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Tioman sandflies

One question that is asked frequently, particularly by those with sensitive skin and families bringing young children, is whether Tioman has any sand-flies. Well, being a tropical island, it's no surprise to learn that, yes, there will be the occasional creepy crawly or sand-fly making an appearance. It's the inevitable result of maintaining our pristine environment by green sustainable means, rather than by artificial methods. We do not indiscriminately apply broad-spectrum insecticides, because this would also kill a wide variety of harmless insects, such as crickets, bees and butterflies. As such, we'll take the occasional sandfly or mozzie nip in our stride, particularly since Tioman's insects are free of any pathogens.

Fortunately, Tioman's sand-flies in Tioman also tend to be isolated to its more rugged sections. And, in fact, as their name implies, you won't be bothered by sand-flies anywhere else apart from sandy stretches, usually those that are not periodically given a good clean-up and, as a result, have collected pockets of organic material, such as decomposing leaf matter, sea weed, etc.

In other words, so long as you select a resort that employs regular sweeping of the beach, the number of sand-fly bites will be kept to a bare minimum.

That said, if you're the one with the sweet blood that always gets bitten by mozzies and sand-flies, then apply some natural DEET-containing insect repellent before heading for the beach. "Off" spray is quite effective at keeping flying insects at bay, doesn't have a malodorous smell at all and is sweat-resistant too. It really works a charm and is available at most of Tioman's mini-markets.

If you forgot to bring the Off to the beach that afternoon and are sporting a small spot or two that evening, then use any of these remedies to relieve the itch:

Calamine Lotion
Tea tree oil
Chinese herbal ("Tiger Balm") oil