Defending Yourself Against Sand Fleas

Sand fleas are not a cousin of the household flea and in fact isn’t even an insect, but a crustacean. Though the two are commonly grouped together, because they act much in the same way and both are definitely a pest. A female sand flea’s bite works much like the more common flea, because their bite injects an anesthetic and anti-coagulant into the victim before they suck out the blood they need to lay eggs. The major difference is the resulting bite, as one from a sand flea is far more painful and has a much longer duration than that of the common flea you find on pets.
The pain generated from a bite is often greater than that of a mosquito. The pain isn’t the only issue though, as the bite will turn into a large rash or welt on the skin that is extremely itchy, far more intense than that of a mosquito or normal flea bites. The possibility of developing a fever or more serious disease is possible, due to the types of bacteria that the parasites carry with them. Resisting the urge to scratch can be tough, but is important to reduce the risk of the rash spreading or becoming infected.
Dealing with sand fleas is done similar to any other pest you find at the beach. Spraying yourself down with a light bug repellent is simply a must, preferably one that contains DEET. These fleas do not travel far from where they are born and you will rarely find them anywhere but the beach or near other bodies of water. One thing to listen for is a high pitched wine, as this sound is made by swarms of sand fleas. Being bitten by a single flea is painful enough, but being attacked by a small swarm of them can really ruin your day.
Thankfully, these critters are generally not found infesting homes, due to their preference for water, seaweed, and sea creatures. Sand Fleas are still a major concern at the beach and can pose a real threat if the wounds are not treated properly. Always take the time to inspect yourself after leaving the beach for any bites or other possible passengers that you could be dragging home with you. Fostering a sand flea infestation at your home by bringing a few back with you from the beach can be a costly and painful lesson that may leave you skeptical of ever returning to the beach.