Destination I Do
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Zika Tips for a Destination Wedding

Words by RISE
Photos courtesy of RISE

The salty ocean breeze, sand between your toes – what’s not to love about a romantic beachfront ceremony? 

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This time last year, soon-to-be newlyweds prepared for their nuptials amidst the initial reports of the Zika outbreak. With a new year of spring and summer weddings upon us, the risk of Zika-carrying mosquitoes should still be top-of-mind, but no need for wedding-bound travelers to drastically change their plans.

Instead of skirting your flight, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® details everything you need to know about the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that could be carrying the virus in destinations where it remains active and shares tips below to help you feel confident in fending off mosquitoes during the celebration.

  • Like every bride, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have their own style. They bite all day and tend to be attracted to your ankles. 
  • Aedes can breed in even the smallest amount of standing water – a bottle cap is enough, which is why it’s important to check for any standing water around your venue.  
  • Aedes love to be near people, meaning they actively look for ways to get inside, including inside your beachfront hotel room, bar or reception hall.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind leading up to your destination wedding:

1.       Provide a packing list. 

Give tips and tricks to guests so they pack to prevent mosquito bites. Your wedding website is a great channel for communicating this, especially under your “accommodations” tab. A few hints? Insect repellents containing DEET are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and light-colored clothing and long sleeves and pants are a must-have.  

2.       Welcome guests in style.

You’ve likely planned to provide welcome bags for guests in their room with both practical and personal goodies. Add insect repellent with DEET to the bags and encourage guests to apply every time they head outdoors and according to label directions. Provide repellent for guests at the venue, as well, either as they arrive or in the bathroom. 

3.       Check it out, before checking-in.

Reach out to your hotel or venue before you arrive to see if they are working with a licensed professional to treat for mosquitoes. Ask when they’ll be treating for mosquitoes and survey your hotel room and the venue space when you arrive. Your beachfront destination is the perfect place for Aedes mosquitoes to breed. Have the hotel seal any holes in screens on window and doors and ask them to remove any standing water.

4.       Evaluate your options.

While Mexico or the Caribbean might have been the dream destination, there are plenty of Zika-free beachfront locales. A few alternatives close to home: Hawaii, The Hamptons and Southern California. Feeling adventurous? Try Bermuda, Chile or Uruguay!

Click here for more tips for leaving mosquitoes off your wedding guest list. 

About RISE: RISE is a trade association that represents manufacturers and distributors of lawn and garden pesticides and fertilizers, as well as products used by licensed and trained professional that target harmful mosquitoes that can cause Zika, West Nile and other vector-borne diseases.

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