Do you know what sand fleas are? If you’ve ever been to a beach, then there’s a good chance you’ve encountered these pesky creatures and worst might bring it home. Sand fleas can be a real nuisance, and they can cause a lot of pain and irritation if they bite you. In this blog post, we will discuss how to avoid and get rid of sand fleas. We’ll also provide some helpful tips on how to protect yourself from these little critters. So read on for more information!
- 1 What Are Sand Fleas?
- 2 What Do Sand Fleas Look Like?
- 3 Sand Flea Home
- 4 Are Sand Flea Dangerous?
- 5 How To Prevent Sand Flea Bites
- 6 How To Treat Sand Flea Bites
What Are Sand Fleas?
Sand flea is a type of small, wingless insect that is found near sandy beaches and other dry surfaces. Although technically a crustacean, the term “sand flea” indicates a species that lives in sandy places under rocks and flora detritus and is harmless to people or pets but is commonly referred to as an insect.
There are many different kinds of crustaceans that reside in coastal areas and marshy environments and are referred to as “sand fleas,” including the common dog and cat flea, gnat, fly, and sand flies.
Although commonly known as beach fleas, sand hoppers, and beach hoppers however, true sand fleas, despite their name, are not actual fleas at all but crustaceans. This kind of flea belongs to the family Talitridae, which is distinct from parasitic fleas or “chiggers” found in South America and Mexico.
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What Do Sand Fleas Look Like?
Sand fleas are small in size. These tiny crustaceans can grow up to a half-inch in length. The Atlantic coast sand hopper, a species found in the eastern Atlantic coasts of the United States, can reach a length of an inch. Sand fleas come in a variety of hues, although the most common are shades of gray, brown, or greenish gray. Long, thick antennae are the only distinguishing feature between these creatures. Sand fleas are also distinguished by the presence of two forked appendages on the backs of their bodies, characteristics often seen to those belonging in the Family Talitridae.
Sand Flea Home
As implied by their common name, they are sand fleas. Sandy shorelines near high tide marks are ideal habitat for sand fleas. It is at nighttime when they’re most active, foraging for food. They’ll be buried beneath the sand all day. There are numerous sand fleas along the coastal areas of the Atlantic. There is one species, chigoe fleas or Orchestia gammarellus, that is native to Europe, but can now be found in some section of the Atlantic coast in the US. As well as along coastal areas Gulf, the Pacific Coast, and the Caribbean, sand fleas can also be found in these areas. In the removal of kelp, for example, a species of sand flea found on the beaches of Santa Barbara is a crucial creature to consider.
Are Sand Flea Dangerous?
For whatever reason, many people mistakenly believe sandflies to be fleas, not because they bite people. The only similarity between this sand loving crustacean and common sand flea share the same jumping abilities. Sand fleas are known as hopping crustaceans
Many folks in coastal locations mistake true sand fleas for biting insects such as gnats and biting midges, who are known to bite humans. These gnats and midges bite people and leave itchy bites and painful welts on human skin. Both people and dogs should not be concerned about sand fleas. Sand fleas prefer small marine animals and not humans and animals.
Who Causes Those Itchy Bites?
Beach fleas are small crustaceans who love sandy areas but unlike other pests are not capable of biting humans and animals. Flea bites are caused by flying insects known as Sandflies, or Psychodidae. These pests are responsible for the itchy flea bites that result in reddish blisters often leading to excessive scratching. Sandflies or Blackflies are frequent on sand near coastlines and other shoreline locations. The insect bites are the result of the pests feeding on the blood of their host. These true fleas belong to the Psychodidae family of insects.
The Jigger flea (Tunga penetrans), which is capable of burrowing into human tissue, is another species that is frequently mistaken for sand fleas. However, until one travels to the desert areas of the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as areas of Africa and India, this insect is a non-issue.
How To Prevent Sand Flea Bites
To prevent sand flea bites one should do the following:
Visit The Beach At The Appropriate Time Of Day
One of the most effective ways to prevent sand fleas bite is to visit the beach at the right time of day. Sand flea are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. So if you want to avoid sand flea bites then avoid the beach during these times or you’ll be much less likely to get bitten.
Wear Light Colors
Another good strategy to avoid sand fleas bite is to wear light-colored clothing. Sand flea is attracted to dark colors, so wearing light-colored clothing will make you less visible to them.
Avoid Damp Sand
Sand flea activity is also increased in cool, damp weather. As a result, it’s recommended to avoid going to the beach shortly after it rains to reduce your chances of having a sand flea bite. Sand flea infestation might also be reduced on windy days.
Avoid Lying On The Sand
Most beachgoers love sitting or lying on the sand. There are even people who buried a part of their body on sand while on the beach. Sitting, lying down or stay buried in the sand gives you a more appealing target for sand flea bites. If possible, avoid flea bites keeping people’s feet, ankles, and lower legs covered. If you can, it is much better if you avoid lying or sitting directly into the sand.
