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Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Cocoa Beach
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Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Hello, all,

I will be in MP/AC late March, 2015.

I understand that mosquitoes, at this altitude, should not be an issue(?!). However, what about biting flies/gnats?

A few years ago, I was in the cloud forests of Ecuador. I did not have DEET w me, as my guide told me, "No bugs at this altitude." The first day, I was covered head to toe in black fly bites. Upon my return to the USA, my travel physician said, "These flies/gnats can carry parasites which can cause blindness." Wonderful. After 6 weeks waiting on the blood tests, I was negative. However, while awaiting the results, my doctor thought it best to place me on chemo-like prophylaxis as a precaution. The drugs made me very, very ill; I don't want to go through that again!

So, should I take DEET or some equivalent w me?

Thx!

Michigan
Destination Expert
for Peru
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1. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

There a huge thread about bug bites and MP. It won't hurt if you take some bug repellent.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

There's something that bites. Agree, bringing bug repellent won't hurt anything. We didn't use any. I had long pants and was fine. My wife had calf length pants and had a bunch of bites on her exposed lower leg.

Cocoa Beach
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163 posts
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3. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Thanks, Mayflower & Wes!

Cusco, Peru
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4. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Covering up does seem to be the best defense, but as stated above, repellent is not going to hurt. The biters seem to be some sort of sand fly, I call them "no seems" because you never see or feel them, you just end up with bites. They also seem to stay close to the ground as on my last trip to Machu Picchu, about 2 weeks ago, I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and no repellant all day and did not get even one bite on my arms. One of the other members of our group was wearing capris and had a few bites on her legs by the end of the day.

Cocoa Beach
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163 posts
72 reviews
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5. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Thanks, Lyle!

Cusco, Peru
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6. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Nasty little guys, the bites are very itchy afterwards & you don't notice getting them. As mentioned, covering up works, but insect repellent also does the trick - they seem very susceptible to repellent as most sandflies are.

Cocoa Beach
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163 posts
72 reviews
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7. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

Thanks, Mike!

8. Re: Biting black flies/gnats in March?

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