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What is biting me in the Florida Keys?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Hi this is Liz Kohout, the “Florida Keys Vacation Expert!” (

I often get asked “what’s biting me?”

No-see-ums are also called sand flies and biting midges. Unlike mosquitos, you feel their bite almost immediately and they can cause your skin to react with an itchy bump.

I tell all our vacation renters to remember to bring with them (be for they get here) a generous bottle of Neutrogena Body Oil so to prevent the No-see-ums from biting. It’s that simple. And people don’t realize “these bugs don’t bit all day and night long. Just an hour or two before sunrise and during sunset”. I love to be outside so we sit under big fans because they can’t fly so fell with it’s windy. That is why you don’t get bit during windy days.

If you read this article all the way through, you’ll understand why it’s so good to use the locals favorite Neutrogena Body Oil.

How To Stop No-see-ums From Biting

What are no-see-ums?

No-see-ums are small, flying insects with a painful bite that can be very annoying while fishing from or close to shore. No-see-ums are not the same thing as mosquitos, but like mosquitos they are found throughout Florida, including all of the Florida Keys. They are abundant year-round but are less noticeable during very cold or windy days.

No-see-ums are also called sand flies and biting midges. Unlike mosquitos, you feel their bite almost immediately and they can cause your skin to react with an itchy bump. They tend to come out (an hour during sunset) in low light conditions around dusk or (an hour during sunrise) early morning and are especially annoying to fishermen due to their habit of hanging around mangroves, and other structure that saltwater fish like.

How do you get No-see-ums to stop biting you?

There are three main options for repelling no-see-ums and get them to stop biting you: Avon Skin So Soft

1. Bug Spray with DEET. Normal “bug spray” or conventional mosquito repellant likely contains DEET as the active ingredient. You know it when you smell it, and it is effective against no-see-ums. Many fishermen don’t like to use DEET because it can damage plastics on the boat, including your sunglasses.

2. Avon Skin So Soft. Quite by accident, Avon developed one of the best bug sprays when they launched this product in 1961. Ever since that day, fishermen in the Florida Keys have sworn by it. It’s known to protect against no-see-ums and mosquitos, while leaving your skin soft and smelling great. Avon has caught on to the craze and has even developed their own line of bug sprays under the brand name with additional benefits such as SPF sunscreen.

3. Neutrogena Body Oil – helps to prevent these no-see-ums from biting. Neutrogena Body Oil is safe to use not like the other bug sprays. It also stays on your skin longer since it’s oil while the bug sprays disappears because it’s made with alcohol so you end-up having to constantly spray yourself with toxic chemicals that are not good for humans to use.

4. Natural oils such as lemon and eucalyptus. There are some natural products that have been shown to be effective against no-see-ums. Eucalyptus and lemon oils can be used by themselves or there are commercial products such as Repel (and many others) that offer it ready to go.

· Locals who live in the Keys love to use either Neutrogena Body Oil or Avon Skin So Soft. Many of my friends and I prefer Neutrogena Body Oil because it lasts so long is so much more effective!

We have a beautiful villa you can rental in Key Colony Beach. 701 8 Street Key Colony Beach, Florida. The vacation rental has 5 bedrooms and 4 baths with private pool, huge boat dock, outdoor kitchen, Tiki Hut bar and so much more. If you need a bigger house check out all our villas on

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