sand flies

sand flies

got these little buggers bites all over my legs both legs and arms covered in sand fly bites

Salmo's picture

Posts: 913

Date Joined: 15/08/05

make a mix

Sun, 2008-04-27 23:01

50/50 Dettol and surgical spirits....(not metho) ....dab the mix on the bites every few hours....


and dont scratch.......they get infected easy....and you 'can' get sick



Bigshaun's picture

Posts: 76

Date Joined: 17/01/08


Sun, 2008-04-27 23:04

yer i got this last year though
thanks though for next time
i put baby oil on my skin once and when i cam back from fishing they were all over my arms because they landed and couldent bite or fly away.
but i got a few infected.
and we used this special sand fly cream that stoped the itch

but thanks for the advise

Salmo's picture

Posts: 913

Date Joined: 15/08/05

Vitamin D

Sun, 2008-04-27 23:14

You look like you are trip ....get a heap of Vit D tablets and eat heaps for a week or two before you go away....not sure why it works but a few people living close to the exmouth marina swear by them....


sandfires never use to be a bad problem in exy......few now and with a southerly blowingYell

Bigshaun's picture

Posts: 76

Date Joined: 17/01/08

up north

Sun, 2008-04-27 23:15

the further north you go the more they are
around the mangroves and on the beaches
these were exmouth
and i got some portheadland
yer when you know there around put some baby oil on and they wont bite and you can kill the buggers


Salmo's picture

Posts: 913

Date Joined: 15/08/05


Sun, 2008-04-27 23:18

get heaps of mossy spray for your trip to Onslow....bad at Beadon creek where you launch.....

See Vit D above

wash regularly if you get bit.....they get infected easy

mangrove midgies are a menace

Salmo's picture

Posts: 913

Date Joined: 15/08/05

Baby oil and dettol

Sun, 2008-04-27 23:25

seen a few crew use a dettol/baby oil brew as a repellent.....


prefer the DEET and a smootheriing of Bushmans......



Neander's picture

Posts: 520

Date Joined: 23/10/07

sand flies dont bite as such

Mon, 2008-04-28 07:15

sand flies dont bite as such , it is a reaction to there piss.

wear long sleeves and pants.

we used to used the tricombo or aroguard, Rid ( for the antiseptic) and bushman.

another thing you can use is almond kurnal oil.
Rub this on your skin and it produces and it leaves an oil film the sandfly piss cant get to your skin.

I made the mistake of getting very drunk one night in broome and crashed out in the vacant block next to the nightclub. Had to take a week of work my arms ( about 50-60 bites on eaqch arm) couldnt handle the swelling when I went out of th eair con.

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15104

Date Joined: 29/11/05


Mon, 2008-04-28 17:51

You want to see Exxy at the moment for Sandflies, been bad since the rains.  Come back to the marina in the afternoons without repellent and your likely to get eaten alive.  Just ask Simo's missus!!!!


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

big john's picture

Posts: 8203

Date Joined: 20/07/06


Tue, 2008-04-29 21:37

Plenty around the Beadon ramp at the moment, especially when there's no breeze. Long sleeves and bushman spray are the go.


I head a little FURTHER NORTH each year,
Leave the cities behind, out of sight of mind,


WA based manufacturer and supplier of premium leadhead jigs, bucktail jigs, 'bulletproof' soft plastic jig heads and XOS bullet jig heads.

Jigs available NOR at Shorecatch, Bluewater Joondalup/Myaree/Morley or online in my web store!

Stomper's picture

Posts: 71

Date Joined: 11/02/07

Tiger Balm

Tue, 2008-04-29 23:16

They dont like that stuff either. Works quite well on the bites as well. Ouch that looks itchy Frown

Ron Ashcroft's picture

Posts: 95

Date Joined: 22/11/07

Sand flies

Fri, 2008-11-21 13:13

I normally use Bushmans(lots of it)But a mate recently tried Listerine and he reckoned it worked a treat.

Prior planning and preperation prevents piss poor performance

roberta's picture

Posts: 2773

Date Joined: 08/07/08


Sat, 2008-11-22 06:43

 get them in Leeman, we stay away from seaweed on the beach they love seaweed, they don't worry me but Bob for some reason they love peeing on him.  If he gets bitten calimin lotion works, stops the itch.





Ginger Tablets Rock


Posts: 3925

Date Joined: 01/02/10

Drink a couple of shots of OP

Mon, 2011-02-14 20:24

Drink a couple of shots of OP rum. They seem to hate the smell of alcohol leaking out of your pores.... or you might just not be feeling them.


