Sand flea bites
Sand flea bites has recently become a very common case in all over United States. These little fleas, which are usually found on the beach, are creating a lot of ruckus these days. To know how to prevent a bite from a Sand flea and also to treat it first hand, we need to first know “What is a Sand Flea?”
Sand Fleas are also known as with variety of names depending on the place they are found such as beach hoppers, hop-along, beach fly or sand hopper. Although they are named differently but all these terrestrial crustaceans belong to the same family of Talitridae which belongs to a larger group of Amphipods.
Sand fleas are extremely small in size and could easily be mistaken as insects but that should not fool you as these extremely small crustaceans that are actually very difficult to see with the naked eye. The following image will give u an idea how the small demons look like and if you can have a close look they almost resemble a shrimp but lot smaller in size. So for you to see Sand flea, you will have to stare at an area of the sand for a period of time. After some time only you will start seeing these sand fleas jumping around.
Sand fleas are as little as they come but should not be taken lightly because their sting will cause severe pain on the bitten part.
Sand flea bites are not just limited to people on beach, but these fleas are common in normal parks too and these bites can be observed on children and dogs too. These Bites create a very pinching sensation and also swelling and redness of that area.
These fleas are called hoppers too as they hop in the sand which enables them to access larger area of leg and not just the foot. These pesky little insects are ridiculously dangerous.
What Do Sand Flea Bites look like on humans?
These blood sucking hoppers although being quite small in size, can cause severe skin problems. Sand fleas with their jump can only reach up to 20-40 cm, so the chance of getting bitten on the upper body is less unless you’re lying down in the sand, then you are in a lot of trouble. Their usual biting area is the feet, ankles and legs as they are closest to the ground. Sand fleas come out from the ground generally at evening, night or dawn and that is the time when they are most active. So any flea bites going to happen, it’ll most likely to happen during that time. So, if you’re on the beach around that time, you should be totally on guard. These Sand fleas create a very high pitch noise which is audible to humans too, so if you hear any such thing it is a clear indication that Sand fleas are in vicinity and you should move from there.
Following are some pictures of the Sand flea bites on humans. This will give you some idea about what the symptoms look like.
Two types of Sand Flea Bites
It has come to light that there are two different types of sand flea bites on humans. Type one looks like a typical mosquito bite and that happens when the fleas hop on to your legs, suck your blood and then they move on to another host. During this time, they inject their saliva which prevents blood clotting and this is done so that they are not disturbed while they are feeding. This saliva is the reason for the irritating itchiness on the skin and this could cause an allergic reaction too.
The second one is even worse and breeding female sand fleas are the reason behind it. These female fleas burrow themselves deep into the skin and stay there until the hatching of their eggs. If you get a Sand flea bite and you see a swollen area with black spot in the middle, you should immediately go to the doctor to get rid of it as it could be breeding sand fleas.
The symptoms of both these flea bites are similar and the most common occurrence is of itching, swelling, sharp pain and unpleasantness. People who are allergic to sand fleas can have maximum effect from its bite as severe reactions can take place. When the female breeding fleas burry themselves into the skin of their host, infection in that particular area is possible, you may also experience some fever which could develop into a condition called “Tungiasis”, which is a type of skin disease that can cause further secondary infections if not treated properly.
How to Prevent Sand Flea Bite?
“Prevention is better than cure”
If you want to avoid getting bitten by the sand fleas then following are some of the tips which will help you to do so.
- Avoiding the beach when it’s raining. Sand fleas are reported to be more aggressive and active when the air is cool and moist. Beaches should also be avoided in the evening for the same reason. The best time for Beach visits is when sun is up and it’s warm and dry outside.
- If you plan to go to the beach when its cool then you should carry your insect repellent as it is of help but only to a certain extent.
- Covering yourself while sitting or lying on the beach can help to avoid getting bitten on your back, legs and feet.
- Rubbing your legs with insect repellent cream can also help as they provide a thin protective layer over the skin and can prevent Sand fleas breeding into your skin.
I hope this article reaches out to people who are in danger of getting bitten and can be of some helpful. For more information, you can read about How to cure flea bites on humans, children, and dogs.