The Sun, The Sea, and The Dreaded Sand Flea

 In News

We don’t know about you, but beach weather is our favorite type of weather—nothing is as relaxing as being on the sand during a nice summer day.  Yet, the sand flea (spoiler alert: it’s not really a flea) can be a common nemesis you encounter on your beach trips. Don’t let this tiny critter ruin a great day at the beach—read on to see what you can do!

First, let’s go over a brief description of the sand flea.  No, it is not really a flea, but rather a crustacean—a really, really tiny one (notice that they’re never served at seafood restaurants?).  Despite this, the sand flea is known to bite humans, and some can even double as parasites, burrowing themselves into your skin to feed for a prolonged time.

How to Prevent Bites

Since sand fleas love to munch on sea veggies, an easy way that you can avoid being bitten is to set up camp away from seaweed.  If you can see it clearly in the water from the beach or if you can see it on the beach itself, go find somewhere else to lay out for the day.  Furthermore, avoiding the beach in the early morning or at sunset can be another easy way to avoid sand fleas, since that is their prime feeding time.

Upon Leaving the Beach

Shake out the towel or chair you were using rigorously before getting into your car to dislodge any sand fleas which may have hitched a ride from the surf.  Once you get home, do yourself a favor and either throw your towel in the wash or in the dryer for 20 minutes—both are great ways to eliminate any sand fleas trying to sneak by.  On the other hand, if you are staying at a resort, deposit your towels wherever the staff directs you to—just be sure to not take them back to your room.

Diagnosing the Bite

So, what does a sand flea bite look like?  Typically, these bites will have a red welt to them and usually appear once you return from the beach or the next day.  These bites will generally be around your legs, and will be itchy. But, do your best to NOT scratch the bite! Since some critters can carry diseases, scratching the bite will increase swelling and can lead to an infection.  Instead, put some calamine lotion on the spot. Should you find a sand flea burrowed in your skin, simply take a trip to your friendly neighborhood doctor for removal.

While we cannot rid the world of sand fleas, we can certainly educate you on how to be better prepared to deal with them.

For more pest news, tips, and facts, be sure to check back to our blog regularly!

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