Sandfly in Bali

Sandfly in Bali: You will find sandflies on nearly all wonderful beaches of  Bali

Sandflies in Bali

Bali is an idyllic paradise known for its beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and crystal-clear waters. However, paradise can sometimes come with a price, and in Bali’s case, that price is sandflies. These tiny insects can cause a lot of discomfort and ruin your beach holiday if you don’t take the necessary precautions. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at sandflies, how to identify them, and what you can do to protect yourself from their bites.

What are Sandflies?

Sandflies are small, biting insects that are found in sandy areas around the world. They are commonly found in coastal areas, including beaches, marshes, and estuaries. These tiny insects are members of the family Psychodidae and are also known as „no-see-ums“ or „punkies.“ They are usually only around 1-3 mm in length, making them difficult to spot.

Sandflies feed on the blood of animals and humans, and their bites can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. Unlike mosquitoes, sandflies are most active during the day, especially around dawn and dusk. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, so they tend to swarm around people and animals.

Identifying Sandflies

Sandflies are incredibly small, making them difficult to identify. They are usually gray or brown in color and have a humpbacked appearance. They have a pair of wings that are hairy and held roof-like over their body when at rest. You may be able to see the sandflies moving around in the sand, especially if you look closely.

Sandfly Bites

Sandfly bites can be incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. The bites can cause redness, swelling, and small bumps on the skin. The bites can also lead to an allergic reaction in some people, causing a more severe reaction. In extreme cases, sandfly bites can cause a condition known as papular urticaria, which is a chronic, itchy rash that can last for months.

Preventing Sandfly Bites

Preventing sandfly bites is the best way to avoid discomfort and the risk of allergic reactions. Here are some tips to help you avoid being bitten by sandflies on Bali’s beaches:

  1. Wear Protective Clothing

Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks can help protect your skin from sandfly bites. Light-colored clothing is also recommended, as it can help deter sandflies.

  1. Use Insect Repellent

Using insect repellent can help keep sandflies at bay. Look for products that contain DEET, picaridin, or IR3535. Apply the repellent to all exposed skin, including your face, ears, and neck.

  1. Avoid the Beach at Dawn and Dusk

Sandflies are most active at dawn and dusk, so it’s best to avoid the beach during these times. If you must be on the beach during these times, wear protective clothing and use insect repellent.

  1. Use a Mosquito Net

Using a mosquito net around your bed can help protect you from sandflies while you sleep. Make sure the netting is tightly woven to prevent the insects from getting through.

  1. Avoid Sitting Directly on the Sand

Sandflies like to hide in the sand, so it’s best to avoid sitting directly on the sand. Instead, bring a beach chair or towel to sit on.

Treating Sandfly Bites

If you do get bitten by a sandfly, there are several things you can do to relieve the discomfort. Here are some tips to help treat sandfly bites:

  1. Clean the Area

Clean the bite area with soap

and water to reduce the risk of infection.

  1. Apply Ice

Applying ice to the bite area can help reduce swelling and itching. Wrap the ice in a towel or cloth and hold it on the bite area for 10-15 minutes.

  1. Use Anti-Itch Cream

Anti-itch creams, such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion, can help relieve the itching and discomfort caused by sandfly bites. Apply the cream to the bite area as directed.

  1. Take Oral Antihistamines

Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl or Claritin, can help relieve itching and reduce swelling. Follow the directions on the package for dosage instructions.

  1. Seek Medical Attention

If you experience a severe allergic reaction to a sandfly bite, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, and hives.


Sandflies can be a nuisance for anyone enjoying Bali’s beaches, but with the right precautions, you can protect yourself from their bites. Wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent, and avoiding the beach at dawn and dusk are just a few ways to prevent sandfly bites. If you do get bitten, clean the area, apply ice, and use anti-itch cream to relieve the discomfort. And if you experience a severe allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. By taking these steps, you can enjoy your beach holiday in Bali without the discomfort and annoyance of sandfly bites.

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…

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