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23

Well I'm a bit of a sub-expert on this, having worked nine years in the hostelling industry and encountering them as a traveller once in India. There's a bit of a dirty little secret in the hospitality industry about just how bad the bed bug problem has been for the past few years. Apparently all the big/expensive hotel chains have been having problems - ...


13

Not quite -- the bees are not eaten, but it is possible to eat their larvae (はちのこ/蜂の子 hachinoko, lit. "bee children"). Here's the process of preparation documented in detail (in Japanese, but with pictures). This is by no means a common dish (in fact I'd never heard of it before I started looking into this!), but apparently in the Tono region of Gifu ...


11

I have traveled to China about 10 times now as my wife was born there. If you are not spending your time in air-conditioned hotels and doing some independent travel I seriously suggest you take some repellant. It really depends in China where you are as to what sort of things you can buy; cities are expanding all the time; if you are in a newer section of ...


9

Would you believe, there's a website called BedBugSigns? From the site: It can be hard to tell if you've got them or not, because they are pretty small, only come out for very short periods, and because they are pretty good at hiding. First off, you should look for some key signs. Waste - Bed bugs create a lot of waste, and that is harder to hide than ...


8

I wouldn't bet on a mosquito net being available in any low cost options. As for the mosquitoes, it really depends on the season and the city you are travelling to. Some cities/towns just naturally don't have a lot of mosquitoes in any of the seasons. Since one can't be sure of the guarantee of the availability of a mosquito net (and of those that are ...


8

After travelling around India last year, I wouldn't bet on a mosquito net in hotels - most don't have one. Midrange hotels (still reasonably priced for Western standards) often offer aircon, so nets are theoretically not necessary - but even then we usually had at least one mosquito in the room. I don't think I would invest in a mosquito net though, consider ...


7

Malaria is particularly a risk to the south in Yunnan province (basically above south east asia) http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-%28east%29/china/china-malaria-map.aspx I've traveled in China, on several occasions and not really had any problems with mosquito's and I've traveled in Yunnan as well. That being said, the chances are that NO ...


7

100% DEET is certainly very effective, but it's hard on your skin. Try it but be prepared to back down to 25% or even 7%.


7

There are health concerns, mostly related to the fact that they can carry infection on their feet and mouth parts as they will walk through all sorts of substances you would not want in your mouth, so cleaning food preparation or serving surfaces is recommended. They like dark crevices - especially in kitchens, where food could fall in cracks or under ...


6

We have this question over on the Outdoors Stack Exchange: http://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/132/what-can-i-do-about-those-obnoxious-biting-flies/143 Avon Skin So Soft is still the product I take with me any time I am up the west coast. I also tend to wear a midge net on my hat. Better more prevention than less:)


6

Some coworker went to a jungle tour in Thailand for 4 days or so. He said not washing and wearing the same clothes for the whole time he was on the tour worked much better for him than all the mosquito repellents the other tourists used :) True story!


5

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends DEET, Picaridin, and lemon eucalyptus oil (active ingredient being p-menthane 3,8-diol). There was also apparently a claim that catnip is 10x more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes, but I've never encountered any catnip-based repellents. Outdoor retailer REI has a pretty thorough comparison of the ...


5

Bring your own supply of DEET based repellent but don't worry about it too much, especially this late in the season. I've never seen DEET here - I've been living in China for 6 years - though that doesn't mean it can't be found. It just means that I can't find it. Language problems are a big issue and something that is easy to find at home can take weeks of ...


5

Serving as a volunteer in a larger city in the southwest US, I will share briefly some things I learned about a bed-bug infestation we had at our apartment (by no fault of my own, mind you). A lot of the homes we went into were teeming with little crawling surprises, and many of our appointments were at old homes with trashy yards. Anyway, I don't know ...


5

If you want the American point of view of each country then the State Department is the place to go. They do a profile on each country that seemingly has the information you are looking for.


