Beat the bites this summer

The bugs are coming.
Reader giveaway: The Weekender has four 150ml bottles of Goodbye Sandfly to give away. To be in to win a bottle, email us at weekender@gisborneherald.co.nz with your name and mailing address, and “Goodbye Sandfly” as the subject.

PREPARE yourself, the summer holidays are here and so is sandfly season.

Depending on which part of New Zealand you choose to holiday, chances are you will be joined by hundreds or even thousands of sandflies.

Kerikeri-based sandfly expert Becky Cashman, producer of natural bug repellent Goodbye Sandfly, says the best defence against sandflies is to cover up with light-coloured clothing.

“Sandflies are attracted to dark clothes so if you’re wearing light colours, stand next to a person in a black fleece jersey and you will get instant relief!

“If you keep covered up and give your skin a dose of bug repellent, you have a much better chance of surviving a sandfly party.”

Working as a river guide for 15 years, Becky knows a thing or two about sandflies and mosquitoes.

Constantly being bitten and having her clients hassled by sandflies and mosquitoes prompted Becky to start experimenting with developing a natural repellent, as she believed it was possible to achieve the same results without the use of chemicals.

Goodbye Sandfly is now New Zealand’s No.1 selling natural bug repellent.

Dealing with sandflies is a seasonal challenge for many of New Zealand’s outdoor adventure businesses.

Rob Swale, owner of Fiordland Discovery, a scenic, fishing, hunting and diving charter business based in one of the country’s most notorious sandfly regions, has been battling sandflies for 45 years.

“Even after 45 years, I’m not immune. They seem to be drawn to certain people because of the amount of heat they give off and unfortunately, I’m one of them.

“You just have to do your best to avoid them or if that’s not possible, be prepared,” says Rob.

Before taking guests out they receive a full sandfly briefing — cover up, use repellent, stay in the wind and stay away from creeks with moving fresh water. The boat provides plenty of bug repellent and bite soothing balm in case of the inevitable.

However, Rob says being on the boat is usually reasonably sandfly-free.

“It’s when you go ashore to beaches that they come out in force and sometimes you’ve just got to pack up and leave.”

Even big, burly hunters who are dropped into the rugged bush for days at a time radio Rob as soon as they clear the bush for immediate pick-up so they don’t get massacred on the beach.

“No one likes being eaten alive. It can definitely affect the enjoyment of your holiday — but you just have to be smarter than they are. The only good thing about sandflies is they’re not out at night. That’s the mosquito’s time.”

Tourism operator Darryl Honey, of Adventure HQ in the Bay of Islands, says his neck of the woods is not as bad as the West Coast, but sandflies are still an issue in summer.

“They come out in force after the rain and the worst areas are streams, rivers and in the grass edging beaches,” says Darryl.

“Most of my business is out on the water — a Paihia/Russell ferry, dinner cruises and game fishing — and sandflies don’t really hang around the sea so much, but I always have bug repellent on board for customers that are getting attacked.”

He won’t use any repellent with chemicals in it and has progressed from his homemade recipe of Dettol and baby oil to Goodbye Sandfly.

“The problem with the Dettol and baby oil was that you ended up smelling like a hospital.”

Darryl agrees that some people get bitten more than others.

“The English are definitely more appealing to sandflies than anyone else. There must be something in their blood. If you put Kiwis and English people together, they’ll find the English first — I reckon five to one.”

Darryl’s tip for avoiding sandflies — apart from not being English — is wear long socks.

Despite it all

If despite everything, you do still get bitten there are many products that can alleviate itching and swelling. Goodbye Sandfly is a purely natural product that can be used not only to avoid being bitten but also to soothe the bite.

Other natural remedies include:

• Olive oil mixed with tea tree essential oil

• Apply raw onion or raw apple

• Rub lavender or tea tree essential oil on the bite

• Add herbs with antihistamine properties to a luke-warm bath or make a “tea” which will support your whole body to process the bites. Herbs to try are chamomile, peppermint, basil, echinacea, fennel, oregano and green or black tea

• Try not to scratch!

If you’re heading off on holiday then check out the sandfly map at www.goodbyesandfly.co.nz for up-to-date information on where those little critters are lurking, and be prepared!

PREPARE yourself, the summer holidays are here and so is sandfly season.

Depending on which part of New Zealand you choose to holiday, chances are you will be joined by hundreds or even thousands of sandflies.

Kerikeri-based sandfly expert Becky Cashman, producer of natural bug repellent Goodbye Sandfly, says the best defence against sandflies is to cover up with light-coloured clothing.

“Sandflies are attracted to dark clothes so if you’re wearing light colours, stand next to a person in a black fleece jersey and you will get instant relief!

“If you keep covered up and give your skin a dose of bug repellent, you have a much better chance of surviving a sandfly party.”

