Sand Flies and Mossies ---take your own supplies

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John Bray

Sand Flies and Mossies ---take your own supplies

Post by John Bray » Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:12 pm

We have just returned from 14 days at the Toucan Inn where we had a great time and loved the island and the beaches..but

On our second day we went on the Island Girl and were shocked to see so many people with large numbers of bites on their legs ankles and arms.

I never get bitten! but by my return I have around 50 bites

My wife who will sit on the beach but not explore has got away with only a few bites, but I put mine down to my explorer spirit, examining all the hidden bits of English Man's bay (the best of the Island) to Pidgeon point (a dirty neglected beach) Castara, Canoe bay and Stonehaven.

As for Mossies we both got quite a few, we suspect under tables at night, we took to spraying with locally bought fly killer and using a great product from Boots, After Sun with insect repellant; left to us by a departing visitor who took pity.

The pharmacies are not well stocked, no repelent creams (we tried 3 places) we used a local spray but was quite toxic.

Jo Hughes

Post by Jo Hughes » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:07 pm

Hi John,

I sympathise with the insect bites, although I always plaster myself with all the repellents I can buy, I still mnage to come home looking liked ive got measles! I was there in July and have just about got rid of the bites now.

A good tip which a friend from Tobago gave me was to use cocoa butter if you get bitten and it will heal the bites with no scars, and yes it does work, especially nice if you like the smell of chocolate. Incidentally, why dont the locals ever seem to get bitten?

David Watkins
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Post by David Watkins » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:52 pm

Hi Jo,we had this conversation some years back--it is because the little bxxxxx's favourite colour is pink!!!!!!Locals do get bitten,it just doesn't show as much,and of course being used to them,there is a measure of tolerance.
David :D

Jo Hughes

Post by Jo Hughes » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:17 pm

Hi David,

I think they prefer the female flesh as my son never puts any repellent on and never has a single bite! And he spends all day on the beach, in the rain forest and is out most of the night...oh to be sixteen again! Wonder if they're alergic to Carib and Stag????

Linda P

Post by Linda P » Wed Aug 30, 2006 4:45 pm

Sorry Jo,
As one who has been virtually pickled in Carib, I can confirm that the dreaded flies are not allergic to it, even on the very rare occasion that I spill a drop they are not put off biting me! I will however be conducting extensive research on the effects of drinking rum punch and how different recipes relate to number of bites in October. The things one does in the name of science! :wink:

Linda

Jo Hughes

Post by Jo Hughes » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:27 pm

Hi Linda,

Dont hold your breath on the rum punch as that its my main drink from dawn till dusk and it has no repelling effects on the flies. Im back in Tobago in November so expect a rum shortage. My daughters boyfriend arrives in the UK from Tobago on Friday and I hope he's bringing me some rum or he cant stay with us for the next 3 months.... thats the deal! He never, ever gets bitten by the flies, but i expect hes used to it having been born and bred in Tobago.

Linda P

Post by Linda P » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:43 am

Oh well, looks like it is a diet of marmite on toast from now till Oct 12th when we fly out......but will still prescribe myself lots of rum, just in case Jo is immune to it's insect repellant effects 8)

Linda

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Post by David Watkins » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:34 am

Linda P,stick to plenty of rum---if it doesn't stop the biting it will numb the pain!!!!!!Incidentally I have been told that gin,applied externally,is good for stopping the itching! :wink:
David(88dtg) :D

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Gisela Grell
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Post by Gisela Grell » Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:03 pm

Ho all,

good to know that I'm not the only one who is bitten. I guess they wait for me and see me coming because it normally takes 1 min. to my first bite.
I try everything.: Autan, Citronella, Coils, OFF, Carib, Stag, Rum and Rumpunch.... moscito net .. and give up. :(

On the other way - as David wrote - with enough alcohol you don't feel too much pain and if you put some aloe vera on the bites, sometimes it helps (David, I will try the gin treatment).

If anyone knows something what works: PLEASE LET ME KNOW

Coming for my next bites end of September... :wink:

Cheers
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Gisela
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Tony Gibson

Post by Tony Gibson » Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:11 pm

Try a small amount of deisel fuel, you may smell or catch skin cancer but it keeps them off.
PS Gisela, how was your holiday, we have 8 months to go and all I do is read the forum.javascript:emoticon(':(')
Sad

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Post by Gisela Grell » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:30 pm

Hi Tony,

my holidays were great like always and I'm always complaining about the sandflies but in the end they cannot keep me away :wink:
Diesel Fuel ... ähem ... would not only keep the mossies and sandflies away I guess :oops: I think I just take the bites and leave this to the mechanics :-)

You still have 8 month to go? poor Tony, I will go in around 4 weeks if I will get the money together :lol:

Go on reading this site it is not only very informatic about everything but still a lot to laugh about.

