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Call them Granny Nippers or No-See-Um, we all know how ‘nosy’ sand flies can be. Worse than blood-sucking mosquitoes, sand flies can get on your nerves in an instant. Their bites could make your life a living hell leaving your skin red and itchy.
Whether it is a countryside travel or outdoor recreation, you would hate these pests hindering your plans. If you find mosquitoes evil enough, wait for sandflies to ruin the day.
You will find these little pests in sandy, dusty and warm climates, in places with limited wind or rain. In some regions, you would find them around the humid months of June to August. While in some areas, they could be present the whole year, depending on the warmth of such places. You could find sand flies brooding near beaches, lagoons, mangroves, and wet soils. Hence, you need to be more careful when you travel to these regions.
Sand-flies are active in stagnant weather conditions when there is no strong wind or rain. Luckily in places of heavy downpour, you wouldn’t usually find these pests because they become inactive.
What Could Sand Flies Cause?
Sand flies are quite notorious for the damage they cause to humans as well as animals. It is important to understand how these tiny creatures damage the human body so as to effectively counter the damage.
The saliva of a female sandfly contains anticoagulants and allergens. As soon as it bites a human, its saliva is injected in the human body. The anti-coagulants reduce the coagulation properties in blood while the allergens cause skin inflammation turning it red and itchy.
The bite of sand flies could affect different people differently. They can cause a number of diseases ranging from minor to chronic. Diseases like Oroya fever, Sand-fly Fever Virus, Punta Toro Virus and Leishmania (Kala Azar) are some of the damages that these flies can cause in humans.
How to Get Rid of Sand Flies?
Sandflies may look like regular mosquitoes, but they cause far greater damage. The diseases they cause could be even fatal to human beings. Hence, the advice is to find a solution for these blood-sucking pests as soon as possible. Here are some of the ways which could help you to keep sandflies at bay,
Sandflies cannot stand high temperatures. Steam cleaning uses heat to kill these insects and make your home pest-free.
Vacuuming is one of the easiest solutions to reduce sandflies inside your house. All you have to do is, grab your vacuum cleaner and stick it near all the cracks, gaps and also under the carpets. The vacuum would help you suck out the blood-suckers in no time!
Wearing Light Coloured Clothes
Sand flies have compound eyes and they attract darkness. If you wear dark colored clothes when you step out, sand flies will get attracted to you. Wear light colored clothes to sandfly affected areas and you will be a walking repellent.
If sand flies trouble you inside your own house, you need to find where they might be dwelling. Cracks and gaps in your house could be home to such pests. Find cracks and start filling them. Close the gaps after vacuuming the breeding places of sand flies.
Insect Repellents & Insecticides
If you still find flies around, use insect repellents as a permanent solution. You can find repellents available in the local shopping stores.
In case you want to use insecticides, find the ones with d-limonene and linalool in their contents.
Spray the repellent or the insecticides inside or outside your house and you will get rid of sand flies.
This is a home remedy which has become quite famous over the years.
A life hack that works wonders, sprinkle salt in spaces you want to vacuum. Leave the salt there for a day and then vacuum to see the magic.
Essential Oils To Repel Sand Flies
Essential oils have always been a remedy for various problems. Well, they can be your life saviors in this case too. You can use the following essential oils to be free from the sand fly problem,
A research backed tip is to spray clove oil mixed with coconut oil on your clothes to repel insects. You can also apply the mixture and repel insects for upto 90 minutes.
Lavender essential oil is one of the best remedies for sand gnats. You could use it from an atomizer or spray it to repel the sand flies.
The leaves and stems of lemongrass infusion makes this essential oil. It has been a plant based repellent since a while. It attracts the flies by masking other scents. This defeats them from locating their targets.
The active content in this essential oil is geraniol. It is a popular repellent against pests like bugs, flies, mosquitoes, etc. You could use some drops of this oil with another carrier oil and apply it topically for the best results.
Sand Fly Repellent For Dogs – What You Should Know?
As mentioned earlier, these pesky flies can be bothersome not only to humans but also to animals. There is nothing more saddening than the sound of your dog’s helpless cries while they nip the air to fight the nosy flies.
Sand fly repellents for dogs are available in a wide range of variety on various online websites. But it is always better to consult a vet before you use any repellent on your dog. You never know what ingredient in the repellent could cause them an allergy or an infection.
Once you know how and where these notorious creatures breed, it becomes easier for you to take action.
The best way to prevent these flies would be to avoid going to places that have such pests in plenty at all. And if you have to, then you can always use these tips to save your day!