5

If you are travelling with a printed travel guide book they should all have a relevant section to address your concerns. For instance in Lonely Planet travel guides there will be a section called Dangers and annoyances. For Australian citizens there are "travel advisories" issued by the government. They seem to change their name from time to time for no ...


5

I just got back from Panama, and while it technically wasn't yet the rainy season, it was getting there. Here are some thing that might be helpful. Rainy season doesn't mean it rains all the time. It means frequent thundershowers. In between it can be warm and sunny It's very warm. The main difference that makes is that even if you get wet, you won't get ...


5

I have always been recommended to look for a repellent that contains Deet as this is the most effective agent in repelling midges. However, in practice I find these repellents only work for a short time and you are back to getting eaten again quite quickly. Some old wives' tales claim that bog myrtle leaves, crushed and rubbed on the skin to give off their ...


5

DEET is pretty much the mosquito repellant of choice. The more of it there is, concentration wise, the less pleasant, so scale your concentration based on the risk of mosquito-borne disease. "Backyard party with friends" - probably a pretty low concentration. "Hell no, I will not be getting malaria while in Uganda" - I used 95% DEET. Stuff was vile, but it ...


5

The main measure hotels do is regular washing of linen and bedclothes and regular cleaning of rooms. That is enough to ensure by far the majority of hotels do not have bed bug outbreaks. If it is a serious outbreak, they can call in the same bug removal contractors used by anyone who would have bed bugs in their house. Probably the best answer would be to ...


5

I am not aware of any specific laws on the matter. However, the fact that you found a dead one in the corner - as you already mentioned - might be indicative that the hotel is actually doing something about it. Usually I take the position that cockroaches in some regions of the world are simply "a fact of life". I have lived in such a region myself, where it ...


4

They are not as dangerous as you (probably) think they are. Sure, people do get diseases from them from time to time but nothing drastic like mosquitoes and other more potent disease carriers. I'm from a country where an encounter with a cockroach is unavoidable even in pretty upscale places. The other answers are correct, they are very hard to eradicate. ...


4

Rory already gave a very good answer, but here are some more points to consider: Be careful not to carry them back home. They are very difficult to eradicate once settled, and a few sneaking in between your stuff can be enough to infest your home for weeks or as long as there is something for them to eat. You might want to put all your stuff in a ...


4

Sounds like you are looking for nontoxic bug repellent. Something like this http://www.safesolutionsinc.com/Nontoxic_Bug_Repellent.htm or if you are into making your own bug repellent, can try this http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/four-methods-to-create-a-natural-mosquito-repellant/ EDIT: just realized, it's part of the site etiquette to ...


4

We were up at Chichibu last weekend, and they were selling the Giant Sparrow Bees in a baby food jar in some kind of syrup and were told by the vendor that the stingers are removed and that the bees are Eaten after drinking the syrup. She demonstrated for us. They are supposedly food for building muscle and considered a delicacy


4

I'm almost always check the websites of the ministries of foreign affairs of my neighboring countries. The reason that I choose neighboring countries is easy: my own country is too small to have such information. And I think neighboring countries have more or less the same safety standard and culture so that their evaluation of a safety situation in other ...


4

Nets are light enough and cheap enough and malaria is nasty enough that carrying your own seems a sensible option. Taking a different approach, if you can tolerate it, a low dosage (100 mg/day) of doxycycline antibiotic is relatively effective against malaria in areas where quinine and quinine derivatives have become ineffective. Some people report various ...


4

According to WHO reports, there are a substantial number of Malaria cases in Peru and Panama, and Costa Rica suffers from Dengue fever so it would seem advisable to be careful there. I don't think there are diseases spread by mosquitoes in Patagonia, but they can be very annoying nonetheless.


3

Hot tip - according to a Kathmandu staff member, blue tents/sleeping bags sales are 20% of those of other colours. This due to the common theory that sand flies are attracted to blue. I can't back it up with a scientific paper, but that's enough convincing for me. In addition, some of the answers in the question about mosquitoes may be of related interest ...



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