Protect yourself from mosquito bites on holiday

If you are heading on holidays in Australia or overseas, it is important to be aware of the mosquito-borne diseases that may be present, and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Plan. Prepare. Pack.

Before you travel anywhere, it’s important to understand some of the health risks associated with that area.

Follow these steps to protect against mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Research where you're going and any common health risks.
  • Speak with your doctor about travel medicine and how to protect yourself and your family, at least eight weeks prior to leaving.
  • Pack enough long, loose-fitting and light-coloured clothes, insect repellent, and if you need it, a mosquito net.
  • Use a mosquito repellent containing either DEET, Picaridin, or PMD (p-Menthane-3, 8-diol, the active ingredient in oil of lemon eucalyptus), that have been approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Protect your holiday houses, shacks, boats, caravans and tents

  • Mosquitoes breed in still water, fresh or salty water, and often in puddles and containers.
  • Look for and reduce mosquito- breeding sites around your holiday house, shack and caravan, or camping ground by emptying or covering anything that holds water.
  • Make sure windows and openings are fitted with mosquito-proof mesh.
  • Cover your sleeping areas or beds with mosquito nets or if you don’t have insect screens, or if you’re camping outdoors near a creek, water hole, swamp, river or in long grass.
  • Boats, canoes and dinghies should be stored so they don’t hold water.

Common mosquito-borne diseases

South Australia

Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are the most common diseases spread by mosquitoes in South Australia.

There are also a number of other mosquito-borne diseases that are serious and may be fatal including, Murray Valley encephalitisKunjin virus and Japanese encephalitis.


In addition to the diseases that are present in South Australia, Dengue fever can be spread by mosquitoes in North Queensland.


In some countries, serious and sometimes fatal diseases such as  chikungunya virusmalariadengue feverJapanese encephalitis and yellow fever are common.

Before you travel overseas, speak to your doctor about the preventative measures you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases.

More information

For more information, see the following: