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Sandfly protection in New Zealand

Sandfly protection in New Zealand

New Zealand does not really have any killer animals or insects (apart from a couple of types of Spiders) but does have annoying ones. The Sandfly is one of the most annoying.

Native New Zealand Sandfly: Maori name: Namu , family name: Simuliidae blackfly

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There are 13 species in New Zealand, two of which bite humans: the others preferring penguins, bats, and seals. They locate their prey through sight and small and it is only the female sandfly bites. She needs blood to produce her eggs so using her saw-like jaws to stab the skin a pool of blood is created, this is lapped up with her tongue. Her saliva contains an anticoagulant that causes the irritation to your skin.

Eggs are laid in fast flowing water. The males congregate in shady humid bushy areas and live off sap and nectar.

Sandflies are located in wetter areas of New Zealand and can be pests, but are effectively controlled by use of an insect repellent.

The West Coast of the South Island and the Fiordland area has sandflies that will "eat you alive". These New Zealand tiny sandflies are not generally lethal but they are very annoying.

You must be prepared with protection or the little flies will drive you mad.

There are some simple things you can do to avoid the tiny itchy bites.

1. Cover your skin; Cover your arms and legs with long sleeve garments

2. Wear a hat; Always wear a hat (sandflies don't really go for your face)

3. Cover yourself in Botanica; this is the best Sandfly repellent as it has natural ingredients and does not contain the Deet chemical

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4. Put Botanica on your hat; Cover your hat in Botanica

5. Take your vitamin B; Sandflies don't like vitamin B

6. Eat Marmite or Vegemite; Marmite and Vegemite the table spreads contain vitamin B. Some of this on your morning toast might also help. You would have to eat a lot of this to make it your only form of defence

7. Avoid wearing dark colours; Sandflies go for dark colours

Botaniac has natural products and is available at health food stores and some Pharmacies (drug stores). Botanic is available in a spray on or roll on and with sunscreen. It is a white bottle with a blue lid. Botaniac smells nice.

I hope this prepares you for your sandfly defence. If you keep these little creatures away you will enjoy some of the most beautiful spots in the world.

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