Dealing with Sandfly Bites
My guess is that you are visiting this page because you, your husband (just guessing!) or your child has bug bites. And I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure it is no comfort that thousands of people visit this page every month. Bugs can really, really impact badly on you. I’m American and have been living & working in New Zealand for over 20 years. I have been helping people deal with sandflies and bites for 18 years now, and I will give you as many ideas as I can.
|These ideas will apply to mosquito bites as well. And, being the creator of Goodbye SANDFLY which, since 2010 has been the #1 selling natural repellent in New Zealand and healing balm Goodbye OUCH, as well as a Mum, the ideas will be more natural. Because that’s what I believe in. There’s enough chemicals in our world, why would you put more on your skin when you don’t have to? With respect, Becky
Soothing Sooner is Better
Years after using our natural repellent Goodbye SANDFLY, we noticed that if we soothed the bites quickly, they healed faster. As many of you won’t have Goodbye SANDFLY or Goodbye OUCH on hand, JUST in this moment, you can use a good cold pressed vegetable oil, like olive and add a small amount of tea tree, eucalyptus or lavender. Here’s a quick recipe. 1 Tablespoon Olive oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
This is because you are immediately disinfecting and soothing the sandfly or mosquito bite before a reaction begins. It’s not the bite that is bothering you but the saliva from the biter! It can be bad enough to create an allergic reaction.
We’ve found that applying a bite soother as a gentle massage just before bedtime will set you up for a better sleep. It may not be itching when you go to bed, but chances are, those bites will wake you. The body does a lot of healing at night, so this is often when you’ll feel the most distracted by the process.
Don’t Scratch! (even if you feel insane)
Scratching extends the healing time and can cause infection. This is where bites can turn into real problems. Don’t scratch. Gently massage a bite soother on the irritation instead.
Heating and Cooling
There’s can be a lot of heat and swelling associated with a sandfly or mosquito bite. Cooling bites gently will soothe- but you do not want to ice them, because the body contracts so greatly that the process of clearing the bite from the body is shut down. On the other side, you do not want to heat skin that already has heat- so if you have a bath, not too hot, and be even more mindful of staying out of the sun.
You can place your hand over the bites with the intention of easing pain, clearing swelling or being of assistance as the body needs it. One of the hands on treatments is called Reiki, and it can be very calming.
Other Natural Remedies
Over the years we have tried several other natural remedies. We have applied raw onion or raw apple (our 6 year old swears by both), straight lavender or tea tree essential oils (sorta works), homoeopathics (have seen two miracle treatments), massage and gentle point pressure (works pretty well).
There are several herbs which have antihistamine properties, and you may benefit from taking them as an infusion (tea), or adding them to a bath (warm- not too hot) or compress. When taken as a tea, the herb will support your whole body to process the bites. Herbs to try are chamomile, peppermint, basil, echinacea, fennel, oregano & tea (green or black).
Top Tips for Avoiding Getting Bitten:
- The best defense against getting sandfly and mosquito bites is to dress well: Long sleeve, ankles and feet covered, you know- pretty much covered up.
- Find a repellent that you know, like and trust and that your kids think is great. That way you avoid wrestling your child down to give them a spray of something they don’t want to know about.
Sandfly Report for More Information on Sandflies, Bites, Diseases
You probably have more questions about dealing with bites and staying comfortable and safe in bug areas. With 20 years of living with sandflies, I have learned a LOT about taking care of myself and my family even when biting insects are hungry. This information is useful no matter what bugs you have to deal with: mosquitoes, no-see ums, black flies, AND sandflies.
I’ve put it all together in a Sandfly Report, for more answers and great tips.
Thankfully, we don’t have any sandfly diseases here in New Zealand, but I include a brief section on Leishmaniasis as I know it is a problem in many parts of the world.
Get through it and try again
If you are one of the unlucky ones that is reading this with legs covered in bites, all I can say is, survive this round of bites as best you can and try NOT to scratch. If your bites are getting out of hand, or you’re not sure if they are getting better, see a professional (doctor, homeopath, naturopath….). I trust you to take care of yourself, right?
Wishing you good health in our beautiful, sometimes buggy world. With respect, Becky
Hi, I’m Bex Cashman, founder of goodbye PRODUCTS. As a natural product maker, I get to share the things I care about. Even if you never buy one of our products (although we hope you do), jump on for the learning and support available to you to live a vital, natural life. It starts with the Sandfly Report (your e-mail safe with us), because really, WHY would you use CHEMICALS on your skin?