Preventative Measures: Wear Insect Repellent Before Going To The Beach
Wear DEET insect repellent and reapply regularly throughout the day to prevent sand flea bites. Fleas are a common problem in sandy areas, and can cause a great deal of discomfort. The best way to prevent fleas is to wear an insect repellent, such as DEET. DEET will help to keep fleas away from your skin, and will also help to kill any that may land on you. Be sure to reapply regularly, as fleas can jump on you very quickly. If you do get bit by a flea, be sure to wash the area with soap and water to prevent infection.
How To Treat Sand Flea Bites
Because sand fleas are unable to leap higher, these clusters are most commonly found on the feet, ankles, and lower legs. The rash induced by sand flea bites can continue up to a week before starting to disappear.
Method 1: Use Soothing Remedies
Don’t Scratch Sand Flea Bites
Avoid scratching any bites. Because sand flea bites might itch, many people instantly want to scratch them. It is best to avoid scratching the bites, as this might lead to the bites becoming infected.
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Use Calamine Lotion
Use calamine lotion to relieve the itching. Using calamine lotion to the region can help soothe the itching caused by the bites. This lotion, which you can pick up at your local pharmacy, is great for soothing itchy skin.
After reading the directions, apply a tiny amount of calamine lotion to the injected area by gently rubbing it in. Keep out of reach of children.
Caution should be exercised when applying calamine lotion to youngsters under the age of six months without seeing a physician. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also consult a doctor before using the lotion.
Try Hydrocortisone Cream
Using hydrocortisone ointment to the affected region might also help ease the itching. This will keep you from scabbing yourself in the bites. Hydrocortisone cream can be purchased in a number of sizes at your local pharmacy. Before using the cream, make sure you’ve gone over the directions thoroughly. Apply the cream to the diseased region and gently massage it in. Afterward, wash your hands with soap and water.
Consult your doctor before using hydrocortisone cream if you’re expecting or using any other medications to avoid any allergic reactions. Do not use it on children under 10 without consulting a physician.
Make A Baking Soda And Water Solution
To make a paste, combine equal parts baking soda and water. Soothes and calms itching and inflamed skin. The mixture can be used as a remedy for sand flea bites:
Bathe in a tub loaded with cool water and add 1 cup of baking soda. Afterwards, take a long soak in the tub for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
3 parts baking soda and 1 part water is another alternative. Make a paste by mixing everything together until it’s smooth. Apply the paste to the inflamed area and massage it in. After around 30 minutes of application, remove the paste from the skin by rinsing with warm water.
Relax With A Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Relaxing in an oatmeal bath can also help soothe skin irritations and rashes caused by sand flies. Antioxidants included in oatmeal have a calming impact on the skin. One to two cups of oat flour or oats, mixed with warm water, are all that’s needed to make a soothing oatmeal bath. Relax inside the tub for about an hour. Cold water is preferable to hot water. This has the potential to aggravate already irritated skin.
To Avoid Raised Bump Apply Aloe Vera On The Body
Aloe vera is an effective remedy for a variety of skin ailments. To buy aloe vera gel, go to your local pharmacy or go to this page on Amazon. Aloe vera gel can be applied directly to the affected area by gently massaging the gel into the skin. This will provide you with some temporary relief by soothing your skin.
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Make Use Of Aromatherapy Oils
Lavender oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and cedar oil are among the essential oils that may help soothe the itching and swelling caused by sand flea bites on the body.
- Essential oils should be applied directly to the inflamed skin in order to work.
- For the correct dosage, follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Amazon has a selection of pre-mixed lotions and creams that include essential oils.
- The use of essential oils for medical purposes, especially if you are pregnant, should always be discussed with a doctor.
- A patch test should be performed on a small area of skin that has not been impacted by any known allergies or sensitivities before using any new product.
- To avoid skin irritation, most essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil before application to the skin. Unless specifically instructed otherwise by a professional, do not apply undiluted essential oils directly to the skin.
Method 2: Seek Medical Attention
You should examine the bites for flea eggs.
Most sand flea bites are characterized by a little red spot, much like a mosquito bite would be. A female flea, on the other hand, may burrow into the skin in order to lay eggs. There is a risk of serious inflammation and infection with them. A little black mark will appear in the center of the enlarged area caused by the bite.
Visit a doctor to get rid of any beach burrowing sand fleas you may have on your body.
Visit The Doctor.
Allergies usually subside if hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion is applied. You should see a doctor right away if this doesn’t occur or if the conditions worsen. There are two possibilities here: either the bites are infectious, or you have an allergy to the flea saliva.
Antihistamine Cream Can Be Used To Treat Bites.
Antihistamine cream may be prescribed by your doctor to treat the bites. Flea bites can produce an allergic reaction in some people, and this lotion can help alleviate that discomfort. Follow the doctor’s directions to the letter.