Home | Dominican Republic | Write a Review | Blog | Advertise

Sand Fleas


#1

Sand fleas hasn’t been a topic for a while so this is for the new members:
Be aware or be scared:

Sand fleas killed many of Columbus’s sailors. :-X
They are shrimp-like and spring up a foot or two and attach to your legs, or whatever is a couple of feet from the damp sand, bury their mouth parts under your skin and leave their abdomens sticking out to breath and defecate. :frowning:
You don’t feel them for a day or so while they are digging in. Then you see a red spot and it’s itchy. Given a chance to have a look, they will have a black spot in the middle of the red circle. Covering that spot with any kind of grease/salve/oil/poltice/antibiotic cream will suffocate the little buggers :wink: in an hour or two but will require lots of rum and good intentions to refrain from scratching the itch.
Scratching this terrible itch results in infection and that’s what we come home with.
Big splotchy red wounds on our lower legs. :frowning: :frowning:

A really good reason to stay off the beach in the early morning, sunset and damp days. Or anytime near seaweed piles.
Walk the beaches with lots and lots of DEET on your lower legs and feet anywhere in the Caribbean. :sunglasses: :wink:
Here’s a link for more info:


#2

:slight_smile: Can you tell us more details about bed bugs while you’re at it?

How can we tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a sand flea bite?

What can we do to alleviate any itching and / or inflammation?

And while we’re on the topic - perhaps a little about jelly fish stings.

How should one deal with them? Vinegar? Urine?

Does taking an antihistamine help any or all of the symptoms one might get from any of these bites or stings? :-*


#3

Hey SUJ, nice to see you’re up.

Can you tell us more details about bed bugs while you’re at it?
Bed bug bites are usually in groups of 3 bites close together.
How can we tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a sand flea bite?
Sand flea bites are big round red marks. Black tiny spot in the middle.
What can we do to alleviate any itching and / or inflammation?
Benylin, anti itch, anti scratch, and some of the newer steroidal stuff. Come to think, there’s lot’s of new meds available.
And while we’re on the topic - perhaps a little about jelly fish stings.
Okay, Pee on them, … really, it works on some. Ask the locals and if they say "Take this Papaya, Mango, sap (or whatever) with you in case you get stung, take it. They know. Ask here before you go.
Lot’s of fruits have enzymes that alleviate stings… be prepared.
Does taking an antihistamine help any or all of the symptoms one might get from any of these bites or stings?
If it’s a “Histamine Response” then an antihistamine is the next step. Benadryl or other antihistamines are good choices.
:sunglasses: :wink: :wink:

Check with your doctor before you go south. Whether you have allergies or are just wondering.
And get your antiviral shots… :wink: :sunglasses: :smiley:


#4

I had a horrendous experience last April with sand fleas. Here’s a link to the gory details: http://debbiesreviews.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=cubageneral&thread=13106&page=1 as well as some other people’s thoughts.

For me, only cold packs and baking soda paste helped at all. Benadryl was a nice idea, but really didn’t help much, except to knock me out a bit.


#5

Ouch, yhz.
Staying off a damp, early morning beach and the romantic, sunset beach is a really good idea.


#6

:slight_smile: You are special to me, if that counts for anything. :wink: What is it that you don’t get?

I didn’t get what a bed bug bite looks like compared to a sand flea bite. ??? :-*


#7

another difference bed-bugs & sand fleas. Bed bug bites are more often found on blood rich warmer parts of the body (torso) and upper parts of arms or legs often sand fleas bites are found from the knees down…

Bed bug bites are itchy and a bother but carry no other health risk. Flea bites and I am not 100% certain as I have read conflicting information…carry a bacteria that when scratched can cause dermal irritation beyond the site of the bite. There fore as you scratch the irritation area can spread. Not the same as Poison Ivy or Poison Oak …but similar affect.


#8

Bed bug bites often are in a cluster formation of three or more and can be pretty much anywhere on your body. Sand flea bites (unless you’ve been lying on the sand) are usually on the lower legs only. The little %$#$&s can’t jump any higher or they’d be eating the rest of you, too, I’m sure.

