Mosquito and sandfly

 There are both mosquitoes & sandflies in New Zealand, but don’t be put off visiting some of the most special places in Aotearoa by scare stories or a single bad experience. The right clothes & a bottle of 2B are all you need to beat the bugs. Forged on family trips to paradise places, 2B will keep you safe & bite-free wherever your NZ adventures take you.


The bad news is that there are 13 different species of sandfly (‘namu’ in Māori) in New Zealand.  The good news however is that only two of them bite, and fortunately it’s only the females. That said, there are enough of them to be a serious annoyance in some places, and for those people that react badly to their bites, they can ruin a holiday.  Found mostly around areas of water or bush, they are day time feeders although tend to bite most at dawn and dusk – they love overcast humid conditions. They feed by sawing the skin and drinking the blood so unlike the mosquito, you feel the bite of a sandfly so at least you get a good chance to squish them. 


New Zealand has 16 species of mosquito known to Māori as ‘waeroa’ – twelve of these are endemic and four are introduced.   As with sandflies, only the female bites and they are often found around lakes, rivers and swamps.  Mosquitoes only need a small amount of standing water to lay their eggs in, so guttering or a bird bath can be enough for them to thrive in a home garden. They often feed at night but some are day feeders too. The good news is that currently there are none of the mosquito-borne viruses transmitted here in New Zealand (Chikungunya, Zika, Malaria, Dengue or Ross River virus to name a few) 

Don't let NZ's bugs bite

Sandflies and mosquitoes are variously attracted to carbon dioxide, pheromones, sweat, dark colours, movement and reflected light. Their favourite hangouts are shady places close to water.  Sandflies can bite you anywhere but are especially attracted to feet and ankles, so most bites occur below the knee. Spray 2B into your hands and rub on to all exposed skin ensuring you get between your toes, over the top of your foot, and all around your ankles front and back.  Sandflies are brilliant at finding unprotected bits so be thorough. Plan B is make sure you cover up with long socks & pants.

Discover 5 ways to avoid sandfly bites

How to apply 2B Natural insect repellent

If all else fails...

If you do get caught out and are bitten… Don’t scratch! Yes we know it’s tough not to but it’s the very best thing you can do to stop the itching getting worse or the bites getting infected. Secondary infections requiring topical or oral antibiotics are an inconvenience no one needs. We think the after-bite products currently available are unremarkable (see below). Instead a little lavender oil dabbed on the bites will give some relief from itching and is both anti-septic & anti-inflammatory – you will need to keep gently re-applying it.  A pack of cold peas held against the bites can also help reduce the fiery itch.

COMING SOON…………….2B After Bite

We have been working on a 100% natural after-bite that helps gets rid of the itch, soothe the inflammation and aid the skin to heal. Harnessing the power of plants, it contains plant oils that have a wide range of healing properties including tea tree, aloe vera and manuka. We are really excited about this product because we know it really works! Keep your eyes open for updates on our facebook page

The sandfly species present in New Zealand are a public health nuisance, however, they are not a public health risk, as the species that bite do not carry any infectious or transmittable diseases…

This map of New Zealand shows the areas where sandflies are most likely to be a nuisance…

Sandfly Map lets you see where Sandfly hotspots are around the world, updated by the community… 

(IOS Only)

The encyclopedia of New Zealand: The complete guide to our peoples, environment, history, culture and society.

New Zealand’s most popular destinations are plagued by hordes of tiny marauders, hungry for blood… Yet, as in The Art of War, the secret of survival may be as simple as understanding the enemy..

Sandflies: New Zealand’s blood-sucking summer nightmare (actually, it’s year-round)…