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Q: sand flies in Machu Picchu and Lima

Q: sand flies in Machu Picchu and Lima

Old Oct 27, 15, 8:16 am
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Q: sand flies in Machu Picchu and Lima

Been thinking of a trip to Peru, in particular Machu Picchu. However, have read in tripadvisor about sand fly bites - mozzies and insects love my blood. Question: Are sand flies bad all year round? Or, are there months when they are not as bad?

Thanks!
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Old Oct 27, 15, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by A1pax View Post
Been thinking of a trip to Peru, in particular Machu Picchu. However, have read in tripadvisor about sand fly bites - mozzies and insects love my blood. Question: Are sand flies bad all year round? Or, are there months when they are not as bad?

Thanks!
Don't know about season, but DEET should work and no problem finding repellents with 20% or higher DEET in Cusco if it's not available in your home country.

Last edited by rkkwan; Oct 27, 15 at 10:48 am
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Old Oct 28, 15, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by rkkwan View Post
Don't know about season, but DEET should work and no problem finding repellents with 20% or higher DEET in Cusco if it's not available in your home country.
Thanks, rkkwan, for your reply. I did read about DEET in tripadvisor.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:40 pm
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Just got back from Machu Picchu a couple days ago (now in Cuzco). BRING REPELLENT. The flies are awful in Machu Picchu. I just used regular Off and it worked fine. Before I used Off, I got a million bites on my arms. It's taken three days but they are no longer murderously itchy. I haven't noticed much in the way of insects elsewhere, though there were also sand flies in Aguas Calientes.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
Just got back from Machu Picchu a couple days ago (now in Cuzco). BRING REPELLENT. The flies are awful in Machu Picchu. I just used regular Off and it worked fine. Before I used Off, I got a million bites on my arms. It's taken three days but they are no longer murderously itchy. I haven't noticed much in the way of insects elsewhere, though there were also sand flies in Aguas Calientes.
Thanks, gfunkdave. Yes, I hear you, and will bring repellent
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Old Nov 4, 15, 11:23 am
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This must be a seasonal problem. I take groups to Machu Picchu every March and May. I seldom see a mosquito and have never seen a sand fly.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by FrogProf View Post
This must be a seasonal problem. I take groups to Machu Picchu every March and May. I seldom see a mosquito and have never seen a sand fly.
Must be seasonal. You couldn't have missed them - CLOUDS of the buggers.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 2:06 pm
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Was in MP almost exactly a year ago. Going all over MP, Huana Picchu and Gate of the Sun, didn't notice any/many mosquitos or sandflies. That said, I noticed that many who had done the Inca Trail had lots of sand fly or other insect nasty bites. My main problem was mosquitoes at Easter Island a few days before.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 3:21 pm
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Flies and mozzies I can handle (80% DEET already packed). But are there leeches? I hate hate hate leeches. We're doing the Inca Trail and a two day Amazon canoe/hike/lodge trip from Puerto Maldonado in December.

I realise that hiking the Amazon in rainy season is possibly a poor choice for someone who hates leeches, but I guess it's worth the adventure.
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Old Nov 6, 15, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by secondsoprano View Post
Flies and mozzies I can handle (80% DEET already packed). But are there leeches? I hate hate hate leeches. We're doing the Inca Trail and a two day Amazon canoe/hike/lodge trip from Puerto Maldonado in December.

I realise that hiking the Amazon in rainy season is possibly a poor choice for someone who hates leeches, but I guess it's worth the adventure.
Very unlikely to encounter a leech on the Inca Trail. Amazon is another story, but this can be minimized. Bring a pack of cigarettes even if you don't smoke as a lit cig is a good way to get them to detach.
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Old Nov 28, 15, 8:35 am
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I've been several times in MP and insects were never a considerable issue. Just in case a good repellent lotion is enough.
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Old Nov 28, 15, 9:51 am
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I have done more research and found a product called mosi guard (containing no DEET, but a eucalyptus oil) which some claimed to be effective. So, I am going to give it try for our Peru trip next year. We are not going to do the Inca trail or trek.
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Old Nov 29, 15, 8:49 am
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I was at Machu Picchu a week ago and the sand flies (fleas?) were intense. I didn't realize I was getting bit until it was too late. They were primarily in the main part of the park, where there are sandy areas. I didn't have issues with them or with mosquitoes the day we hiked to the Sun Gate.

Long pants would also help. I was wearing capris and got far more bites than my husband who was wearing full length pants.

When we got to Cuzco after MP we could tell who had already been by the presence of bites around their ankles.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 8:11 pm
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I went two weeks ago (first week Dec 2015) to MP and Cuzco. No sand flies and it was summer. Sun block is a must...I learnt the hard way haha.
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Old Dec 19, 15, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by luxtrvlwrks View Post
I was at Machu Picchu a week ago and the sand flies (fleas?) were intense. I didn't realize I was getting bit until it was too late. They were primarily in the main part of the park, where there are sandy areas. I didn't have issues with them or with mosquitoes the day we hiked to the Sun Gate.

Long pants would also help. I was wearing capris and got far more bites than my husband who was wearing full length pants.

When we got to Cuzco after MP we could tell who had already been by the presence of bites around their ankles.
When I went to MP there were no biting insects (February). Still, what bit you are certainly no sandflies. When they bite, you immediately find out, it hurts right at the moment they start spiting/injecting their saliva. Also, in spite of their name, you don;t necessarily find them at sandy places. A common "biter" of your legs during the day are mosquitoes of the genus Aedes.

Originally Posted by A1pax
I have done more research and found a product called mosi guard (containing no DEET, but a eucalyptus oil) which some claimed to be effective. So, I am going to give it try for our Peru trip next year. We are not going to do the Inca trail or trek.
There's nothing better than DEET to repel insects, everything else is much, much weaker. DEET is, in effect, not toxic to humans (it is to fish, though), it stinks (i.e. it also repels... humans) and it dissolves certain plastics, so beware of paint on your chair.

PS I'm a vector biologist.
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