Working as a river guide for 15 years, Becky knows a thing or two about sandflies and mosquitoes.

Constantly being bitten and having her clients hassled by sandflies and mosquitoes prompted Becky to start experimenting with developing a natural repellent, as she believed it was possible to achieve the same results without the use of chemicals.

Goodbye Sandfly is now New Zealand’s No.1 selling natural bug repellent.

Dealing with sandflies is a seasonal challenge for many of New Zealand’s outdoor adventure businesses.

Rob Swale, owner of Fiordland Discovery, a scenic, fishing, hunting and diving charter business based in one of the country’s most notorious sandfly regions, has been battling sandflies for 45 years.

“Even after 45 years, I’m not immune. They seem to be drawn to certain people because of the amount of heat they give off and unfortunately, I’m one of them.

“You just have to do your best to avoid them or if that’s not possible, be prepared,” says Rob.

Before taking guests out they receive a full sandfly briefing — cover up, use repellent, stay in the wind and stay away from creeks with moving fresh water. The boat provides plenty of bug repellent and bite soothing balm in case of the inevitable.

However, Rob says being on the boat is usually reasonably sandfly-free.

“It’s when you go ashore to beaches that they come out in force and sometimes you’ve just got to pack up and leave.”

Even big, burly hunters who are dropped into the rugged bush for days at a time radio Rob as soon as they clear the bush for immediate pick-up so they don’t get massacred on the beach.

“No one likes being eaten alive. It can definitely affect the enjoyment of your holiday — but you just have to be smarter than they are. The only good thing about sandflies is they’re not out at night. That’s the mosquito’s time.”

Tourism operator Darryl Honey, of Adventure HQ in the Bay of Islands, says his neck of the woods is not as bad as the West Coast, but sandflies are still an issue in summer.

“They come out in force after the rain and the worst areas are streams, rivers and in the grass edging beaches,” says Darryl.

“Most of my business is out on the water — a Paihia/Russell ferry, dinner cruises and game fishing — and sandflies don’t really hang around the sea so much, but I always have bug repellent on board for customers that are getting attacked.”

He won’t use any repellent with chemicals in it and has progressed from his homemade recipe of Dettol and baby oil to Goodbye Sandfly.

“The problem with the Dettol and baby oil was that you ended up smelling like a hospital.”

Darryl agrees that some people get bitten more than others.

“The English are definitely more appealing to sandflies than anyone else. There must be something in their blood. If you put Kiwis and English people together, they’ll find the English first — I reckon five to one.”

Darryl’s tip for avoiding sandflies — apart from not being English — is wear long socks.

Despite it all

If despite everything, you do still get bitten there are many products that can alleviate itching and swelling. Goodbye Sandfly is a purely natural product that can be used not only to avoid being bitten but also to soothe the bite.

Other natural remedies include:

• Olive oil mixed with tea tree essential oil

• Apply raw onion or raw apple

• Rub lavender or tea tree essential oil on the bite

• Add herbs with antihistamine properties to a luke-warm bath or make a “tea” which will support your whole body to process the bites. Herbs to try are chamomile, peppermint, basil, echinacea, fennel, oregano and green or black tea

• Try not to scratch!

If you’re heading off on holiday then check out the sandfly map at www.goodbyesandfly.co.nz for up-to-date information on where those little critters are lurking, and be prepared!

The single best thing you can do for managing sandflies and mosquitoes is to dress for the occasion. Forget the backless, strapless summer frock. Trousers are the new mini skirt in sandfly country.

Becky’s top tips for surviving the onslaught of sandflies this summer are:

1. Protect your ankles with socks or bug repellent. Sandflies tend to start their attack at the ground level and work upwards. Guys should wear trousers and not shorts and ladies, trousers and long skirts.

2. Wear light-coloured clothes. Sandflies are attracted to dark clothes. If you wear dark trousers and a light-coloured top, the sandflies will hang out around the ground and not around your face and arms.

3. Sandflies love feet the most — so forget the jandals and cover up.

4. Walk. Sandflies are very slow creatures. As long as you are moving they can’t swarm.

5. Keep a sarong in your bag if you’re caught short, for the emergency cover-up.

6. Keep your car, caravan and boat closed up or screened. Sandflies are notorious for their ability to find openings to enter, fly in and wait. If you have no screens, keep downwind windows and doors closed. They don’t like wind.

7. Boats can anchor offshore a short distance to minimise the sandfly effect. A portable net can be draped over doors and hatches for a much more peaceful night.

8. Sandflies are attracted to heat. Turn off needless lights during dusk.

9. Avoid using “sweet” smelling body-care products. Eat less sugar. Sandflies love sweet people.

10. Sandflies will go into a feeding frenzy just before it starts to rain. They can be your little weatherwomen (it’s the females that bite), so put on your raincoat.

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