Here we were, walking barefoot on the sand along the beach, reconnecting with Nature, breathing in the salt sea air of the ocean. Feeling great, almost smug, that we were among those fortunate to be on vacation while the rest of our friends were slaving at some job.
And itchy! Scratch. Scratch. Scratch until blood appeared. As bad as a dog with fleas.
Because the welts appeared so long after our beach walk---in fact, overnight---we suspected bed bugs in our hotel bed. But research proved us wrong. Bed bug bites appear all over your body, not only on specific parts. Plus, blowing a hair dryer after lifting a mattress revealed nothing. (The hot air is supposed to send bed bugs scurrying from hiding places.)
A few other hotel guests also sported these tell-tale welts and finally, after consulting with similar victims, we learned, too late, we had provided a feast for sand flies. Nasty, not-fighting-fair insects that we can’t see or hear or feel until after their biting damage is done.
What to do? Remedy suggestions are varied:
Spray yourself with lavender oil. Insect repellant. Vinegar. Rub your bite with Tiger Balm. Garlic. Calamine Lotion. Baking soda with water. Salt. Stay away from the beach at dawn and dusk. Wear long pants and long sleeve tops. Wear socks!
Wait! This erotic scenario ignores the scourge of sand flies!
Sorry to say, sand flies are biting us worldwide. However, based on their genus, distribution is categorized as either old world or new world sand flies. The genera Lutzomyia, Brumptomia and Warileya occur in the new world countries, while the genera Phlebotomus and Sergentiomyia occur in the old world countries.
Conclusion: you can’t escape them anywhere!
Anyone else out there have any experience with sand flies and how to contain these nasty little critters?
Or, is it as has been long predicted: