Sand Flea Bites In Human, Prevention, And Tips

Sand flea bites are becoming an increasingly common complaint from holidaymakers. The truth is, most holidayers can’t foretell when and where to find fleas and most can’t differentiate between mosquito bites and flea bites. Some easy places to find fleas are on the beaches and hotel rooms. A report by Daily Mail in 2016 about a family that went on holiday to Majorca in Spain, but return back to the UK with flea bites which they had mistaken as mosquito bites.

Recently, while on holiday, I woke up in the morning only to find my daughter covered in large welts that formed in areas of the actual flea bites. It wasn’t a good experience but we were able to go over it. Flea bites are not a new phenomenon especially for holidaymakers experiencing sand flea bites. At any giving time, you find fleas or bed bugs in your house or bags, and you don’t tackle them as quickly as possible, you will continue to get flea bites.

What are sand fleas

Sand flea is a general name of all biting insects that are found on beaches, coastal regions and deserts, they are very tiny but have a devastating bite. Some common names that these sand fleas are known for are beach fleas, sand gnat, and punkie. Sand flea bites or sand bites on humans occur while you are laying or sitting on a beach, this is because sand fleas don’t fly, they are mostly bound to the ground.

Sand fleas prefer to live on the seaside or live on host skin feeding on blood, these host usually are animals, mostly dogs, cats and on human skin where they female sand fleas can lay hundreds of eggs.

Common types of fleas

There are over 2000 types of fleas, but the most common types of fleas are the dog fleas, cat fleas, oriental rat fleas, sand fleas, beach hoppers, beach fleas sand hoppers and human fleas. These are the most common types of fleas and depending on what beach you are, but people always mistake sand fleas bites with other insects bites. There are images on what fleas look like, check What Do Fleas Look Like.

Facts on sand fleas

  • There are over 2000 types of fleas
  • Fleas feed on blood
  • Fleas do not fly
  • Female adult fleas can spend most of her life on host animal skin.
  • Adult female fleas can lay hundreds of eggs a day.
  • Fleas spread diseases easily traveling from host to host.
  • Fleas have a pancake-shaped body.
  • Fleas have backward shaped hair.
  • Fleas are mostly reddish-brown or tan in color.
  • Fleas have spines on their legs for grasping on host hair.
  • Fleas have strong outer shell that covers the body and very hard to crush.

Can sand fleas travel home with you?

Sand fleas like to live on beaches and coastal areas, which is the most favorite places for most of us, and there you can carry sand fleas home. Sand fleas don’t usually go into the house, instead of sand fleas can travel home with you if you have been to the beach and have sat around sand fleas. If you have noticed sand fleas in your home, you have to do something urgently, and if you are to find sand flea bites or sand fleas of your body, act fast to prevent the spread of infections.

If you are wondering how sand fleas got into your home or asking questions “can sand fleas travel home with you”, these parasites may have jumped into your clothing or travel through your pet skin. These insects can spread easily like wildfire and flea bites can cause allergic reactions, and if you have found fleas on dogs, then see the Best Ways To Naturally Get Rid Of Fleas On Dogs.

How to avoid sand flea bites

If you are worried about sand flea bites when next you head to the beach, you are probably not alone on how to avoid sand flea bites, here is a complete tip for sand flea prevention.

Make sure the ankles and feet are well taken care of! The sand fleas in Negril come out around sunset as they do in most of the Caribbean.

  • Stay off the beach if you can.
  • If you decide to go, avoid beaches with lots of ocean plants, these parasites eat seaweed.
  • Apply or wear bug repellents.
  • Repellents with DEET are usually good.
  • Wear socks and shoes to avoid close contact with the sand.
  • Use a folding chair instead of laying your blanket directly on the sand, sand fleas don’t bite through clothes but it can jump.
  • Avoid early morning and late early evening visit to the beach, this is usually their feeding time.

How to remove sand fleas from skin

If you ever get a sand flea bite which can be very itchy and causes you discomfort, there are few ways on “how to remove sand fleas from skin” which you can use as a quick guide. But before you go further, check the area to make sure it “sand flea bite” and to see if sand fleas have burrowed into your skin. Check the bite against breeding fleas, which is usually a small red spot, if there are eggs in it, the bite area will look swollen with a small black spot in the middle.

  1. Avoid scratching the sand flea bite area as scratching and opening the bites will increase the chances of getting an infection.
  2. Apply aloe to the sand flea bite area, because it has a healing and soothing effect on the skin.
  3. Apply calamine lotion to the sand flea bites area to help relieve itching.
  4. Apply hydrocortisone cream on the flea bites affected areas to help stop the itching.
  5. Apply or bath with a mixture of water and baking soda to help soothe irritated and itchy skin caused by the sand flea bite.
  6. Try oatmeal bath to help relieve your skin from the sand flea bite irritation and itchiness.
  7. Apply essential oil directly to the sand flea bites area to help reduce skin irritation. Try essential oils like tea tree oil, cedar oil, and lavender oil.

How long do sand flea bites last?

The sand flea bite area can develop or grow into a boil, and this boil can actually last weeks even months. If you are allergic or have a severe allergy, sand flea bite can last a few years. One of the main reason why the healing process takes time is due to the scratching or itching effects sand flea bites have. If you are tempted to scratch, you will create an open wound which will take a long time to heal. After understanding how long do sand flea bites last, see more on allergic reaction to flea bites.

I’ve found relief from my itching from a little device called a Zanza Click. It shoots a little piezo-electric current into the bite (just a tiny zap) which actually seems to work to alleviate the itching. I couldn’t tell you whether it’s psychosomatic or not, but it seemed to help me.

Common treatment sand flea bites/sand flea bites treatment

  • Visit your doctor
  • Usually, antihistamine creams can be used to stop the itching.
  • Taking painkillers can help reduce pains.
  • You can also use antiseptics to heal the wounds.
  • After treatment has ended
  • It can take up to seven days for the irritation to stop. Read the common treatment for sand flea Bites – Sand Flea Bites Treatment

How to remove sand fleas from your home

  • The use of pesticides like Sevin Concentrate Bug Killer to disinfect the home.
  • Also, spray repellant and insecticides on your pet. (read instructions).
  • Use Sevin Dust bug spray around your home, and on the sleeping area for your pet.
  • Always vacuum your home mostly after spraying insecticides. Also, vacuum splits and holes in and around your home.

Always wash your pet linens on high temperature.

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Author: editorial