Insect problems in the Kimberleys

We are undertaking a 14 day 4WD camper van trip - Broome to Broome via the Gibb River Rd from 25 May. My wife suffers badly from midge bites and we were wondering whether we are likely to suffer from insect problems in the general area.

We will carry the usual Bushman Repellent but as we will be "living" outside the camper what extra protection, if any, would be advisable?

David Callaghan

Re: Insect problems in the Kimberleys

Hi David,
Unfortunately there is a good chance that you will come across midges (or sandflies, as everybody here calls them, though midges is the correct term).

If your wife reacts badly then you probably know from experience when and where to look out for them.

Are you going up to Cape Leveque? Places like Cape Leveque and the whole Dampier Peninsula, or the Broome area, e.g. the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, the Bird Observatory... And Derby as well. All the coastal areas can get bad on humid, still days.

There is not much you can do other than diligently use repellent on all exposed skin and cover up as much skin as possible. Mosquito coils do help some as well when you sit outside at night. And pray for cool nights and a stiff breeze!

The Gibb River Road should be ok as it is well away from the coast. (Of course you then still have the mosquitoes...) You'll have to take more care again as you get towards Kununurra. The Pentecost River is tidal where you cross it, and Wyndham is again midge heaven.

One more thing that may be worth trying is taking a good Vitamin B supplement, starting now.

Vitamin B—or lots and lots of Vegemite :-)—makes you less palatable to biting insects. It works really well for some people, though not for everybody.

Vitamin B1 can also reduce the severity of the skin reaction, but you need to take it for at least 30 days to get that effect. Again, it works quite well for most people, but for some reason not for all.

If your wife never tried it then I would give it a shot.

Comments for Insect problems in the Kimberleys

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Insect Antidote
by: Sue

As a fellow sandfly suffer-er, I always take a little Cloudy Amonia with me when I go adventuring. It smells awful but is really useful for a wide variety of stings and bites. Good Luck!

by: Birgit

Thanks for the tip, Sue.
I never heard of that, but then again, I don't suffer from sand flies or any bitey things...

The Sand-fly Itch
by: Ros

The worst thing about sand-flies is the itch. It lasts for days and sometimes when scratched can get easily infected. I've found a great natural product called "itch goes". It, at least, gets rid of the itch, is safe to use on children and sensitive skins, cheap and non-toxic. Best thing of course is not to get bitten so keep covered up with light clothes rather then have too much toxic stuff seeping through your pores. Happy travels.

by: Anonymous

The midges are mostly concentrated around mangroves so be careful when the tide is in as this displaces them and sends them inland. I didn't really notice them at Cape Leveque but my advice is just to beware around Mangroves.

More for Sandy Sufferers
by: Sue

Me again and still suffering! A good anti-histamine seems to help with the itch and at least make it possible not to scratch.

New itches
by: Jess

Just back from a 14 day trip from Darwin to Broome. Seem to have been bitten in Derby/Broome area.
Wondering why new itches are still popping up even though we're back in Sydney. Can anyone help??

Mosquitoes in September / October
by: George li

Would there be many mosquitoes/ insects during the months of September and October? Although I am quite immune to them, my wife can suffer badly from their stings. Thanks

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