Sand Flea Bites on People – Treatment and Prevention
Sand Flea Bites on People – Treatment and Prevention

People usually confuse sand fleas bites with that of other insects because their bites are usually similar to those of other insects. Sand flea bites can be quite painful and people who have been bitten by them will shiver at the mention of these tiny animals. Leaving sand flea bites untreated can cause the victim lots of suffering even months if proper treatment and care is not given to the affected person. The sad news about sand fleas and their bites is that they can transmit viruses and carry diseases. This is why it is best for you to see a doctor once you get bitten by them. There are many cases where sand flea bite victims have ended up experiencing severe symptoms.

What are sand fleas?

Image courtesy Adobe Stock

Many people are usually unsure of what sand fleas actually are there are those who think they are small insects that bite people to suck their blood. Sand fleas are not basically insects but crustaceans that are tiny in size and thrive along beaches at the coast where there is abundance of sand.

Sand fleas are parasitic crustaceans that can also be found in marshlands where there is lots of sand. Please note that sand fleas come in a variety of sizes some small, others medium and bigger ones. There sand fleas that may be as small as the size of tiny ground maize seed, while there are those that can grow to become as big as a rice grain. Some sand fleas can be seen with the naked eye while others must be observed with the help of a microscope.

Where can you find sand fleas?

Sand fleas can also be found in desert places and people who like to go adventuring on the sands of deserts occasionally suffer from sand flea bites that leave welts on their skins. Just as their name suggests they are mostly found in sandy places but they can move to other places as well. There are cases that have been reported of the parasites moving from their habitats to people’s homes. They are harmful creatures that can really wreck havoc in your home and therefore proper care and caution must be observed against them at all times.

Some of the most dangerous sand fleas are reported to be living in the Northern Pacific region and therefore if you are visiting that place extra caution must be observed. The most unfortunate thing with sand fleas invading your home is that they will attack you and your pet animals. Some of the most vulnerable pet animals to sand flea attacks are cats and dogs.

Where and when can you expect sand flea bites?

They are usually active late in the evening and also early in the morning at dawn time. You will also find them staying active for longer during cooler days because they like cooler environments.

Mostly they will bite your feet because they cannot jump high enough to reach your knees. Even though they are tiny in size their bites are usually very painful and can cause you massive itching and overall discomfort.

Sand fleas can also easily attach themselves to pets such as cats or dogs so that when you go to carry your beloved pets they easily get into your body. Perhaps you might think about traveling with your pets to a place that has high sand flea infestation. It could be your pets that may even carry the parasites back to your home when you finally return there.

Sand fleas are known to inject their saliva on the host victim to prevent blood clotting to enable them such more blood. This usually causes itchy feelings on the person who is being bitten. This is why if you are on vacation on the coast and you at sandy beach feeling itchiness and black spots on the surface of your skin it could be sand fleas that attacked you.

So how does sand flea bites look like on people?

sand flea
Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Sand fleas are quite small in size but the damage they cause when biting people is huge and usually comes with severe skin problems. Sand fleas typically bite the feet, legs and ankles because these are the parts of the human body closest to the ground where they are. Sand fleas cannot jump high enough to attack the upper part of the human body. They can only attack your upper parts if you lie on the ground that is infested by them.

Sand fleas usually bite in the evening, night time or dawn because these are the times they are most active. This is why when you are on vacation on a coastal area it is very important to avoid going to the beach at these times.

The types of sand fleas and their bites on human

There are usually two types of sand flea bites on humans. The first type of sand flea bite on you will look like a bite from a mosquito and this usually occurs when the sand flea bites you sucks blood from and then moves to another host. While sucking your blood they will inject saliva on you to prevent your blood from clotting so as not to stop them from feeding on you. The saliva that they inject on you is the very thing that will cause discomfort and irritation and skin allergic reactions.

The other type of sand flea attack on you involves the female one that will get into your skin and burrow deep there to lay eggs. They are known to remain on your skin until their eggs hatch. To know if it was a female sand flea burrowed on your skin please look out for swollen skin areas with black spots in the center.

The effects of sand flea bites on people and the possible reactions

sand flea effects
Allergy rash on skin leg caused by bug bites from topical beach sand

Sand fleas bites on people may cause different reaction on different people but the most common reaction on people includes pain, itching, allergic reactions and overall unpleasantness.

There are people who are sensitive to sand flea bites who when they get bitten by the parasites they will experience dizziness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, lips getting swollen, and feelings of nausea. Experts claim that people suffering from the activities of female sand fleas on their skin can really feel much pain. It is reported that when the female parasite burrows on your skin to lay eggs there, you may feel even much pain and suffering. You may experience fever and other related complications such as swollen glands, pain and redness on the affected skin.

Other skin complications that may arise from the actions of a female sand flea on your skin include an inflammatory skin disease known as Tungiasis. This skin disease should be treated in its early stages before it causes other secondary infections that may pose serious complications to your health.

Treatment after sand flea bites

If you have experienced bites from sand fleas in 2018 it is best to avoid scratching the bites. This will help protect your skin from getting infections that may result from the soreness that may be caused due to your scratching. It is best for you to check the place you have been bitten to ascertain if there are signs of breeding by female sand fleas. Please note that leaving the female sand fleas burrowed underneath your skin is not good. The female parasite will lay eggs there and even hatch the eggs and all this time it will be sucking your blood! The basic rule is to ensure that they are totally eliminated from your body immediately they enter to prevent any further damage.

For itchiness, you can use topical lotions such as hydrocortisone or calamine to help soothe your pain. Apply any of these two creams gently to avoid any further damage to the surface of your skin. Sometimes applying these either of the two may simply just eradicate the problem from you. However, if you notice the problem not going away, it may be advisable for you to see a doctor without hesitation.

Other alternative ways to deal with sand flea bites naturally include taking painkillers to help ease for you the pain and swelling. Other sources also claim that using baking powder mixed with water can help you soothe the pain.

Oatmeal bath is also said to help ease itching and pain that is caused by bites from sand fleas. If you are going to use an oatmeal bath, ensure that you use water that is not too hot.

If the bites have caused you wounds Aloe Vera is also a very good remedy that will help soothe the pain.

The other good remedies that you can rely on include essential oils such as lavender, tea tree oil, cedar wood oil, eucalyptus oils. Remember these are all natural remedies that will not cause you any negative side effects but will give you the best of results to keep the pain away.

Last update on 2021-03-04 at 15:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Hi Elvis!

    My name is Yvonne. I just read your article about sand flea bites and its treatment. A couple of days ago, I also wrote something about this topic and have added an unorthodox way of treating it based on my experience. I thought that you might like it. Would you like me to send the link?

    Have a great day. Looking forward to your reply.


  2. The pictures are all of sand fleas(mole crabs) which are not parasites. Non of the pictures are of what your describing. Do more research next time.


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