Sandflies New Zealand

Sandflies in New Zealand

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

Sandflies in New Zealand

New Zealand’s most popular destinations are plagued by  sandflies. The sandfly species present in New Zealand are a public health nuisance, however, they are not a public health risk, as the species that bite do not carry any infectious or transmittable diseases.

In New Zealand you will find 19 sandfly species found and only 3 of these bite humans: 3 species are very similar in size, approximately 2–3mm in lengthand appear identical to the naked eye.

  • North Island and coastal areas of the South Island: the New Zealand blackfly – Austrosimulium australense
  • South Island: the West Coast blackfly – A. ungulatum
  • Both Islands: A. tillyardianum

Sandflies breed in running water and are particularly prolific in areas near water and humid bush, for example at all the amazing beaches, lakes and rivers.

They are daybiters, striking primarily at dawn and dusk. Sandflies thrive on warm and cloudy days in the summer. Good News: In winter sandflies are a lot less active.

Sandfly bites Symptoms in New Zealand:

New Zealand Sandflies: 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. While overseas species are recorded to carry and transfer diseases, New Zealand species do not.



🚨 What are the first steps to take after I got a new sandfly bite in New Zealand? (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 New Zealand?

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 New Zealand?

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 New Zealand?

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
  • JamesMem
    Posted at 00:40h, 27 April Antworten

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