I asked my doctor about complications but he did not really know of any. But it’s not like he’s a tropical medicine specialist or anything like that. I didn’t appear to have any further issues once the initial horrible period was over. He did say that now that I’ve had such a bad reaction, my immune system may be sensitized and more likely to develop a bad reaction again (trying not to think about that).


#9

I also commented on the post YHZ has linked a few posts back. I had a bad case of sand flea bites last year… my legs from my knees down were covered… it sucked… but in a couple of weeks it went away… and I did spend time on the beach late evening/night and I think thats where I got them!


#10

I found out last year that after I put on sunblock, I also used oil over the block…not a bite! Coincidence maybe.


#11

Early morning is when I got a few this year again. ( crap !! )
7 am on the beach is awesome. So I guess bug juice and sunblock on the legs first !
( I learn soooo much from you guys !! )


#12

And now this:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20110225/sc_livescience/toamosquitoyouarethestinkiestspecies

Maybe too much?


#13

Bed bug bites are always in a cluster (of 3’s) or in an irregular line of 3 ,4 or 5 bites.
Sand flea/fly bites always have a dark spot in the center and itch like heck.


#14

For our new members, I’ve revived this thread and here is more info:
http://sandfleas.org/
http://sandfleas.org/sand-flea-bites/


#15

What I “don’t get”, and I’ve wondered this before, is why some people get bit while others do not?

Been south umpteen times, never even a nibble (I’m talking bed, sand or mosquito), but others in same group, same area, same activities, got munched on the entire time. Could it be blood type? (I’m AB+) Me no say.

Spunky mentioned repellent fruit such as mango… I’ve been using Body Shop Mango Butter as my after-sun/beach moisturizer for years and have had friends say that’s the reason I don’t get bit…
Could that be it? I smell like a mango to the critters? :stuck_out_tongue:

I will add that I DO indeed use Watkins cream around my ankles, but only put it on after showering, prior to going to cocktails/supper…


#16

Garlic.


#17

http://ardalis.com/9267 recommends garlic garland collars for pets too.
For info about the biting sand flies sometimes called sand fleas:
http://www.outbackcrossing.com.au/Information/Sand_Fly_Bites_and_Prevention.shtml


#18

Can’t answer that authoritatively but a few thoughts:

What beach you are on can make a huge difference. The very WORST we’ve experienced was Cayo Santa Lucia. When we were there (Nov.), the waves were carrying in truckloads of seaweed every day. A local guy with a tractor was hired to grade the beach and remove the seaweed. The first few days were BRUTAL with bites and all he was doing was plowing the seaweed under and leaving it there. After many complaints and it seemed that everyone was suffering, he started to actually rake it and haul the seaweed off the beach. I’ve never had a problem on any beach until then and just one or two bites at Cayo Santa Maria, zip on Varadero, Guadalvaca, or Cayo Coco.

Also, when at Cayo Santa Lucia, we did the lobster dinner/bonfire down the beach and everyone was eaten alive by mosquitoes. Even with deet, they were ravenous. They were far worse than anything I’ve experienced in Northern Ontario - dozens per leg! I finally poured straight rum on my legs to quell the itching (hey, it was free) and they stopped biting. Go figure.

I know that eating bananas causes mosquitoes to like you more. My personal opinion is that each of us has a smell that dogs and insects can easily detect. Some of us smell better than others. I guess I’m one of the sweet and tasty ones. ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile:

Last thought: I am not sure whether I prefer to be bombarded by mosquitoes and sand fleas or the spray that many resorts blast at everyone and everything. One, you get itching that lasts a week, the other, you may get serious problems that show up later in life.


#19

Same here…never had a issue, others around me have. Been to many beaches, many places…daytime, nighttime etc.

I am not complaining, just always interesting how some people are cussing the resort for their bites…and I am lying beside them with nothing…


#20

[quote=@monctonguy]Same here…never had a issue, others around me have. Been to many beaches, many places…daytime, nighttime etc.

I am not complaining, just always interesting how some people are cussing the resort for their bites…and I am lying beside them with nothing…[/quote]
Obviously you don’t taste good. ;D ;D ;D ::slight_smile: ::slight_smile: