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Tsetse fly attraction

New York City
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Tsetse fly attraction

My husband and I are going to Tanzania (northern part) in September. I've read that the tsetse fly is attracted to the colors black and dark blue, so I am not bringing any clothing of those colors. However, if I bring a waist pouch and/or a daypack in dark blue and keep it in the vehicle, will the flies be swarming around those items...or is it only clothing on a human that is the attraction? Any other information on how bothersome these pests are is appreciated. Thanks.

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

I don;t think they are as predicable as all that.

I wouldn't worry about it. Dress as you suggest, and if, for some reason, there are flies around, your guide will move to a better place.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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2. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

With tsetse the best advice is to wear light colors and ask your guide to avoid the areas where there are many of them.

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

The flies may settle on the daypack but once they find they can't eat it they will move off. Nothing to worry about. They don't swarm around but hunt singly. Lots of tips on how to deal with them on here. Mainly don't fuss and wave your arms around like a windmill. If they come in the car just lift them out again and check the rear of your seat regularly for "hitchhikers!"

New York City
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4. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

That's really good advice. Thanks. I've read that the bites can swell and stay with a person for a really long time, so I'm really very nervous about getting bitten, but I'm going to try and relax and forget about them. Thanks again.

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

One tip I always give is "do not scratch them" no matter how they itch. They will go down more or less overnight if left alone. Scratching will irritate and then they can stay a long time.

Some folks advocate smearing Colgate Toothpaste on them. I have not tried it cos I don't really suffer from them all that much now. I think I am immune!

Mumbai (Bombay...
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6. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

Do black or grey also attract tse tse flies ? or is it just the blues ?

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

Anything the same colour as a Buffalo. They hunt on the UV spectrum so black will certainly do it, to a lesser extent grey. Best to stick to conventional "safari" colours or pale cream/yellows for the girls..

But don't spoil your holiday worrying about them. Your driver will avoid the area as much as he can.

Saint Paul...
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for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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8. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

Most of the time, perhaps all of the time, you will be in areas where you are not bothered at all by the tsetse. Your guide will know how to avoid them more than 90% of the time, but you may need to close your windows for a period of time if you notice that they are getting bad. It may get hot with the windows closed, but it's a temporary thing.

I've never once thought about what colors I'm wearing while on safari so as to avoid the tsetse (although I may have thought about how to avoid heating up in the sun by wearing light colors) so I can't tell you whether I've been in the bush with dark clothing on. I"ve probably done that without realizing it. People like to make a big deal out of clothing color, but I honestly don't believe it matters all that much.

Now, color of vehicle, I theorize, may matter. That's why you won't find a dark blue or black safari vehicle. I do believe a big dark car is more likely to confuse the tsetse.

Isle of Man, United...
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9. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

Thanks for the smile Brian.

I now have a mental image, a la Disney, of hordes of Tsetse bending their daggers on the tin roof of the dark blue car. (Then comng in the window, mad as hell, and taking it out on the pax.)

Edited: 15 May 2011, 14:41
Toronto
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10. Re: Tsetse fly attraction

We had lots of tsetse flies in Tarangire Park and in the southern Serengeti in Feb. near the woodlands. Colgate toothpaste does take the itch away and I also swam in the pools because the chlorine dries up the bites. Off spray with high deet content did seem to keep them away. For most of the trip we didn't have those flies, but they were pesky in those two places.