uncovered skin.

    Did you get bitten or stung after all?

    Despite preventive measures, you may still be bitten or stung. Sometimes you do not even notice an insect bite, but there are also insects whose bites can cause pain, redness, irritation, swelling or itching. In the worst case, an insect bite can transmit a disease. It is therefore important to treat the bite or sting in the right way to prevent worse. Care Plus® has effective products that help you do this.

    • Care Plus® Insect SOS gel softens, cools and soothes irritated skin after, for example, a bite or sting from a mosquito, wasp or horse fly. The gel also relieves after a jellyfish bite, skin irritation caused by the stinging hairs of the oak processionary caterpillar and the Brown-tail moth caterpillar or after skin contact with nettles.
    • With the Venimex venom extractor you can quickly extract the venom of an insect or arachnid to prevent it from spreading. Make sure you do this as soon as possible after the bite or sting. This automatic vacuum pump reduces the chance of swelling and pain.
    • The Care Plus® Click-Away gives a small shock that prevents the body from producing histamine (the substance that causes itching, among other things). The itching and swelling reduce after just a few minutes. You can use Click-Away after an insect or jellyfish bite.

    If you experience acute tightness of the chest after an insect bite or a rash in a place where you were not bitten or stung, you may be suffering from an allergic reaction. In such a case, always contact a doctor.

    Treatment after a tick bite

    Even with a tick bite it is essential to be alert and to provide the right treatment. Always check yourself and each other thoroughly after spending time outdoors, in order to discover a tick in time. It is important to remove the tick as soon as possible to reduce the risk of transmitting any diseases. Remove the tick within 8 hours with a special tick remover such as tick tweezers or tick removal tool.

    Caution! Always use a tool that has been specially developed to remove ticks. Do not use alcohol, oil, fire or soap. The tick may be frightened and spit out its (infected) stomach contents, which increases the risk of infection with TBE or Lyme disease. Don’t remove a tick with your fingernails or regular tweezers either, because there is a good chance that you won’t remove the tick completely. Again, there is a risk that the tick will be startled and empty its stomach contents.

    After removing the tick, note the date and place of the bite and keep an eye on it for 3 months. Discolouration of the skin, for example a red circle around the place of the bite, or other complaints related to Lyme disease can occur after a few weeks or months. There may also be symptoms without a red spot or ring, as this occurs in only 50% of infections. Also look out for symptoms such as flu-like symptoms, muscle aches and/or fever. In this case, get yourself checked out by a doctor because when you get an insect bite, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

    3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

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    3 types of mosquitoes you’ll want to recognise

    As many as 3,000 different species of mosquitoes live on our globe. Mosquitoes are annoying and can keep you awake at night while you try to sleep. Apart from their annoying buzzing, mosquitoes can also transmit infectious diseases to humans and animals. Unfortunately, the female mosquitoes see us as a tasty meal of blood. They need this blood to lay eggs. In this article, we will tell you which 3 mosquito species you would like to recognise and what their characteristics are.

    The common mosquito (Culex pipiens)

    This mosquito is one of the most common mosquitoes in Europe, but also in countries like North America. This mosquito species usually bites at night and can be found both indoors and outdoors. They prefer the blood of birds but will also settle for humans once they are nearby. Culex mosquitoes are primarily annoying, but they can also transmit dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and Western/Eastern equine encephalitis. Common mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in freshwater surfaces, such as puddles and flowerpots around your house. They are moderate fliers and can travel up to 3 km from their breeding site.

    You can recognise the common mosquito by the following characteristics:

    • A mosquito has a sucking snout that points forward. This snout is about half as long as the body of the mosquito. These are the jaws and lips of the mosquito, which have evolved into a stinging and sucking organ.
    • The wings of a common mosquito are longer than the abdomen.
    • The thorax of the mosquito stands slightly upright when the mosquito is at rest.
    • The wings of a common mosquito are longer than the abdomen.
    • The head and abdomen are parallel to the ground.

    The common mosquito (Culex pipiens)

    The malaria mosquito (Anopheles)

    Anopheles is the best-known malaria mosquito and bites both indoors and outdoors between sunset and sunrise. They prefer humans and mammals. These mosquitoes can also transmit dangerous and sometimes even deadly infectious diseases, such as malaria. The malaria mosquito lays its eggs with floats on the surface of natural, overgrown water surfaces such as ponds and swamps. But it also likes to lay its eggs around the house in stagnant water such as flowerpots or watering cans. The malaria mosquito is found in the subtropics. They are strong fliers and can travel up to 14 km on a sugary meal and up to 4.5 km on a meal of blood.