Cheers
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Gisela
a.k.a. Shorty
see some pics on http://www.gisela-grell.de

NikkiMarks

sandfly bite relief

Post by NikkiMarks » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:53 am

A great tip to stop sandfly (black fly) bites itching: make up a solution from meths and epsom salts. Rub it into the bite really hard as soon as you get bitten; these bites get worse and take ten times longer to fade away if they are scratched. This solution will stop the bite from becoming itchy / inflamed and make it go down. Don't ask me why!!

I was given this tip by a very seasoned skipper on a boat in the south of New Zealand, which is notoriously bad for sandflies. He kept a bottle of it on his boat and it saved us from the maddening attacks we would have from these flies each time we went ashore.

I guess it goes without saying that you need to buy this stuff locally and not travel with it mixed up in your luggage!

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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler » Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:03 am

Hi Nikki

Welcome aboard! :lol:

That's an interesting one. You are absolutely right about them being 10 times worse if scratched. As you say, the best way is to treat them immediately before they get to the itchy stage. If you haven't got your trusty tube of Anthisan or other antihistamine cream with you, then SLAP the itch - don't scratch. If you break the surface/top of the bite, you will be in trouble. It will take far longer to heal and there's always a risk of deeper infection.

See our article at menu: Odds & Sods/Health & Safety/Insect & Nasties for more information. Of course its a very personal matter - what works for one person does not necessarily work for another. However, in my experience you can't always stop the bites, but immediate and regular (4 hour) application of Anthisan has always prevented the bites being anything but a minor inconvenience.
Steve Wooler
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Paul Tallet
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Post by Paul Tallet » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:26 pm

The problem with sandflies is not the bite ... it is your reaction.

In my case, I never feel the bite and the reaction (or infection) does not manifest itself for several hours by which time it is too late and particularly unpleasant if you wake up in the middle of the night with shreds of skin under your fingernails having scratched very vigorously in your sleep.

If you get it as bad as me you could have a cluster of several bites in a small area that become infectious and swell so badly that the swelling can distort the shape of your limbs.

I am not saying that sandflies carry any poison but some, like me, have an allergic reaction to them ... I get bitten no more than others (everyone gets bitten) ... I still have the scars from the bites I received several years ago when I first visited Tobago unprepared and I also recall the fever that I had during that holiday ... it is one thing to try and ease the discomfort but in some cases, like me, hundreds of infected bites can make you feel very unwell.

The only success I have ever had was to avoid being bitten and somewhere in this site around March 2005 when I last visited Tobago are details of my potions which worked very well for me and my pretty flesh !!

I hope this helps

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Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler » Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:13 am

Hi Paul

Like you, I never feel the bite and yes, it can take several hours for the reaction (itching) to start. I find that I can largely overcome this by conducting a rigourous inspection of my arms and legs before retiring for the night, and applying Anthisan to any little red bumps, even if they are only a pin prick. That is going to be at least 4-5 hours since I was anywhere near a beach and any bites will show up by then. It's very easy to forget to do it though, if nothing is itching at that time, so it does mean getting into a very disciplined approach to the matter.

Failing that, there is course of action that you should be familiar with: wear a pair of boxing gloves at night. :lol:
Steve Wooler
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Post by David Watkins » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:11 pm

Oooooooh,Steve [-X

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Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:08 pm

Steve

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experience of the use of Boxing Gloves at night which has, of course, been noted with interest. :wink:

May I ask you how you manage to switch the lights off before you retire for the night?

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Paul Tallet
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Steve Wooler
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Post by Steve Wooler » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:14 pm

Good to hear from you, Paul. You've escaped at last. I forgot to warn you - only use the modern boxing gloves with a Velcro fastener. That way you can get them off with your teeth. As you haven't responded for several days, I assume you've been practising with an old fashioned lace-up pair and have been too embarrassed to ask anyone to get them off for you - or those around you have found it more amusing to decline assistance.

As regards the light - you've got a good point. I shall have to ponder on that. :cry:
Steve Wooler
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Post by Paul Tallet » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:23 pm

Thanks for the tip Steve, I have tried the new velcro ones but unfortunately I get so much sand in the velcro that they kept falling off ... so had to go back to the lace-ups :cry:

Trying out some alterations that assist with light switches and door knobs ... I will keep you informed of these developments. :D

Isn't there so much that you can learn from this amazing forum ? :wink:

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Paul Tallet
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Wendy V K

Post by Wendy V K » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:57 pm

I think I can deal with the gloves and the lightswitches (you still have feet right ...and if you're bit limber this should cause no problems ;) )

But how to deal with the fact that you're an active person while you sleep ?
(IE throwing arms around and turning over while arms are sweeping)

I know this is not a huge problem for the person who's wearing the gloves But my boyfriend kinda went pale as a sheet when I mentioned this solution 8)

Guess he's a bit attached to his brown eyes and doesn't want to switch to black ;)

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