Sandflies or midges
as they are also known, mainly bite at dawn and dusk. They
attack exposed skin and can cause serious discomfort like
red lumps and itching.
are often located in wet and dark areas. Biting
activity will peak around dusk.
– there are biting and non-biting flies. The common
house fly and blow fly are often associated as a
non-biting fly and have
the potential to spoil food stuffs. The bush fly is often
located around manure in pastures and makes a nuisance of
itself by trying to feed in the corner of your eyes, mouth
and on flesh sores. The biting
flies such as March flies and horse (or stable)
flies are prevalent in the warmer months. Biting flies can
cause itching, pain and some allergic responses.
- Cover as much of your body with clothing to avoid midges,
mosquitoes or biting flies having contact with your skin.
If that is not practical say due to heat then the next best
thing is to use a personal insect repellent.
There is now a range of lightweight, quick drying fabrics
for use in summer. Gondwana has a summer collection of
shirts they claim are a “smart fabric” that wicks moisture
away from your skin, is lightweight, quick drying and UV
resistant. Outdoor clothing is also available from Mountain
Design and Paddy Pallin.
The Sun Protection Australia Shop also stocks long sleeve
GoSo lightweight, UV sun protection clothing for men and
women. The men's long sleeve polo shirt has fine mesh under
arm gussets and adjustable sleeve tabs that allow the option
of elbow or sleeve length.
– a good broad rimmed hat will not only provide protection
from the sun but with a fly net that fits over the hat it
will provide protection for the face and neck against flies.
Personal Insect Repellents
– these are a topical application to the skin.
Why Should I Use an Insect Repellent?
Insect repellents provide personal comfort from bites. When
properly used insect repellents will assist reduce infection
from diseases such as Dengue fever, Ross River Fever and
malaria to name a few. Repellents provide a barrier between
the blood sucking insect and the skin.
The insect repellent can be in the form of a lotion, aerosol
spray or gel and come in the form of a plastic tube or
As a precaution, sample test an area of skin to see if you
might get any adverse reaction prior to applying any
repellent over all exposed skin. Frequent, heavy, long-term
use of any chemical repellent should be avoided.
Care should be taken if choosing to use personal repellent
on children. Some information available indicates there
should be less than 7.5% DEET in the product if used on
toddlers. Always refer to the product label before
Most chemical repellents contain DEET (Diethltolumaide)
which has been subjected to more scrutiny than any other
Brands of insect repellent
– two common brands are Mortein Aerogard and Bushman
Repellent. The protection time provided by the
repellent depends on a few factors such as humidity
and sweating but mostly on the level of DEET in the
product. The higher the level then the longer
For example, ‘Bushman Plus’ repellent claims to have 80%
DEET and to last up to 15 hours of protection against
mosquitoes, midges, leeches, March flies, bed bugs, lice and
other insects. They also have a repellent that includes a
sunscreen. The ‘Bushman Aerosol’ label states it has 20%
DEET with sunscreen. Their website also provides Material
Safety Data Sheets for those who require further
Mortein claim their ‘Aerogard Tropical Strength’ will
provide up to 6 hours protection against flies, mosquitoes,
sandflies, leeches and ticks. ‘Aerogard Low Scent’ is
claimed to provide up to 2 hour protection and they also
have a 2 in 1 sunscreen.
Avon – Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil
– although there have been some claims this
provides repellent properties The New England Journal of
Medicine (Vol. 347: 13-18 4/7/02)
reported that when tested it provided 9.6 minutes of
Lavender Oil – this oil can provide some relief to itching .
some pure essential Lavender oil as part of your first aid
kit. For mosquito bites place a dab of the oil on the
bite site and you should experience relief from the itching
sensation in a few minutes.