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 11767

Date Joined: 30/11/09

I've been told a mixture of

Mon, 2011-02-14 21:55

I've been told a mixture of baking soda and water. Apparently looks daft but takes the itch right out. Yet to try it.


Love the West!

POC's picture

Posts: 231

Date Joined: 05/01/09

Living with midgies

Thu, 2011-02-17 10:25



“Living With Midges” 





·         Biting Midges are not sandflies.

·         They are present on all continents except Antarctica.

·         The adults are about 1-2 mm long, much smaller than the related mosquito.

·         Generation time, i.e. life cycle from egg to adult is probably not less than eight weeks.

·         Midges do not breed in grass, trees or in soil or sands in the garden.

·         They are not known to be vectors of any human disease in Australia.

·         In overcast humid weather they are known to bite all day and night.




Only the female bites.  She needs a blood meal to fertilise her eggs.  They are known as pool feeders because they use their proboscis like a saw to create a tiny hole into the skin into which a pool of blood can flow.  Saliva is injected into the pool to help the flow of blood.  It is this saliva that causes the allergic reaction and itching.



 ·         The species, from less than 100 metres for some through a range of distances up to 15 km.

·         The size and productivity of the breeding areas.

·         Moisture and shelter beyond the breeding area.

·         Land form and prevailing winds.



 Personal reaction to bites varies from a slight redness which disappears in half an hour or less to severe inflammation.  If you react rapidly and the swellings are small you are reasonably immune, so treatment may not be needed.  Swelling and itch will soon go away.

 For these less severe cases, the following tips may help reduce the effects of bites:

  hot bath may provide temporary relief.

Anti-itching creams or lotions from the chemists are quite effective.  Do not apply them when the skin is broken.

Some insect repellents also give relief to the bit, providing the individual’s skin is not sensitive to the repellent.

However, if you react hours or days later to a bite whether you felt it or not, your immunity is low and you are likely to be more severely affected.  If you reaction is very severe, see your doctor. It has been observed that vitamin B1 (Thiamine Hydrochloride) taken over a period of more than 30 days before exposure to midges can reduce the severity of some peoples reaction to bites.  However, this is not true of everyone and you should consult your doctor before taking any vitamins.

You should remember that Biting Midge numbers will increase around the time of the full and new moons.  Therefore, it is advisable not to plan outdoor functions that coincide with these major midge emergence times.



You can take a big step towards living with midges if you avail yourself of some personal protection.

Midges prefer humid overcast conditions with minimal air movement.

Anything you can do to reduce humidity, increase light and air movement will make your house and garden less attractive to midges.  Closely mown lawns, sparse vegetation around your house and minimal surface water in the garden will decrease humidity, increase air movement so as to  minimise the resting places for Midges.  Also, avoid gardening or watering in the afternoon and early morning.Biting Midges can penetrate ordinary flyscreens.

During peak infestations, midges have been known to enter houses looking for blood meals.  Increase in air movement in the house by using electric fans can effectively crate an area unsuitable for Biting Midges as their activity reduces in wind speeds over 6-8 km/hr.  Spraying residual (surface) insecticide on your flyscreens will help midges from entering your home.   Burning mosquito coils inside can also reduce numbers.

Most insect repellents are effective against midges and should be used whenever you are outside the house.  For those who find repellents irritating an equal part mixture of baby oil, Dettol and eucalyptus oil is useful.

Long sleeves and long trousers made of closely woven materials give good protection. When gardening, a hat and gloves are also a big help.


They key to controlling adult Biting Midge in your immediate area is understanding some of the Midges’ biting habits.  Being such small insects, they are prone desiccation in the heat of the day, therefore they must find a cool, shady area to avoid the sun.  They do this by harbouring on the underside of leaves of the shrubs and plants in your garden.  These areas can be treated by applying a fine spray or mist of insecticide to kill midges which come in contact with the insecticide.  Re-apply the insecticide after heavy rain or when midge activity increases.



Various formulations of the natural insecticide, pyrethrum, are available from most plant nurseries and hardware stores.  Pyrethrum has little residual capacity, so applications may be needed on a regular (weekly) basis while midges are causing a problem, particularly over the summer period.

Other chemicals suitable include some of the more common garden sprays such as Diazinon, Fenthion and, for a longer lasting effect, Permethrin.

A synthetic pyrethroid with a long term residual capacity is currently being trialled for biting midge control. Bifenthrin marketed as ‘Bistar’ has provided up to eight weeks control when sprayed onto areas around the house where biting midge rest (eg shady shrubs and garden beds, fences, external house walls etc). It is recommended that residents considering this option engage an experienced pest controller to apply it as midge control is a specialised field.


