What Attracts Sand Flies to Humans?

What Attracts Sand Flies to Humans?

Sand flies are small flying insects that feed on blood. They are most commonly found in sandy beaches and coastal habitats. Sand flies are a nuisance for beachgoers, as they bite humans in order to feed on their blood. But why are sand flies attracted to humans?


Sand flies are drawn to the smell of humans. Studies have shown that they are attracted to the smell of lactic acid, ammonia, and carbon dioxide, which are all produced by our bodies in varying amounts. In addition, sand flies are also attracted to certain scents from cosmetics, such as perfumes and shampoos, which can make them even more difficult to avoid.


Using insect repellents can help deter sand flies from biting you. DEET is one of the most effective repellents, as it interferes with the insect’s sense of smell. Citronella oil, lemon eucalyptus, and lavender oil are also known to repel sand flies.

Bright Colors

Bright colors like white, yellow, and light blue will attract sand flies. It is believed that these colors reflect ultraviolet light, which can draw the insects closer. Therefore, wearing darker clothing is recommended when in a high risk area.

Heat and Movement

Sand flies are attracted to both heat and movement. If a person’s body temperature is higher than their surroundings, it can draw the insects to them. Similarly, sand flies are attracted to human movements, such as walking or running, which can increase their chances of finding a place to land and bite.


Sand flies are attracted to humans in many ways. They detect our smell, are drawn to bright colors, and can sense both heat and movement. It is important to know what attracts sand flies in order to reduce your risk of being bitten. Taking the necessary precautions, such as wearing insect repellent and darker clothing, and avoiding heavily infested areas is the best way to prevent sand fly bites.

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