A very itchy lesson – Sand fly bites

By: | Comments: 10 Comments

Posted in categories: Diary

My family went to vacation last weekend and we ended up miserably. All of us got many tenth of very itchy bites and they turned into itchier blisters after a few days. They did not look like normal mosquito bites though we got a few.

After an intensive internet research, I realized that we went to the wrong place at the wrong time and stayed in the wrong way.

There is a family of mystical blood sucking insects that are categorized as “sand fly”, and many people call them no-see-em, since they are tiny and nearly invisible. They penetrate the mosquito proof tent window and bite when you are not aware, any lay eggs in your skin. When the eggs hatch into larvae, it causes a severe itching. It could do delayed bursting even after two weeks of biting. They breeding in moisture sand. Normally they do not disturb human, and are easily blown away by wind blowing from the sea.

However, if there was a thunderstorm a day ago, leaving a moisture beach, and unfortunately there is a light nice breeze blowing from land to sea, it is their breeding season.

Many people reported that thy got 100+, till many hundreds of bites in one night, and new blisters burst out in the coming two weeks.

It is super itching. Normal after-bite won’t stop the itch. Aloe gels do not help too. If not treated properly, it may keep itching for months, and leave permanent scar. Doctors will prescript Hydrocortisone and benzoyl. They helped on stop the itching temporarily. However, they do not kill the larvae and the itchy will still last weeks till months. A deadly parasite may also be transmitted by sand fly, but not reported in the united states.

To proper treat it, it was suggested to either cover the blisters by Vaseline and cover the sites by Bandaid, or to dot the blisters by clear nail oil, to suffocate the larvae. By doing this, the blisters should be gone in three days.

The sand flies infested all tropical and subtropical ocean beaches, from Virginia to Florida, and part of South California, also Latin America beaches and pacific islands. They swamp normally from April to September, and out burst after a thunderstorm when there is a soft breeze from land to sea.

So, to not have your vacation ruined, please stay off beaches in warm weather a day after a thunderstorm and when a soft breeze is still blowing to the sea. Especially do not stay on the beach in early morning and late afternoon, not camping close to the beach.

We learnt this with 20+ blisters on everyone of the family. It ruined my vacation.

I post this here so that you won’t suffer this in the future.


Leave a Reply