    You can recognise the malaria mosquito by the following characteristics:

    • The malaria mosquito is small compared to other mosquito species.
    • The head of the malaria mosquito points downwards and the abdomen stands upright (like the spoiler of a car).

    The malaria mosquito (Anopheles)

    The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

    This mosquito is found in the (sub)tropics but has now also entered Europe and North America. This species can survive well in colder climates. Unlike the common mosquito and the malaria mosquito, the tiger mosquito likes to bite during the day. Humans are their favourite hosts. These mosquitoes can also transmit a range of infectious diseases (viruses) such as zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, dengue and West Nile virus.
    Tiger mosquitoes like to lay their eggs individually or near the surfaces of temporary water sources such as used car tyres, flowerpots, and swimming pools. They are weak fliers and often travel no more than 800 metres from their original breeding sites.

    You can recognise the tiger mosquito by the following characteristics::

    • The tiger mosquito is small and its body is black and white.
    • The extreme ends of the hind legs are white.
    • The tips of the palps (mouthparts at the snout) are white.
    • A white stripe runs from the head down the back.
    • Both the head and the abdomen point downwards.
    Tiger mosquito

    The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

    3 facts about mosquitoes

    1. Both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant sap, but only the female mosquitoes bite because they need blood to feed their eggs.
    2. During one meal, a female mosquito can drink her entire body weight in blood.
    3. A female mosquito lays on average more than 100 eggs at a time and can do this up to 10 times after being fertilised by a male mosquito.

    3 frequently asked questions about mosquitoes

    1. How often can a mosquito bite me?
    A female mosquito bites until she is ‘full’. A few days later she will lay her eggs.

    2. Why does one person get bitten more often than another?
    This has to do with a combination of factors. Your body temperature, body odour and the (lactic acid) bacteria on your body, among other things, are all factors.

    3. Why do mosquito bites itch?
    This is a natural reaction of the human body to mosquito saliva. This causes the immune system to produce histamine, which causes the nerves to become itchy as a result of increased blood flow. If too much histamine is released, the area around the bite may swell, become red and itchy.

    Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

    Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

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    Enjoy walking with these 5 useful tips

    Walking or hiking seems very simple. You learn it at a young age, so what can go wrong? Unfortunately, without proper preparation you can get into unpleasant situations. Therefore, make sure you are well prepared before you start your hike or walk, whether it is a city walk or a walk in the countryside, a short intensive hike or a multi-day hike. We have put together 6 tips for you, so that you can enjoy your surroundings to the fullest.

    1. Wear good shoes

    This tip may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked. Wearing good shoes while walking is very important. Therefore, get good advice in a specialized shop, considering, among other things, the type of terrain you will be walking on. Also, remember to walk in your shoes before going on a longer hike.

    2. Make conscious clothing choices

    It is sometimes said that “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. It is a good idea to wear layers so that you can always take something off or put it on. Keep in mind that cotton clothing absorbs a lot of water and does not dry quickly. This can make you feel cold very quickly. Jeans may rub and be stiff. If you are walking through nature, remember to wear close-fitting, covering and preferably light-coloured clothing and to tuck your trousers into your (impregnated) socks to reduce the risk of a tick bite. Use Anti-Tick on uncovered skin. Always check for tick bites afterwards.

    3. Make sure you can make contact with the outside world

    Being able to walk undisturbed is wonderful; being unreachable for the outside world allows you to enjoy the surroundings undisturbed. But when you need outside help, it can be dangerous to be on the road without having something to hand with which you can reach the outside world. Always make sure your phone is charged or that you have a power bank with you.

    4. Make sure you have the right equipment

    What you take with you on your hike depends on where you are going to hike and how long you are going to be there. It is a difficult decision, because you want to be prepared for everything, but you also don’t want to carry unnecessary weight. One thing that should definitely not be missing from your luggage is a first aid kit. Care Plus® has handy, lightweight first aid sets that are easy to take with you and with which you can carry the most necessary products in case of emergency, such as Care Plus® First Aid Kit Roll Out Small and Care Plus® First Aid Kit Basic. Furthermore, make sure you have enough clothing, (energy-rich) food and drinks and plan breaks at regular intervals so that you can spread your energy over the entire hike.

    5. Do not overestimate your own abilities

    If you are not passing through, your starting point is also your finishing point. In general, this is where your transport is or this is where you will spend the night, so you will have to return to this point. In any case, the distance covered on the way out to the farthest point must be covered again to get back to the starting point. However, people tend to overestimate their own abilities, which can make the journey back quite challenging. It is therefore important to understand your abilities and plan the route beforehand, taking into account the abilities of yourself and any fellow hikers. Especially for remote (natural) areas without public transport possibilities, walking is often the only option back.