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How to deal with mosquitoes in Hong Kong

The winged menace. The plague of the skies. Their reign of terror ends now

By Time Out editors

All stingers, no class: mosquitoes are the bane of each Hongkonger’s existence. In all forms of fiction, anything that drinks blood is bad news and so it proves in real life – these obnoxious winged tools suck, literally and metaphorically. Now we’ve the will to launch a fight back. Let us tell you how. By Sarah Moran and Graham Turner

RECOMMENDED: Don't let any form of bug ruin your summer. After you've read our guide you'll be ready to tackle the best beaches in Hong Kong and even navigate some walks without being accosted.

When at home

Keep your AC or fan on

Mosquitoes weigh almost nothing, so they’re not exactly the best fliers. The breeze from an air-conditioner unit or a fan makes it difficult for them to land on you. Plus, mosquitoes are attracted to our body warmth and the carbon dioxide we breathe out. The cool air breeze will disperse the carbon dioxide you exhale and make it harder for them to locate you.

Mong Kok Flower Market

Buy some mosquito-repellent plants

Head to the Flower Market in Mong Kok to buy some plants known for keeping mosquitoes away and place them around your home. Lavender can be grown indoors and its sweet fragrance repels mosquitoes. Lemon balm, basil and rosemary are also effective, easy to grow and go well in many dishes. If you feel like being a bit more circle of lifey, venus fly traps will eat any mosquito that dares fly close.

When outside

Mosquito spray

Equip yourself with spray or lotion

Lotions or sprays containing DEET (diethyltoluamide) at 30 percent are the most effective for keeping mosquitoes away. It may wear off after
 a few hours, though, so read the instructions so you know when to reapply. Remember: lower concentrations of any product need to be applied more often. You’ll find plenty of options at any pharmacy, Watsons or Mannings.

An MC Hammer outfit is close to ideal

Wear light coloured clothes that cover up more

Most mosquitoes are more active at night, but the aggressive mosquitoes that hunt during the day use visual cues like colours and motion to find their targets. These mosquitoes have a fondness for dark clothes, so stick to light, summery outfits that cover most of your skin.


Avoid perfumes and scented stuff...or not?

You’re going to have to make a choice between smelling nice or living life as an itchy mess. Or do you? A study from New Mexico State University found a surprisingly useful repellent – Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume. At $447, Bombshell may be way more expensive than your average bug spray, but it’s certain to smell better.

If you do get bitten...

Home remedies

If you find yourself starting to itch while at home and don't fancy nipping out to buy a remedy, you can apply any one of the following: vinegar, aloe vera, a dry bar of soap, onion and toothpaste.

Worst case scenario – visit your doctor

Mosquito bites may sound harmless but some can be deadly. The yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito – endemic in regions around Hong Kong – are known to transmit dengue fever. While infection here is much less common, there have been several reported cases across the last few years.

Now that you can go outside safely...

sunset on the peak of sunset peak lantau
Sunset Peak, Lantau Island

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