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Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

Portland, OR
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Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

My girlfriend has gotten herself midly freaked out by the tales of Sand Flies. We will be staying in PV for a week and she is convinced she is going to stay under netting the whole time. Can someone please shed some realistic light on this topic?

Lund, Sweden
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1. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

I used to live in PV and now I go there every year and I have NEVER been bitten by a sandfly, the mosquitos are killing though at night so bring repelent and dont forget to put it on!

In Bocas del toro, Panama, on one of the smaller islands I were attacked though, it was terrible, we had tu run away from the beach!=D

Alexandria, VA
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2. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

I hate to tell this story, but it's important to bring Deet. One of my students went to PV this past June and got bit by sandflies and contracted leishmanosis (sp?). She did not want to use Deet, but leishmanosis and its cure are much more toxic. She got infected bites that looked like volcanos on her arm.

The doctor told her that it was extremely rare to get this in Costa Rica -- she was just very unlucky. Bring Deet and wear lightweight long sleeves and pants in the rainforest.

I've been to CR many times and have never worried about the bugs, but this is making me more vigilant about protecting myself. She went through a very bad time but she's fine now.

Sandy

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

I've gotten a little bitten up (nothing catastrophic) in Puerto Viejo and elsewhere by no-see-ums/sand flies at dusk, usually while sitting at a bar or table having a drink or what have you... Avon Skin So Soft works great for them, but I wouldn't bet my health on using it to repel mosquitos. For the mozzies, DEET is your friend!

Nothing to change plans over. Just bring a good repellant with you and you'll be fine.

4. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

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Alexandria, VA
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180 posts
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5. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

I agree with you Emma -- it wouldn't stop me from traveling but reminds me not to be so blase about bugs. My student had to undergo chemotherapy to get rid of the parasites -- not fun!

Sandy

Lund, Sweden
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6. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

JoyfulHeartYoga

Thats just awful. But its really not the nicest form they have in Costa Rica, it does not heal by itself and it can even destroy bonetissue (do you call it tissue when its bone?). We have it in southern europe too, but a very mild form. Hope he/she is well now!

Best Regards

Emma

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

Botfly, anyone?

:-o

Lund, Sweden
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8. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

misterjosh

PLEASE STOP! Im already a hyprocondriac I dont need to know about one more jungle diseas I can get;) Its been enough with this damn lyme diseas that I just had!

Do you know if normal repelent keep these damn flyes (or whatever it is) away?

Best Regards

Emma

Lund, Sweden
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9. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

But in general there are just 2 diseases that I know that sevral people got in PV (people living there not visiting for a week or two) is Papalamoya and Dengue. But I know the authorities work very hard on the Dengue problem, check the hotels etc. But you just need one open cocanut that fills up with water to attract those damn mosquitos, I know one hotel in Puerto Viejo, when they looked for Dengue they found it in a bottle cap on the ground that was filled with water and they who thought they thought about everything.

boston, MA
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10. Re: Sand Flies; Myths and Reality

Be very careful in the evening/night at the beach, one night I was wearing Capri's and on the lower half of my legs alone I had over 50 sand fly bites. They never hurt or itched they just looked awful. I would say stay off the beach at night especially sitting down. In they day time I never had a problem.