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New Jersey
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214 posts
152 reviews
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Will there be sandflies anywhere late November through Dec 11? Is regular bug repellant sufficient?

Singapore, Singapore
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37 posts
3 reviews
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21. Re: sandflies

as long as you visit any place with lake and rain forest in it -- please use your insect repellent.. and as mentioned they will find you within a minute of your stay =p

Christchurch, New...
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329 posts
28 reviews
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22. Re: sandflies

My Dad tried dettol and baby oil... turned out he was allergic to it and broke out in a terrible skin rash everywhere he had put it on... was kind of funny... but not really

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3,183 posts
4 reviews
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23. Re: sandflies

Don't forget to treat your head if you are not wearing a hat. I got bitten on my hair parting while standing on deck at dawn in Doubtful Sound.

Sydney, Australia
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77 posts
366 reviews
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24. Re: sandflies

Te Anau was absolutely fine.

From memory I encountered a heap of these I went trekking in the wilderness outside of queenstown and glenorchy down the river. There, the sandflies really really 'bugged' me. Keep moving and it's fine, otherwise it's like a big swarm of tiny flying gnats. keep food generally enclosed or they will attack it.

Within the mildford and doubtful sounds it wasn't too bad at all until late evening but even then it was good compard to outside queenstown. If you're just in the general areas (like going on a ferry etc or Te anau town centre I wouldn't think it should bother you too much.

Gore, New Zealand
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324 posts
3 reviews
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25. Re: sandflies

You can take vitamin B tablets a few weeks before and that helps..... ( or eat lots of vegemite on the lead up to your trip!!!)

I usually am eaten alive, and they tended to leave me be on the Milford track after doing this.....I did not chance it though, and used our local repellent also. .

South Island
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1,401 posts
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26. Re: sandflies

Sandflies are not a constant, they vary from day to day. Milford Sound can have sandflies one day and not the next. Weather conditions are a big factor. Eating vegemite or taking vitamin D may work sometimes or may not work depending on the weather. Sandflies can be found in many places throughout the South Island but don't let that put you off visiting the remote pristine areas.

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1,659 posts
12 reviews
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27. Re: sandflies

My partner keeps Kraft's books in the black with his consumption of Vegemite but he still gets bitten by sandflies. Not as much as me, granted, as I also get eaten alive. Strangely enough I found the bugs to be particularly persistent and vicious on the West Coast beaches rather than in the bush last week. They also followed me until I sped up from my casual stroll pace. Darn pesky bugs.

If you do get bitten make sure you have a tube of Soov gel to apply, available from pharmacies. It is great for preventing the itching.

Tokyo Prefecture...
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3 posts
50 reviews
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28. Re: sandflies

My husband and I just returned from a 2-week NZ trip and got eaten alive in South Island. We had brought 100% Deet and were fine when we used it (we just hate stinking of it and all of it's greasiness) and usually put it on only after getting bitten a few times. After a few large red welts, I became obsessed with ensuring I had covered every inch of my body (including under thin t-shirts after I realized I'd gotten bitten on my waistline and stomach) and was fine. Those buggers even managed to bite me in "missed" spots when I wasn't as thorough with my application. So be forewarned that they are AGGRESSIVE.

We didn't notice them at all on North Island or the northern part of South Island, but we were attacked outside of Queenstown (when we walked along the beach north of Queenstown en route to Glenorchy). However, we were fine in town and away from sandy areas.

Te Anau - We didn't walk along the lake, but noticed that the sand flies were all over the place in the "downtown"/row of restaurants and weren't able to sit outside in the mornings for our breakfast because they swarmed us. We were able to eat an early dinner outside and didn't notice them as much. We did, however, see a poor fellow whose legs were completely covered in bites (think small polka dots EVERYWHERE). He didn't seem to be bothered by any itching, but I have no idea how he wasn't.

Having suffered about 20 bites (which I think is pretty good considering how aggressive they were), I'd just recommend putting on a strong insect repellent to avoid suffering from them (and keeping them at bay) and making sure you apply it everywhere. Also, reapply, since they started biting me after about 4 hours. I had NEVER had to reapply insect repellent except for in Milford Sound, and my list of travels includes many long hours trekking in Africa.

We still loved South Island and Milford Sound the best, but just save yourself the itching and reach for the Deet. I know it's not the healthiest option, but it was effective.

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23 posts
20 reviews
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29. Re: sandflies


I was researching the sandfly/DEET discussion in prep for an upcoming trip and came across the USA EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) evaluation of DEET and DEET products. If interested check them out:


and a long sortable list of DEET products and their effectiveness here:


Looks like the 100% DEET gives the longest protection not surprisingly.

The product appears to be generally speaking, safe. And it's effective. However, there may be some issues with regards to bio-accumulation in the environment (from Wikipedia).

Christchurch, New...
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35 posts
43 reviews
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30. Re: sandflies

Haha. They totally will find you!!

The Dettol works really well - Alternatively Kathmandu do a great range of more natural Insect repellents as well as insect repellent clothing....

Having travelled the length and breadth of NZ and being quite sandfly prone - Never underestimate the NZ sandfly :)

Good luck!