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How to Get Rid of Biting Flies at the Beach

Going to the beach is a favorite pastime of millions of people the world over. However, spending any great amount of time near the ocean means that you may encounter insects, particularly biting flies of different varieties. If you want to enjoy your time but get rid of these nuisances, here’s how to get rid of biting flies at the beach!

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!

Why are there so many flies at the beach?

A lot of different species of flies use water to breed. Humans are the invaders, so the bugs make a meal of the humans while they spend time in their territory. Keeping sand flies away at the beach is an ongoing project for most coastal counties and cities.

Instects near water

Lake flies, for example, breed much like mosquitoes, and are every bit as pesky. No-see-ums or midge flies are tiny, obnoxious insects that bite. Gnats live and breed near wet places too and hovering near the water as a cloud of tiny bugs.

Chigoe fleas are another flightless sand-dwelling insect live around lakes and beaches that will eat up your ankles and feet if you decide to lay on bare sand all day. Worse still, you can encounter the almost invisible sand fleas too at the beach whose bites appear as large welts and can stay with you for a longer period of time causing pain and itching.

How to keep biting beach bugs away

The problem is real, insects bite and can spread diseases, but if you follow our tips on how to get rid of biting flies at the beach, they should not keep you from enjoying your beach vacation.

Use repellent

You wouldn’t go into the thickest woods on the hottest day of summer without repellent against mosquitoes and ticks, so why go to the beach without repellant against insects?

Woman spraying mosquito repellent

Repellent for biting flies at the beach will effectively keep those annoying bugs away when you walk through the moist sand areas or tall grasslands. Get one that contains active ingredients that really work and ideally waterproof so you don’t sweat it off or wash it off when playing in the water so you won’t need to reapply it all day long.

Protect your skin by wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants

To be sure, this isn’t the kind of thing you want to wear to a beach, but if you are staying for an after-hours party, then you should definitely cover up. Beaches do get a little chilly at night, and the bugs really come out to feast, so wearing long sleeves and pants will come in handy. Many bands offering insect-repelling clothing that will not only keep you safe, but help to remain stylish too!

No products found.

During the day, use a lightweight long-sleeved coverup to keep your upper body from being bitten. Because insects are attracted to dark colors, choose light-colored clothing. It is also worth mentioning that flies are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans exhale so if the situation really gets worse, consider getting a mosquito hat too that has an attached netting.

Keep moving and close to the water

Sitting all day makes it very easy for biting insects to take a bite. Moving makes it harder for them because a moving target is hard to land on.

A woman is running to the ocean

Additionally, these insects won’t go in the water to bite, so if you spend a lot of time in the water while at the beach, you can avoid being bitten. Salty skin is less attractive for flies, so staying active and wet certainly helps to reduce the impact of biting flies.

Take a fan with you

The best chemical-free way of keeping biting flies away at the beach is using a fan! Not only is this beach accessory good at keeping you cool, it also blows biting, flying insects away from your head and face. It might seem weird at first sight to use a fan outdoors, but believe me, it really works!

A simple, small portable fan keeps bugs away from your whole body. It makes harder for insects to fly in the area where you are and also blows away the carbon dioxide you exhale, so you can focus on enjoying the sun and sea!

Avoid sweet smells

Biting and stinging insects are drawn to sweet smells. Wearing perfume, drinking sugary drinks like and eating sweet foods like watermelon or pie will bring a swarm of these pests right to you.

Sweet smelling watermelon on a beach towel

If it smells or tastes delicious, don’t wear it or bring it because it will attract biting flies. The only exception is bug spray and sunscreen combo products that tend to smell tropical. They fend off the bugs but still smell nice.

Make a bonfire during the evening

If you sit near a bonfire, the heat radiating off the fire is enough to chase off the bugs, plus it confuses them because it reminds them of daytime when they generally are not out.

Group of people is making bonfire at the beach

Sit as close to the fire as you safely can. While getting a face full of smoke is never fun, the smoke blowing your way doubles as a scent barrier for the biting insects since they can’t follow the scent of human sweat or carbon dioxide exhaled by you.

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How to keep biting flies away at the beach