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Sand fleas are usually mistaken by most people for insects due to their small sizes but they are actually crustaceans that are tiny. Sand fleas are mostly common along coastal areas and beaches. They are also found in marshes as well as desert areas too. What most people don’t know is that sand fleas don’t usually come with people to their homes even when you visit places they infest. Sand fleas prefer living in their habitat along the coastal areas because such places are conducive for them to survive. It is however quite unfortunate that the female sand flea can burrow in the skin of humans and then lay eggs there!
Some tips to help you avoid sand flea bites
- Avoid going to the beach early in the morning or late afternoon – sand fleas have been found to like to feed either very early in the morning or in the late afternoon. There are times that the sand fleas can stretch their feeding times especially during cooler temperatures. It is best for you to keep off the beach during these times to avoid carrying the tiny animals with you.
- Avoid lying directly on the ground – lying directly on the ground gives the sand fleas easy access to your body and therefore leave you susceptible to sand flea bites. Again never put your towel or blanket directly on the ground at the beach because this way the sand fleas will find easily get on your towel or blanket and get access to your body. To go about this, you can use folding chairs when you go basking beside the beach so you don’t have to lie directly on the ground.
- Better wear closed shoes – the sand fleas cannot jump and therefore wearing shoes will help protect your feet from possible bites. Putting on socks will make it even better for you because they usually don’t bite through clothes.
- Put on a bug repellant – putting on clothes that have effective bug repellants such as DEET are very effective deterrent against sand fleas.
- Be wary of ocean water coming ashore with seaweed – sand fleas like feeding on seaweed and therefore if you see ocean water coming ashore with seaweed try to avoid it.
What you can do if you get bitten by sand fleas
It is best to keep away from potential areas named above where sand fleas are more likely to attack you and bite you. If in the unfortunate event you get bitten it is advisable that you keep an eye on the bite marks and avoid scratching the bitten area. The female sand fleas rarely lay their eggs on human skin but sometimes they do. If you notice a bite you have has got a black center, please consult your physician immediately.
Sometimes people confuse sand flea bites with the bites of other insects this is why it is advisable for you to consult a professional right away if you think you have been bitten by them.
Sand Flea Symptoms
Sand fleas don’t really cause severe symptoms on you except for the bites that they leave on you. The bites can sometimes become very itchy and cause you discomfort. The itchiness that you feel on your skin is due to the saliva that they inject in you when they bite.
When the female sand flea lays eggs underneath your skin you may see swollen areas on your skin with black spots. If you suspect that a female sand flea has laid eggs on your skin, you are advised to see a doctor who will help you have the eggs removed.
Basically, when the female sand flea burrows and lays eggs on your skin you may experience severe reactions. The symptoms that will show include fevers, and even the bite area may also get infected. An inflammation may also be evident on your skin with secondary infections notwithstanding.
Treating sand flea bites at home
There are topical application creams that help to soothe itchiness that sand fleas cause on the skin.
The two creams are:
- Hydrocortisone cream.
- Calamine lotion.
You can easily find these lotions over the counter at most pharmacy in your locality.
Aloe Vera is also a good natural method that you can rely on to help soothe bites from sand fleas.
The bottom line
Sand fleas are crustaceans and not insects as most people commonly mistake them to be. They are more commonly found in coastal areas where sand is in abundance, marshlands and even in deserts lands where there are sand. To be safe from sand fleas it is advisable for you to avoid going these areas especially very early in the morning and late in the afternoon.