How to repel sandflies

Sandflies can be just as annoying and frustrating to deal with as mosquitoes.

Follow the guide below and you will be able to enjoy those summer afternoon barbeques again in no time.

Unlike mosquitoes, sandfly bites are often bigger in size and are more likely to cause allergic reactions. This is due to the mixture of your damaged tissue and the saliva the sandflies leave behind after a bite. While their bites may be very annoying and painful, unlike mosquitoes, they are unlikely to transmit diseases.

Sandflies breed in wet soils in tidal zones around mangroves and sandy shores. Due to this secluded location, some species of sandfly will travel up to three kilometres in search of a meal. Although, due to the small size of the insect, they tend to only fly on still humid days when wind speed is low. Like mosquitoes, a female sandfly will extract blood from their meal to provide protein for her developing eggs.

Tips for repelling sandflies

  • Keep the vegetation around your house at a minimum. This reduces insect harbouring areas and encourages a steady airflow around the house.
  • Install and spray smaller mesh sized fly screens with low toxic surface sprays. These sprays contain synthetic pyrethroids which deter sandflies.
  • As sandflies struggle to fly in a moderate breeze, install ceiling fans to increase airflow both indoors and outdoors.
  • Mosquito coils and other mosquito repellents have also proven to be effective for deterring sandflies.
  • Sandflies are attracted to activities such as water hosing and soil digging. By avoiding activities like washing your car and gardening during the early morning and late afternoon you are lowering your chance of being bitten.
  • Wearing long sleeve clothing is also an easy way to reduce your risk of sandfly bites. This is because sand flies cannot bite through clothing, as their piercers are not as strong as a mosquito’s.

If you are considering using insect repellents to help prevent sandfly bites, read this study on the harmful chemicals used in the solutions before you apply.