The question on everyone’s lip while taking a look at this topic would be, what are sand fleas and do they bite? For those who are eager to know, the answer is yes, they do bite, and sand fleas are fleas that live beneath the surface of the sand. Sand flea bites mostly happen on the low parts of the human body, usually from the leg down to the feet.
Although, in some cases, it could occur in other parts of the body like your stomach, arms or your back. Sand flea bites and mosquito bites look a lot similar. Both insects suck the human blood in the same way, and this usually leads to skin irritation, bumps, red rashes to mention a few. These effects are usually a lot more severe for sand flea bites than mosquito bites. This is because sand fleas move in large groups of hundreds in most cases and bite quickly. In most situation, you might not feel a thing, unlike when you a bitten by a mosquito. It is also a common occurrence to be bitten by over 50 sand fleas if you aren’t adequately prepared.
What Do Sand Flea Bites Feel Like?
Similar to a mosquito bite, being bitten by a sand flea isn’t a pleasurable experience or something to write home about. Sand flea bites tend to itch a lot and in some cases could be painful depending on the part of the body you were bitten. The likelihood of being bitten by a sand flea and the reaction one might get varies from individual to individual.
How Long Do Sand Flea Bites Last?
The normal duration of a sand flea bite is usually between four to seven days. Although, sand flea bites tend to pass on secondary diseases in rare cases. If you notice that your bite gets worse as the day goes by, it is highly recommended you seek the services of a doctor.
What Is A Sand Flea?
A sand flea is a blood-sucking insect that is a member of the Diptera family. Sand fleas are tiny and usually reside beneath the surface of the sand, the main reason they are a common occurrence on the beach. Sand fleas are extremely small in size, typically a fourth of the size of a mosquito. Notwithstanding, the sand fleas bites are quite unpleasant.
Where Do You Find Sand Fleas?
Sand fleas are mostly found on tropical sand located on beaches in the tropical region. There are common in Central America. You can find sand fleas in large quantity in the Caribbean and some areas in Florida. Countries like Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize typically stand out as popular spots for sand fleas.
The Best Sand Flea Repellent
When embarking on a journey to the tropics, most especially if visiting a beach is part of your itinerary, these are certain products which are a must and should be included in your luggage. They are DEET and Cactus Juice, below are some important characteristics of both products;
- Cactus Juice is made from cactus extract. Which mean it is environment, reef and water friendly, thus making it safe for use close to the kid and before meals.
- Cactus Juice has a fantastic aroma, very pleasant than when compared with other bug sprays. It’s an ideal flea spray that leaves you with a pleasant aroma.
- Cactus Juice is a guaranteed repellent. My first experience with Cactus juice was during a journey to the tropics with a friend of mine who intentionally refuse to apply any flea repellent product. I was free from flea bites while he had a couple on his skin. This encouraged me to give it a try the next time I was headed to the beach.
- DEET, on the other hand, is made from chemicals mixed with several other chemicals. It is not ideal for usage close to kids. Always endeavour to ensure the product does not come in contact with the mouth or eyes, as it doesn’t leave a pleasant experience. It also has a very repulsive smell.
- That said, it is better to deal with the offensive smell and not have to fret about sand fleas and to get sand flea bites all over your skin and to have to deal with a week of discomfort and treatment.
How to apply Cactus Juice and DEET
To apply both Cactus Juice and DEET, ensure you spray the product on your body before you arrive at the beach and also ensure you come to the beach with a spray bottle containing either one of these products. Apply product on the lower parts of your body, from your feet below, ensure the product is sprayed on your legs, ankles and feet. Most people tend to spray just once, and that’s all. Forgetting that the spray could wash off after coming in contact with water. It is important you spray after coming out of the water, in case the spray washes off.
Tips on how to avoid Sand Flea Bites
Below are tips on how to avoid sand flea bites without the use of any products;
Ensure you aren’t at the beach at dusk or dawn: These period are the times that sand fleas are the most active and in search of blood meal to feed on.
Avoid lying down directly on the sand: Sand fleas tend to have the minimal reach and as such creating a buffer with the use of a blanket or a beach chair could go a long way in minimising the number of sand fleas that come in contact with you.
Ensure you cover up properly: If you intend taking a long walk on the beach, and aren’t interested in sunbathing, do ensure you wear long clothes and cover up as much as you can. It would help prevent sand fleas from biting your body.
Do not go to the beach once it rains: Sand fleas are more active after it rains, this is because the rain sinks into the sand for a bit making the sand inhabitable for the fleas and as such they leave their habitat to find out the cause of the disturbance. It is ideal you wait for an hour after rainfall before heading out to the beach.
Confirm if the beach has been raked or sprayed: Areas that are notable for sand fleas are usually raked or sprayed to avoid sand flea infestation. Confirm from your hotel if they have a policy on sand fleas and if they do how do they maintain their resort or beach.
How to get rid of Sand Flea Bites
Let’s say you weren’t privy to all the information above, and you find yourself infested by sand fleas, you need not worry as there are a couple of ways you could treat sand flea bites, here are some of the best sand flea treatment
The Best Sand Flea Treatment
The first treatment I would recommend for sand flea is Mitigator. This is a sting and bug ointment ideal for treating sand flea bites. It is known to be very effective, and it is highly recommended that you do not leave your house without it.
For those who do not have access to mitigator, you could make use of other home-made remedies to treat sand flea bites. Some home-made remedies include;
Aloe vera: This is a multi-purpose product that is also ideal in treating sand flea bites, it is also great for sunburns and the likes.
Warm oatmeal and bath: Oatmeal is ideal for skin infections from chicken pox to insect bites like sand fleas. This is mainly due to its natural skin healing characteristics. All you need to do is make an oatmeal paste and apply on the infected part of your skin for a minimum of five to ten minutes, after which you proceed to have a warm bath while the paste instil on your body. You should feel a little relief immediately after.
Ice: Applying ice on sand flea bites could help reduce swelling and inflammation while also reducing the need to itch the bite spot.
Irrespective of how serene and lovely your next holiday destination might be, if it’s a heaven for sand fleas, then there are chances that you might not have a wonderful time. It helps to be prepared just in case. Do not forget to arm yourself with either DEET or Cactus Juice, so you can reduce the sand fleas on the beach and have that relaxing time you so deserve.