You have to work at it, but you can find a reason not to like St. John. But some people have been able to do it by complaining about mosquitoes and “no see ums”.
Consider those flying nuisances as a “given” if you’re headed to an island, ANY island.
But, not everybody has the same experience. Karrie B, a St. John fan, posted on a travel forum, “I am … a bug magnet and they find me regardless of how much DEET I bathe in regardless of rain conditions. They avoid my husband completely. I don't use perfumed anything so maybe they like the DEET? No see ums are more controllable, just keep all sand off your legs and feet, let none in your villa and avoid the beach.” (That ‘avoid the beach’ thing is kind of amusing.)
Deet really seems among the best precautions you can take if the bugs find you attractive, to judge from the forums. Amazon’s got a lot of choices.
Here are some other tips, courtesy of the St. John Sun Times Magazine.
- Avoid the beach at dusk, dawn, and after rain. Sand fleas like moist and cool.
- Ease up on the perfume. The littler buggers like sweet scents. Body odor is also attractive (to the pests), so shower.
- If you’re on the beach, sit on a towel … put something between you and them.
- Rinse off when you leave the beach.
BTW, Todd Roskin , the island’s well known pest exterminator, says in the six years’ he;’s been doing pest control on the island, he’s never seen a bed bug. That’s ANOTHER way St. John’s better than New York.
12 thoughts on “Don’t get bugged by this”
I don’t think I have ever encountered a “no see um” in the USVI. I’ve heard many warnings about them and other biting or stinging insects (e.g., mosquitoes) but they have never been a problem for me. Maybe a lifetime of dealing with insects in Kentucky has made me immune?
Ditto, Live in Louisiana, where mosquitoes are the “state bird”. I’ll take the no see ums anytime!
My wife especially used to get chewed up often. Especially going out to dinner. I think they love to be under the tables. A local told us to use baby oil or skin so soft. not the creams just the oil. We both use it and it works very well. Maybe not 100% but most of the time. Very few bites these days. 268 days and we will be back.
Wife uses a ‘home brew’ from St Maarten; will bring samples next trip….no DEET. It works , great fragreance…originally made at the kitchen table…business grew!
My wife and I have been visiting St. John since 2006, usually in late August. We learned quickly that your diet will effect the no see um’s attack. Stay away from fast foods before your trip to the island. Also, 100% DEET does wonders for repelling the pests. For a good after bite relief remedy, a spray bottle of cheap gin does wonders. A lot of local bars have a bottle under the counter for you to use, you just have to ask for it.
Please give more info, I am on St Croix and am a no-see-um magnet!! Planning on heading to Central America and bugs are even worse… thankyou!!
No See Ums are prevalent in South Texas! Ditto the Skin So Soft oil. It works. Also just plain suntan oil. Not lotion, but oil. Hawiian Tropic is my fav. – Charli from Boerne, TX
I have used those insect repellant patches pretty successfully. The downside however is that you smell like a flea collar! Also loaded up on vitamin B about a week prior to travel, and continued while on island. This was also helpful, did get some bites, but substantially fewer.
I swear by Skin So Soft original body oil. Have for years. Why don’t more folks know about this?
I am considering renting a villa with NO screens in June at Hawksnest Bay…I’m wondering if my family will get eaten alive by the bugs? Any other locations that we can walk to snorkeling and be close to cruz bay? Thanks for any input! Jill
Jill you might be interested in Battery Hill in Cruz Bay.. You can walk to snorkeling in Frank Bay in the morning and stroll out to Dinner and shopping downtown in the evening. Even if you rent a car, you don’t need to worry abt parking…. Just leave at BH and walk……
In all due respect to Todd Roskin – he must not have been to the villa Kabej Patch – 2 rooms had bed bugs in their mattresses. My son and nephew were eaten up and when you looked at the mattress corners and by the ribbing all the telltale signs of bed bugs were there. The had to sleep on the sofas – all week. Of course, Ultimate Villas (UV)said it was not true – but trust me it was. I am sure UV did not call Todd to check it out. Horrible experience with UV – hate to bad mouth anyone on SJ as we love it there. But we all know its expensive & for that amount of money we want to sleep on a clean “bug free” bed.