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sand flies

Durham, United...
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29 posts
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sand flies

does anybody know of a good repellent for sandflies or anything that is a good relief of them

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
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17,469 posts
280 reviews
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1. Re: sand flies

SOS (skin so soft) sometimes. Repellent with 25% or more DEET also works.


Carlisle, United...
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762 posts
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2. Re: sand flies

seen em but funny really never been bitten by them normally just get one mozzie bite seen some people bitten all over ankles sorry not sure of repelent but i normally get a repellant from tesco works for me there is a dab on you can get and you can buy it there its really good ive tried it cant remember name tho try ask bobk he lives in dominican republic he may know the name when and where are you staying

Elmsdale, Nova...
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489 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: sand flies

Buy a bottle of Vitamin B1. Last year before I went to Jamaica I read this fact & thought I'd give it a try. I didn't receive one mosquito or sand fly bite. Maybe it was just luck! I'M going to DR in 8 sleeps & I'm taking Vit B1 again so I'll see how it works out this time..certainly can do you no harm..I have always taken an insect repellant with me when travelling to the sunny south but never have used it during any of my stays. Enjoy your trip !!

Durham, United...
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29 posts
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4. Re: sand flies

im not going till august and now going to playa dorada i have been there a few times before and i never got biten at all but the last time i had all over one leg and they said it was sand flies i put repellent on but must have been the wrong one

Saskatoon, Canada
Destination Expert
for La Romana, Bayahibe
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8,050 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: sand flies

I've posted this a couple of times lately (a hot topic in the winter of 2009!). Many of us are saying that the bites are worse than they used to be and I guess the repeated introduction of the issue on the forums echoes that.

After my trip in February which resulted in a couple of dozen more welts for me, I've assembled the following.

I never used to suffer from these bites/welts but it's been non-stop since January 2007. That was probably the worst time (I stopped counting when I reached 67 welts on my left leg) but I get some on every trip. My two weeks in February resulted in about 25 to 35 bites in total.

I've done some diligent research and, on one hand, I feel that I'm no further ahead; on the other, I think I've determined that it might be a "chigger". It's actually the chigger larvae that is the problem but that's just details. They lay in wait for passing carbon dioxide so it appears that perfumes and maybe even DEET may not make a difference. As I understand it, those of us who welt are having an allergic reaction to the bites vs. those who don't suffer at all. We are all being bitten, but some of us feel the affects worse than others.

They are extremely tiny and not visible to the naked eye. I was calling my attacker a generic "noseeum" which apparently still applies. They are not sucking your blood but enjoying your skin. They attach themselves to us and set to the buffet in the same way we are on our AI vacation. Though they start the feast right away, once you remove yourself from the grassy or beachy area--as well as periodically while you're there--you can take the preventive measure of scrubbing your skin to detach them so they don't continue to consume you unfettered. I'm planning on keeping a wet facecloth in a ziplock bag on my person in the future (not too wet or it will become slippery). If we feel that they are worse in the morning and at night, this practice won't affect any sunscreen we may have on but it will wipe off repellents. That said, I haven't really found that the layers of DEET I apply make a big difference anyway. The high concentration DEET is dangerous to us for extended periods of time so after an evening out with the repellent on you, you should wash it off before bed anyway. That's another opportunity to scrape the chiggers from your skin which seems to be the important part. As with sandfleas, one of the best repellents may be to put a barrier between you and the biter. This works with clothing but you can also apply a layer of Vaseline or mineral oil to your skin. They may stick to you but may not be able to penetrate. You can also start taking B1 supplements. They are more for mosquitoes but I like to know that I’m covering ALL my bases! Clove oil and cinnamon oil are natural insect repellents and can be found in a fantastic lotion by Lush Handmade Cosmetics http://tinyurl.com/c98d8o and a solid moisturizer http://tinyurl.com/c6blqu You can also add a few drops of the those and tea tree oil to your moisturizer or sunscreen for an extra bit of protection. One drop per ankle won't have the desired affect. Tea tree oil is used for killing lice so check out "that" department of your pharmacy. You may even find tea tree shampoo which you can wash with before you head out, and after you've been out.

