It´s not a secret I look very eatable (ahum) and little vampires think I taste delicious. Or should I say: #Jelicious (kudos go to my friend Johnny). Actually it’s not funny at all, I got bit by any insect you can possibly think of. Speaking from my experience I know everything about prevention and after care of different insect bites. So here are some tips if you need any:
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bugs are the worst! I remember the first time I was bitten by bed bugs like it was yesterday. The itching started during the day. First I thought it were mosquito bites because mozzies always know where to find me. But even though it was 30 degrees, I was wearing long sleeves so the mozzies couldn’t bite me. Back at the hostel I started searching on the internet and found an article about bed bugs. I looked for those little bastards and found them in the cracks in the wall, and they were with plenty! I got nauseous and went to the manager. He gave me some antiseptic cream against the bites but off course it didn’t help. For almost a week I was grumpy because the bites had me in their power. The bites itched non stop and drove me crazy, they were all over my body. It was the second time that I had bed bug bites when I found out that Tigerbalm is the only thing that helps against the itching.
Sand Fly Bites
I had never heard of sand flies before but they´re a nightmare for every tasty person at the beach. These jumping little assholes get on your body and bite you without you noticing. The next day you find weird bites with a red dot in the middle. I showed the bites to people because I thought that they looked strange. Then people told me about sand flies at the beach. Maybe sand flies are even worse than bed bugs because I didn’t find anything against the itching. Tigerbalm didn’t do it this time. The worst part is that the bites, if you scratch them, will become ugly scars (see photo). There´s something to prevent you from getting sand fly bites; coconut oil. You have to cover your body with the oil and the sand flies will drown in it when they jump on you. It works, but only if you drench yourself in oil. Downside is that every time you come out of the sea you have to put on the coconut oil again, it’s expensive and beside that a lot of work! Not even mentioning the sand that sticks to your body and all your towels that get oily. Too much effort for me so I stayed in the sea all day long.
With cats and dogs everywhere in Southeast Asia it’s easy to get bit by a flea. The bites are sort of burning and annoying but luckily gone after two days. Again, Tigerbalm is the answer! It doesn´t make the bites go away but it makes them less itching. Make sure you wear long clothes to prevent you from flea bites.
The most known little vampire is off course the mosquito. To prevent you from mozzie bites, DEET is a well known aid. And it’s true, it works! I took many different bottles with me but they sell DEET everywhere in Southeast Asia and it’s way cheaper to buy it there. In Myanmar I found DEET cream for less than $1 compared to DEET cream in the Netherlands for €12. I used many different kind of sprays, oils or creams and I recommend to use the OFF spray. You don’t have to rub the spray in and it smells nice too! To prevent you from mozz bites, wear long clothes and sleep under a mosquito net. If it’s too late for that, and you already got bitten by the mozzies Azaron cream is the answer! I brought Azaron cream with me from the Netherlands. If you can’t bring Azaron, again the answer is: Tigerbalm!
Little Red Ant Bites
Surprise, surprise! Little red ants are SO little, you barely notice them. Apparently they got into my clothes while I was enjoying a nice evening on Koh Rong (Cambodia). Suddenly I got a kind of rash which itched and I didn’t know where it came from. Most bites were where at the edges of my clothes. So on my legs where the trouser legs of my shorts ended and around my arm pits. I took a cold shower and lay down on my bed for a while. After two hours the bites disappeard but it were two hours of crazy itching. I didn’t find anything that helped against the itching. To prevent you from bites: make sure your clothes are somewhere ants can’t come. I left my backpack open on the floor and hang my clothes on the wall. Apparently that’s an easy way for little red ants to get into your clothes.
So in general: Tigerbalm is the answer! While travelling I got addicted to it and people who know me from travelling know that I was always surrounded by a Tigerbalm smell. When I got back home, one friend even said: “This is the first time I experience you without the smell of tigerbalm, nice!”.