Some useful organic insecticide formulations are:

Garlic Spray

·         85 grams unpeeled garlic

·         2 tablespoons mineral oil

·         600ml water and 7 grams of soap dissolved in solution

·         mix solution and place in trigger sprayer

Derris Spray

·         120 grams soap in 4.5 litres of water solution

·         mix in 60 grams of derris powder (from garden suppliers)

·         Mix additional 4.5 litres of water

·         Dilute entire mixture in 12 litres of water and place in trigger sprayer




Due to increased awareness of environmental problems in the community, many residents are now reluctant to use chemicals in their gardens.  Some organic insecticides can be made up and applied by the applicant.  These will be capable of killing the adult midges, however, there is no residual after effect and repeated applications may be necessary.  These insecticide should not be poisonous to mammals.



Electronic Bug Zappers etc are devices which attract insects with an Ultra Violet light, then kill them with an electric charge.  While such devices are known to be effective against nocturnal insects such as mosquitoes, they have only limited use in controlling Biting Midge which are mainly active in daylight hours.  At such times, the attractant properties of the UV light in the device are in competition with naturally occurring UV rays in sunlight.



While engaged in outdoor activities such as gardening or barbecues during the midge peak feeding periods, aromatic oils with repellent properties can be burned in Polynesian style bamboo lamp burners placed upwind of the activity.  Paraffin oil or perfumed lamp oil can be mixed with either Citronella or Lavender Oil and placed in the lamp burner.  Repellent candles containing Citronella or Lavender Oil can be used in similar manner.



Of the 11 species of Biting Midges identified as existing within the City there are four major species which are pests to residents and visitors alike.  Each of these species has a different breeding habitat.


Culicoides subimmaculatus:  breeds in open mangrove areas.  It has been noted that emergence of females began two days before half moon, 50% had emerged by half moon plus 2 days, and emergence was completed by half moon plus 4 days.  Males emerged in a similar pattern 1.5 to 2 days ahead of the females.  The flight range of Cuicoides subimmaculatus is approximately 400 metres.  Because of its limited flight range and its mangrove swamp habitat this species is unlikely to cause widespread problems, but is more likely to attack fishermen and others who venture into the mangroves as well as residents of estuarine areas e.g. Mooloolah River systems and Bells Creek.


Culicoides molestus:  was formerly a species of estuarine areas where it was not classified as a major pest species.  With the advent of canal developments it soon because apparent that man had created an ideal habitat for the propagation of this species.  The soft flocculated sand is an ideal place for the female to lay its eggs, and the proximity of the human and canine populations means that there is a ready supply of blood meals available.  Emergence of females begins 3 days before full or new moon, 50% will have emerged the next day and emergence is completed on the day of the full or new moon.  Although it is reported that the flight range is only 400 to 500 metres it has been found much further from any possible breeding place.  It has become a major pest of residents in canal estates.


Culicoides marmoratus:  The larvae of this species breed in algae covered mud in salt marshes or below mangroves where the highest spring tide obtrude into the salt marsh.  The eggs are not resistant to desiccation so the breeding area must remain moist.  The peak emergence occurs up to 10 days before spring tide peaks.  It is also triggered off by periods of intermittent rain.  The pest range of this species is believed to be greater than 15 kilometres.


Lasiohelia townsvillensis:  is quoted as a species of the rainforest, but it appears in urban situations where rainforest conditions are mimicked by well watered gardens with mulch, compost heaps etc.  It usually appears after heavy rains, and early winter rain may lead to an outburst in spring. 

This species is known to bite all day.



Biting Midges eggs are roughly banana-shaped, with rounded ends and a surface variously adorned with minute projections.  They are rarely encountered in nature and are laid in batches of up to fifty in or near the larval habitat.

A tiny worm like larva hatches and is the main feeding stage of the life cycle.  It grows from first to fourth instar, molting each time, over a period of days, weeks or months according to species and environmental factors.

The pupal stage looks rather like a tiny legless bluntnosed lobster which breathes air through a pair of small respiratory trumpets at the head end.  It does not feed during this stage.

The adults emerge from the pupal pelt after some days or weeks. If this is cyclical (eg related to tides) it will take place over several days with the males about a day ahead of the females.



uncle's picture

Posts: 7933

Date Joined: 10/02/07


Thu, 2011-02-17 16:23

that just about covers it,personally I hate the buggers


all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

Posts: 458

Date Joined: 20/01/11

2 yrs old

Thu, 2011-02-17 16:49

Wonder why this photo is showing as most recent for me