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#121694 - 04/30/06 03:53 AM Chitras
nthlndvr Offline
What is the situation with chitras on AC and other outer cays? My wife and I enjoy the tropics but she seems particularly sensitive to the chitra bites. She ends up with a 3-day bite mark that itches enough to keep her awake. We've experineced them around Dangriga and the Caribbean coast of Panama but not much on "Water Cay" east of Hopkins.

Any hints on where to go to avoid them but still get in on the ocean fun?

#121695 - 04/30/06 05:59 AM Re: Chitras
kelly d Offline
What the heck is a chitra???

#121696 - 04/30/06 01:51 PM Re: Chitras
JZB Offline
I think Chitras are more commonly known as sandflies?, So it would depend on what time of the year you will be here. When they are around, on the ocean is where you want to be. Chitons is a mollusk so I don't think that is what you are talking about. I am just guessing here.

#121697 - 04/30/06 02:45 PM Re: Chitras
nthlndvr Offline
Yes, I'm talking about sand flies, gnats, no-see-ums. I've commonly heard them called "chitras" or "chitre's" in the Caribbean and Central America. They are black or dark brown, very small and you feel them when they bite. Usually, that's the first thing that let's you know they're around. Sometimes you can catch them at it and swat them but they're quick.

They don't seem to bother everyone equally and to most they are a mere nuisance. To others, they are more of a pest because their bite persists for several days.

How common are they on the cays and when are they least likely to be bothersome?

#121698 - 04/30/06 04:22 PM Re: Chitras
JZB Offline
Its been my experience (and I've had many with these little buggers), They are the worst around sunrise and sunset when there is little or no wind. If you are in town, you probably won't notice them but if you are staying in the north or south they can be relentless when there is no breeze (usually July through Oct). So far this year they haven't been much of a problem at all.

#121699 - 04/30/06 07:05 PM Re: Chitras
nthlndvr Offline
Thanks for the info. It seems like they are pretty universal in the Caribbean wherever there is sand and surf and sun.

We were in Maui about 5 years ago and I don't think that we ever noticed one there. Perhaps the water is just enough cooler.

#121700 - 04/30/06 10:33 PM Re: Chitras
globalboy Offline
so how does one prevent them from biting ?

#121701 - 04/30/06 10:47 PM Re: Chitras
They were horrible in September - no problem when I was there last month. I've read that baby oil is supposed to help. I'll be trying that this Sept. as the deet seemed to make no difference at all last Sept.

#121702 - 04/30/06 11:20 PM Re: Chitras
mikeh375 Offline
Baby oil is effective for bite prevention. It's quite thick, and the little buggers land on it, and get mired in it due to its thickness, then they drown.
Coming to you from the beautiful Oley Valley.

#121703 - 05/01/06 01:34 PM Re: Chitras
JZB Offline
I do use baby oil when they are bad. It works well if you apply enough of it. You just have to deal with the greasy feeling plus a bunch of little corpses stuck to you. Beats the alternative.

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