Okarito Sandfly Repellent contains just two natural ingredients: citronella oil and sweet almond oil. That’s it.

Sandflys hate it,
you’ll love it.

Buy it here

Our repellent is a natural, effective and affordable repellent of New Zealand sandflies. It contains no deet, is non-toxic and is safe for use on children.


Our Story

Okarito Sandfly Repellent was born in Okarito, South Westland, New Zealand for use in our kayaking business. Initially we provided the repellent to customers to use while paddling on Okarito Lagoon. Many people came back praising it’s effectiveness, and repeated requests led us to try bottling and selling our repellent. That was 12 years ago. We now sell to numerous retailers in the South Island, and at Department of Conservation Visitor Centres nationwide.

“We dropped in yesterday and bought three of your repellents. Well I’m impressed – my daughter had it on yesterday and walked into a swam of sandflies and they parted like the red sea! Well done and good luck, I hope you make your fortune selling this.”


Okarito lagoon reeds

Using Okarito Sandfly Repellent

To use, apply Okarito Sandfly Repellent sparingly on exposed skin. As it is an oil it spreads easily, so a little goes a long way. Usually Okarito Sandfly Repellent will remain active for about two hours – this varies with temperature, humidity, how much you are sweating, and how thick in the air the sandflies are! If you are in and out of the water you will need to reapply more often. Although non-toxic, citronella oil can cause skin sensitivity in a very small number of people. We recommend you patch test by applying a small amount of oil to the inside of your elbow. If any redness or irritation develops, discontinue using. As Okarito Sandfly repellent has no toxicity, it is harmless if swallowed. If it gets in the eyes, gently wipe with a damp cloth. If it gets on clothing it will easily wash out in the same way as vegetable oil. Unlike deet-based repellents it will not damage clothing or dissolve plastics.

Sandfly fact

Sandflies won’t bite you while you are moving. As soon as you stop, either cover up or get your Okarito Sandfly Repellent on quickly!


The New Zealand Sandfly (Maori name: Namu) is actually a member of the blackfly family. They are only 2-3mm in length and only the females bite as they need blood to produce eggs. They are most commonly found close to flowing water and native bush and breed in fast flowing rivers and streams. Eggs are laid on rocks or plants at or below water level. Sandfly saliva contains anticoagulants which keep the blood flowing. These cause an allergic reaction which results in itching and swelling. As well as humans, sandflies feed on bats, penguins, birds, seals and domestic animals. Follow this link for more info on the breeding cycle of sandflies. Bite Prevention Sandflies are most active in calm, overcast, humid conditions and are typically more active at dawn and dusk. Bites can be reduced by covering up at these times. It is a good idea to close windows and doors half an hour before sunset. As the day cools, sandflies are more likely to come into your house. Also, when stopping at an idyllic natural spot (especially on the South Island’s West Coast), close your car doors and windows. It won’t take the sandflies long to infest your car. If you do find your car full of sandflies, put the heater and fan on full blast. That usually takes care of them in a few minutes.

Sandfly fact


Sandflies dislike windy conditions, or hot sunny conditions. When it is sunny and warm, you are more likely to get bitten if you’re standing in the shade. Oddly enough, sandflies also seem to be attracted to people wearing dark clothing.


Dept Of Conservation Visitor Centres

Kaueranga Valley, Thames
Lake Waikaremoana
Nelson lakes, St Arnaud
Arthur’s Pass
Mount Cook
Franz Josef Glacier
Te Anau
Stewart Island


Other Visitor Centres

Hanmer Springs

 Other Retail Outlets

The Goodness Grocer, Pukekohe
Whakatane Great Outdoors
Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, Nelson
Kaiteriteri Store
Encounter Kaikoura
Henry Trading, Lyttleton
Hanmer Springs i-SITE
Maruia Hot Springs, Lewis Pass
GAS Springs Junction
Westport Holiday Park & Motels
Gently Annie Seaside Accommodation, Mokihinui
Punakaiki Beach Camp
Mason’s Pharmacy, Greymouth
Greenstone Retreat, Kumara
Birdsong Backpackers, Hokitika
BP Hokitika
Challenge Service Station, Hokitika
Westland Pharmacy, Hokitika
New World, Hokitika
Shining Star, Hokitika
Totara bridge Station, Ross
The Bushman’s Centre, Pukekura
Pukeko Tearooms, Harihari
White Heron Store, Whataroa
White Heron Sanctuary Tours, Whataroa Whataroa Service Station
Okarito Kayaks, Okarito
Franz Josef Glacier Guides
Glacier Hot Pools, Franz Josef
Franz Josef Top 10 Holiday Park
Glacier Motors, Franz Josef
Fern Grove Foodcentre, Franz Josef
Glacier valley Ecotours, Franz Josef
Scenic Hotel, Franz Josef
Glenfern Villas, Franz Josef
Fox Glacier General Store
Fox Glacier Motors
Fox Glacier Top 10 Holiday Park
Fox Inn Pod Hostel & Backpackers
Reflections Gifts & Gallery, Lake Matheson
Bruce Bay Coffee Cart
South Westland Salmon Farm
Haast Village Foodcentre
Haast Beach General Store
The Craypot, Jackson’s Bay
YHA Mt Cook
Southern Alps Outdoor, Twizel
Mobil Twizel
Mobil Omarama
Lake Hawea Holiday Park
Lake Hawea Motors
Glendhu Bay Holiday Park, Wanaka
MT Outdoors, Wanaka
45 South Outdoors Store, Queenstown
Walter Peak Station, Queenstown
Kingston Holiday Park
Lake Dunstan Pharmacy
Cromwell Pharmacy, Cromwell
Central Otago Hunting and Fishing, Cromwell
Freeway Orchard, Cromwell
Faigan’s Café & Store, Millers Flat
Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park
Fiordland Frontier Supplies, Te Anau
Fiordland Community Pharmacy
Caltex Te Anau
Mobil Te Anau
Real Journeys, Te Anau
YHA Te Anau
Real Journeys, Manapouri
Mitre Peak Cruises, Milford Sound
Stewart Island Store, Stewart Island
Real Journeys, Stewart Island

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