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How to Get Rid of Biting Flies at the Beach

You decide to hit the beach after long, stressful days of work and have a good time with your family or friends. The beach is supposed to be a refuge from stress and a place for you to enjoy, be close to nature, engage in delights of surfing, snorkeling and sun-bathing and making sand castles with the young ones. The last thing you want is to be bitten, infected and for your holiday coming to a bitter end.

This is where biting flies come in…you never know when they might land on you while you are having a great time at the beach, and deliver an itchy, painful bite.

How do you identify biting flies?

They are also called sand fleas, gnats or flies that can bite your flesh and drink blood. Reminds of mosquitoes, right? But these flies are worse parasites than mosquitoes because once they bite you, it can leave a huge, painful and itchy scar. Their scars can last days, depending on their intensity, and usually look like big bumps.

You want to be wary of these at the beach because their bite and saliva are full of allergens that can cause bumps on skin, sand fever virus or Carrison’s disease. You would find them in brown colors with green, compound eyes and hairy head, thorax and legs. They come out in swarms when the environment is humid and are drawn to movement. They become inactive in cold weather because the cold kills them and dehydrates the eggs. They prefer to settle in moist environment, such as barks, cracks and walls.

Getting rid of sand flies

Wear light colors

Sand flies are drawn to dark colors so make sure that you wear and pack light-colored clothing for the beach. Dark colors would invite a swarm of flies to attack you. Also, choose clothes that keep your arms and legs covered as well.

Apply repelling lotion

Consult your physician for appropriate lotions that could keep the flies away. Check ingredients to make sure that you are not allergic to them. Usually, these lotions would have to be reapplied after around 5 hours.

Keep insecticides

Usually it is hard to control flies in open spaces but do consider keeping insecticide sprays if you plan to spend a few days at the beach. Whenever you see a swarm near your beach hut, at least you would be able to prevent an attack by spraying on them, on the walls of your cabin and indoors to keep them out.

If you own the area, you can use a fogger and a pyrethrin fogging material to control the issue.  We recommend any hand held foggers and Stryker 5-25.  Apply a residual to the foliage and lawn area, we recommend using Reclaim IT.

Use essential oils

Organic oils, for instance, tea tree oil, coconut oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender oil sprays have disinfecting properties. They can function as repellents as well as disinfectants. You could spray these on your skin, clothes and in rooms to keep the flies at bay. The pleasant odors are known to repel flies. Do a skin patch test first to check that they don’t cause allergies as some products may not be suitable for everyone.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice has been effective in preventing some people from being bitten. Consult your doctor and have a skin examination conducted to determine whether you are prone to developing allergies. Spray a little amount of lemon juice in the surrounding areas of your cabin and belongings to repel the flies.

Diatomaceous Earth

You can get these from your local store and sprinkle some of it outside the walls of your cabin or around the area on the beach, in circle, where you would be mostly spending your time. This may be ineffective if you are close to the sea water as it could get washed off and would have to be reapplied.

Keep disinfectants

Keep medicines and herbs just in case anyone happens to get bitten by a sand gnat. If you plan to stay longer, curative creams could help contain the clot, prevent the infestation from getting worse and reduce pain, swelling, itching.

Suck them up

Usually people keep small, customized vacuum cleaners for their cars and short holidays. You might want to consider keeping one in case you plan to spend a few days at the beach. This way, when you find flies in your house, swat them and vacuum them up. Keep the food covered so that flies don’t land on them. Either use insecticides on them or swat them if they get into the house. Then use repellent or insecticide sprays in rooms to keep the other flies from coming in. Keep the young ones away from flies as they may have low tolerance or immunity to bear the bite or infestation.  


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