Sandflies in Australia (Midges and Sandfly)

Sandflies in Australia: You will find sandflies on nearly all wonderful beaches of Australia.

Sandflies in Australia

No one likes a fly in their ear—much less the literal kind that comes with a nasty bite! Sandflies are tiny insects, only a couple of millimeters in length. They live in various habitats.  But the one’s we’re concerned with are those that enjoy life on quiet beaches in Australia. Enter a class of minuscule flies under the family Ceratopogonidae, better known in America as “no-see-ums” and in Australia as biting midgesThe biting midge grows approximately between 0.5 millimetres and 4 millimetres long, or about size of a pinhead. Small though a biting midge may be, make no mistake; when in a swarm with its peers, the it is a formidable nuisance for the average Australian. These very small blood-sucking flies are commonly referred to as sand-flies along the Australian coastline but in north-western New South Wales and western Queensland the „sand-fly“ is a different type of fly altogether. „Biting midge“ is the acceptable name for Ceratopogonidae in most parts of the world.

Sandfly: The bloodsucking nightmare in Australia

Biting midges thrive in coastal habitats such as in the lagoons, estuaries, and mangrove swamps of Australia. They are particularly fond of making their homes in damp soil, damp beds of decaying leaf material, muddy and vegetated substrates, or tidal flats.  The moisture afforded by these environments makes a perfect hatching ground for their eggs. Temperature is an equally important condition to the biting midge; they are most active in humid weather that’s between 27 °C and 32 °C, and they avoid the windy weather.

Sandfly bites Symptoms in Australia:

Not everyone is affected the same way. You can go to the beach and when they return at home you find that one of them is covered in itchy, red spots.  In the worst case, symptoms include skin irritation, persistent itching, red bumps and swelling. If you see people with legs or back that looks like they have measles then it’ll be spots from sandfly bites


🚨 What are the first steps to take after I got a new sandfly bite in Australia? (FAQ)

The first thing you should do after a new sandfly bite is apply heat to the sandfly bite. This will destroy the proteins of the histamine in the salvia of the sandflies, which initially causes the itching. Our top tip to do so is the “bite away“ bite pen, which heats up to 51°C, and is very safe to use. You can also use a towel and very hot water

But take care not to hurt yourself!!!

Can I do anything to prevent sandflies from biting in Australia?

No, there is nothing you can do or apply on your skin that will 100% prevent sandflys to bite you. You can apply coconut oil on your skin to make it harder for the sandfly to land on you. Sandflies have also difficulties to bite through the lubricating oil film of the coconut oil.

Use Deet!

Is there anything that will completely stop the itching of sandfly bites in Australia?

There are several really good sprays and lotions to put on the bite afterwards
As the itching is caused by the histamine in the salvia of the sandfly you can get anti-histamine-tablets in the pharmacy, which will help you a lot (also they will make you a but tired)

How long do they last in Australia?

Every sandfly bite heals differently depending on your sensitivity and on the spot you have been hit. The less you touch (or scratch) the sandfly bite, the quicker it will be healed off. In general it can be said that it take around 3 days until 1,5 weeks. But check out our amazing tips, which will help you getting over the sandfly bite

Are sandfly bites dangerous?

In most of the cases sandfly bites are a real pain in the neck but in some cases there might be possibilities to carry diseases. Plz take a look to WHO

We have put together hygiene tips to be prepared for bites (and other situations) even on the beach here…


1 Comment
  • news
    Posted at 10:01h, 07 April Antworten

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!

    It is the little changes that make the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

Post A Comment