Health and safety forum

Burning Coils

  • aman218

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2008
    Posts: 7

    I live in England and right now, in the midst of our summer, I have at least 20 bites.
    Obviously, I'm a little worried about getting bitten every second during my time out in SE Asia and was considering a coil everywhere I go....BUT I've just read this article < http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/6286/abstract.html >
    about the health implications...what do you guys recommend I do?

    #1 Posted: 8/7/2009 - 22:06

  • Advertisement

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1931
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    Coils don't work that well. They're often put under tables in open air restaurants because mozzies tend to attack feet and ankles, but I don't often use one in my room.

    One non toxic alternative for clearing mozzies from your room is to use a rechargeable "tennis bat". These hand held devices electrocute mosquitoes and are sold everywhere, cost about $3 US. They're a bit big to carry around but work quite well if you have space in your rucksack. It's very cathartic hearing the sizzling sound every time you zap one!

    PS Don't try licking these bats to see what it feels like for the mosquito because I can tell you now that it hurts. ;-)

    #2 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 01:36

  • busylizzy

    Joined Travelfish
    31st December, 2007
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 2073
    Total reviews: 20
    Places visited:
    At least 107

    "PS Don't try licking these bats to see what it feels like for the mosquito because I can tell you now that it hurts"

    Now that gave me a good chuckle!! What on earth would possess you to try it?! Reminds me of my niece when she was about 3-4 years old, and wondered what it was like to kiss a lightbulb. Only problem, she tried this out on a sidetable lamp that had been turned on for awhile. Poor kid!

    Anyhow - yes, I love the satisfaction of zapping the little buggers with the electric tennis racket. I use one at home sometimes. Tried it on a cockroach once, but that took a little bit longer to work. I felt a bit bad then... :-)

    #3 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 10:31

  • aman218

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2008
    Posts: 7

    guess i'll be buying a few electric tennis rackets and carefully positioning them all around me. like a tennis racket shield of armour. Thanks guys

    #4 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 16:26

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    aman

    Being English, you may not be aware there is a wonderful alternative.

    When you get to SE Asia, get yourself some hemp.

    In the evening, light the hemp in an appropriate container.

    Burning hemp is far better for the environment than burning fossil fuels to make the electricity to power an electric mossie zapper.

    Please know that the governments in the area are damming rivers and forceably removing local ethnic communities just to produce electricity. The damming of the rivers is also drying up the Mekong River basin, and causing large scale starvation to the riverine communities. It is also threatening the habitat of many river fish species. The loss of water in the river system is economically harming river communities used to river transport. I could go on.

    If you do choose to burn hemp, the greatest advantage is that when you get accustomed to the aroma, it helps you relax, and you cease to worry about getting bitten.

    So, if you come visit SE Asia, your concern over mossie bites can be addressed in an environmentally responsible way, or you can choose to help destroy this wonderful planet we live on by unnecessarily using electricity.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    #5 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 19:24

  • aman218

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2008
    Posts: 7

    thanks for the reply...kind of dramatic but I get your point

    I'd choose hemp over an electric racket any day..
    You mentioned it relaxes but does it actually stop the damn mozzyz?

    And if by coincidence I just so happen to help save the planet, then so be it ;)

    #6 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 22:14

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1931
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    You sound like you've been smoking some Bruce...

    #7 Posted: 9/7/2009 - 23:55

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    aman

    I trust you've looked at...

    http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/travelhealth/3962_deet-or-picaridn-

    Using Picaridin, Neem & Coconut oil, or lemon eucalyptus is so so so much easier, and much more effective.

    ps. SBE - cheeky - but, I know you prefer neem & coconut oil...

    Cheers

    #8 Posted: 10/7/2009 - 06:10

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    Bruce
    Of course there's the cost of making the hemp - you won't be likely burning just the plant but it will have been modified. Then, of course, there was the cost of tranporting the hemp to the market where you bought it - that meant fossil fuels were used, hence increasing CO2. Then there's the burning process of the hemp itself, which also creates CO2...

    Hydro power in the main, because it's a good long term solution, is a plus in my view. Yes, it has negative impacts - so does everything. Hydro POWER is not a problem for the Mekong - Hydro DIVERSION for agriculture is what causes problems for the basin.