As we victims can attest, the bite is entirely painfree, it's the reaction that appears many hours later that is the problem. Since it hits when back in the room, we often think it's brought upon us by mosquitoes or bugs there, but it may not be the case. I bring with me many forms of anti-itch, some of which work better than others at the time. I have had a couple of bites get infected so having a topical anti-biotic on hand won’t hurt. I bring an antihistamine to mitigate the allergic hives and take it all day from the beginning of my trip in anticipation of the bites I’ll surely end up with. I wonder why I’m so tired at times, but I’m not really prepared to stop taking them! I have now bought a non-drowsy formula so I hope the effectiveness will be the same. On one occasion I arrived home after a hateful flight where I had the bites encased in jeans causing both heat and pressure and went directly to my doctor. She gave me a steroid pill and I found almost instant relief. Since you have to go easy on them, she only gave me a prescription for 3 days but I was able to stop taking them after a day and a half. When I visited the resort doctor, I was given a topical corticosteroid which does a pretty great job at healing the wound though it doesn’t stop itch or infection but is another highly recommended item for your personal first aid kit. I really find the heat is uncomfortable so I tend to stay out of the sun more after I’ve had the bites. At night, the itching and skin crawling can become unbearable being under the covers so I like to blast the air conditioning and sleep with a cover loosely over me, my feet and legs often exposed. When you feel the burning, a cold compress helps too. To assist with that feeling, there are some body lotions with aloe and menthol or even lotions for after a sunburn which have a cooling affect which might help. Lush Handmade Cosmetics has a product called Dreamwash which is full of soothing ingredients with calamine first on the list of ingredients. http://tinyurl.com/c9ze8d There are more than 100 stores in North America as well as shops in countries around the world, or you can make use of their mail order so we can all have access!

It may not be a chigger but a form of sandflea, but since I’ve been attacked after a period when I wasn’t on the beach I’m open to all suggestions. For more on the chigger, see http://tinyurl.com/c4sdvz


Winnipeg, Canada
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4,004 posts
17 reviews
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6. Re: sand flies

The response above has lots of good information.

Bugs love me and on our recent trip to Bahia Principe San Juan they really loved me. Having said that, it our group of 16 that we travelled with only 3 of us were bothered by the bugs - the other 13 had not bites.

I took Vitamin B1 before we left, used repellent, etc but nothing really worked, but again I am a magnet for these bugs.

I react to the bites as well. Along with Anti-itch cream I took a good anti-histamine (Reactin or Benadryl). Between the two, I was able to keep the itch under control. Other than the bites not being overlly attractive, they weren't an issue to me. I also pretty much avoided the beach on our vacation as anytime I went on it, I was bitten.

Puerto Plata has had a lot of rain the past few months - which isn't typical. Sand Fleas (if that's what they are) are more active when the sand is damp and perhaps that is whats causing the bugs to be worse this year. I also saw the "no-seeums" at our resort, no mosquitos though (and I come from an area in Canada with lot's of mosquitos)

I haven't read reviews from the Playa Dorada complex so I don't know how those resorts are fairing with the bugs. Maybe they are less of an issue in that area.

Fredericton, Canada
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9,617 posts
14 reviews
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7. Re: sand flies

No sand flea bites at Riu Bachata or for our friends who stayed at BPSJ this past week.

Took lots of bug repellent with deet, with us and didn't use any. There were no mosquitos. None.

Saw a couple of honey bees.

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2,285 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: sand flies

We came back last week after a week at blue bay.... last time we went in january was to occidental allegro... got bit to hell..SO..this time took every precaution going....

Vit b1 tablets FOR 2 WEEKS BEFORE WE WENT AND WHILST WE WERE THERE / Garlic tablets for 2 wks before we went and whilst we were there./ dont bite me Vit B1 36 hour patches / repellent with 50 % deet / skin so soft..... and NOTHING STOPPED them.... my husband was covered with about 200+ bites and I had about 40...

There worse after the rain and actually feed on the seaweed... best thing is to cover up when walking on the sand if raining or has been raining.... you can also carry them back to your room and they have another feast on you whilst your asleep...


Dont put your beach towels / beach bags etc on your bed... shower 1st at pool then go to room and use a tea tree oil shower gel and a shower puff or loofah.

WHEN YOU GO OUT use....EUCALYPTUS RUB ON YOUR LEGS AT LEAST UP TO YOUR KNEES... OR ADD 25 ML BOTTLE TO A BOTTLE OF SUNTAN LOTION OR HAND LOTION..... If you get bitten as a local to get you an ALOE VERA... stem.. break it in half and wipe the liquid on you.... helps to stop the itch and the sand fleas dont like it... Dont use scented shower gels or body sprays before you go out on beach.


Shower at the pool showers before you go to your room and DONT use your beach towel to dry yourself just drip.... till you get back to the room then have shower with TEA TREE shower gel.

Any ideas are welcome on this subject... so many people thought the allegro had bed bugs till we told them...NO they are sand flea bites....and I'm a doctor...so I do know.


Bridgend S.Wales
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188 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: sand flies

I swear that when I land the Mozzie telegraph sends a message out to say that I am on the island coz I get bitten to death, my hubby doesnt get bitten it might be coz he is a very hairy guy so they cant get thru to his skin LOL. Seriously though i always wear long skirts at night as this does help me and I burn citronella candles in the room coz the mozzies dont like this smell.

Cambridge, Ontario
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10. Re: sand flies

We were in both Puerto Plata and Punta Cana during Jan. & Feb. - Used "Skin so Soft" and "Off" - worked well. Just stay off the beach at night.