Goodbye Sandfly Facts & Habits
It is not possible to fight sandflies or mosquitoes. You can endlessly dispatch them, and there’s an endless supply of more coming to take their place. Instead of fighting, it’s better to know a bit about them, and get some ideas for managing their impact on you.
Sandflies & Mosquitoes
The NZ “sandfly” is actually a blackfly. There are 13 species of blackfly and 16 species of mosquito in New Zealand. Both sandflies and mosquitoes like water are are more dense around rivers, lakes & beaches. It is only the female that bites; she needs blood to be able to lay eggs.
Sandfly and mosquito saliva contains a protein which can cause an allergic reaction.
Te Ara website says, “Although overseas species of blackfly can carry and transfer diseases, there are no records of New Zealand’s biting sandflies doing so. Nor have any mosquito-borne human diseases from a local source been recorded.”
Thankfully, sandflies leave when the sun does. Unfortunately they are often the most hectic JUST as the sun sets, making sure you feel like you have earned your peace when they finally go.
Mosquitoes on the other hand, are very happy to hassle you as you are settling down at night. Buzzing your ears but with a much better biting mechanism, you are less likely to actually feel them bite.
Made for New Zealand
The busiest days for sandflies are warm, cloudy, and windless, and they are noticeably worse just before it starts to rain. They are year round creatures, but are less active when it’s cold, and in some places in the South Island will disappear completely for the months of July and August (yes, that’s about it).
Mosquitoes can be found even in highly urban areas, reproducing in any small amount of standing water.