    #9 Posted: 12/7/2009 - 19:24

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    John - MAC

    I suggest you are overlooking the impact of shanks pony.

    :smile:

    [img="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Go-home.svg/100px-Go-home.svg.png"]

    Cheers

    #10 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 04:00

  • Advertisement

  • amazon_blon-
    de

    Joined Travelfish
    20th December, 2008
    Posts: 116
    Total reviews: 9

    aman,
    do you use topical repellents? i understand the aversion to deet but there are good non-deet alternatives. mosquitos just love me, and i'm always the first person they bite. i simply must put on repellant all the time, even back in Canada. given the frequent application, i try to avoid deet when possible, but there are many good alternatives. i got very few bites in SEA this trip and credit natural topical repellants for that.

    #11 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 05:38

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    But of course, how could I have forgotten "Shanks Pony"???

    #12 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 19:31

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1931
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    I totally agree Madmac. Something to do with the impact of burning hemp on an Aussi brain if you ask me...

    #13 Posted: 13/7/2009 - 19:41

  • aman218

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2008
    Posts: 7

    amazon_blonde,
    Thanks for reply but you didn't actually name any alternatives...! What natural topical repellants do you recommend?

    When at home, I use nothing. Get bitten a bit but then it is only England. We're in the middle of our summer right now and I look out the window to see heavy cloud and a mid day temperature peaking at 21 degrees!

    #14 Posted: 20/7/2009 - 20:45

  • aman218

    Joined Travelfish
    7th October, 2008
    Posts: 7

    amazon_blonde,
    Thanks for reply but you didn't actually name any alternatives...! What natural topical repellants do you recommend?

    When at home, I use nothing. Get bitten a bit but then it is only England. We're in the middle of our summer right now and I look out the window to see heavy cloud and a mid day temperature peaking at 21 degrees!

    #15 Posted: 20/7/2009 - 20:47

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1931
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    Repellents based on Neem oil seem to work pretty well. You can even make your own... mix neem (2%) and coconut oil.

    #16 Posted: 20/7/2009 - 23:36

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    aman218

    In case you didn't pick it up, I was being facetious. There are so many posts here on Travelfish about insect repellents...

    I am dead against chemical based drugs or repellents used on the basis of just in case. To me, this is how we get resistance to the drugs / chemicals. And, some drugs / chemicals really do damage the human (as a side effect of prolonged use).

    Like you, I am somewhat concerned about picking up a disease from a mosquito bite. The concern is far more towards Dengue Fever than malaria, which is largely not endemic in the areas where most travellers go.

    I advocate a two pronged approach.

    Being male, when in SE Asia I wear long trousers and short sleeved 'business style' shirts. This provides some protection to all but arms and neck/face.

    I (now) use a natural insect repellant.

    SBE has mentioned Neem & Coconut oil.

    I live in Australia, and we here have a product called Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (as an aside, the tree is actually a Corymbia, but the world knows better the term Eucalyptus). This oil is effective as an insect repellent.

    In case you haven't heard of it, here are a few pointers:

    Info on all alternative insect repellents can be found here.

    Reference to a US sold product is here

    To make yourself, go here, but if you do choose to make it yourself, you will need some oil which can be found here.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers

    #17 Posted: 21/7/2009 - 06:37

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6218
    Total reviews: 10

    Bruce
    While I am certainly no expert concerning insect repellents, I would not make the assumption that if something is "chemical based" it is likely harmful and if it is "naturally based" it is likely benign. Nature is not your friend. If it were, you wouldn't need any of these repellents in the first place.

    #18 Posted: 22/7/2009 - 01:14

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    John (MAC)

    Here is another case of misreading my intentions.

    The drugs/chemicals that are used in health management are toxic - no question. What medical science has done is advocate an amount of the toxic chemical to treat a medical condition in a proportion that is toxic to the disease, but (hopefully) not problematic to the patient.

    That the drugs/chemicals are toxic explains why the drug/chemical companies have to rigorously prove the efficacy and benefit of the toxic drug/chemical before it is allowed to be sold.

    Go read #7 here and note that I am not averse to drugs/chemicals. Rather, that they should be used wisely and with caution.

    Applying toxic chemicals to the skin when there are less harmful products is, IMHO, a better way to manage the risk.

    Cheers

    #19 Posted: 22/7/2009 - 05:31

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.