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Following on from the mosquito repellent question, I would like to ask about another insect which for me is much harder to deal with, sand flies.

Answering a recent question about Honduras brought back vivid memories of being forced to leave a Garifuna village due to our inability to prevent sand flies from attacking us, or to make it bearable in any way. Anything we had with us for dealing with mosquitoes seemed to be useless.

So what does work to keep sand flies away, is it DEET or does something work better for these critters? And if you do get bitten what should you do?

I'm also specifically interested in home remedies. If you didn't pack some modern western chemical and find yourself under siege in a remote location what kind of things do poor local people use to prevent or relieve sand fly bites?

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Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. –  Ankur Banerjee Sep 29 '11 at 9:02
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Hot tip - according to a Kathmandu staff member, blue tents/sleeping bags sales are 20% of those of other colours. This due to the common theory that sand flies are attracted to blue. I can't back it up with a scientific paper, but that's enough convincing for me.

In addition, some of the answers in the question about mosquitoes may be of related interest too.

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Thanks Mark. I already linked to the mosquito question. I had trouble parsing your 20% sentence for a while if you want to try to clarify it. I'm gonna soup up my question and ask about home remedies for when you get stuck without DEET... –  hippietrail Oct 3 '11 at 8:26
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