Sand Fleas on Humans

Sand Fleas on Humans

Humans are not usually considered hosts of sand fleas, also known as jigger fleas, but it is possible for these parasites to bite humans. These fleas are small, shiny and reddish-brown, and typically live in warm, moist sand, often near water or sandy beaches. Although sand fleas can bite humans, they prefer animal hosts, such as cats, mice and dogs.

What do Sand Fleas do?

When sand fleas bite their hosts they deposit up to 50 eggs under the surface of their skin. These eggs can cause itching, swelling and a sensation like pinpricks. The eggs develop over 1-2 weeks and when they are ready, the female fleas emerge from the bite area.

Sand fleas feed off blood and are mainly active at night. Some people may become infected with sand fleas without showing any symptoms but for others, there can be more serious reactions such as:

  • Skin Inflammation: The bite area swells and sometimes blisters may appear.
  • Allergic Reaction: Severe itching, redness and swelling may occur.
  • Infection: In extreme cases, the bite area may become infected.

How to Prevent Getting Bitten

The best way to prevent sand fleas from biting is to avoid areas where they live such as sandy beaches. Here are some other tips to help protect yourself from sand flea bites:

  • Cover up exposed skin when possible.
  • Spray insect repellent on clothing and skin.
  • Check your pets for fleas before coming indoors.
  • Shower and change clothes after going to a beach or other areas known to have sand fleas.

Treating a Sand Flea Bite

If you experience skin irritation or itching after suspected sand flea bites, you should seek medical attention. The doctor may prescribe an anti-itch ointment or cream to reduce inflammation. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to treat an infection. If you have an allergic reaction to a sand flea bite, your doctor may recommend an antihistamine to reduce swelling and itching.

Above all, it is important to remember to take safety measures when visiting areas known to have sand fleas. By following the tips listed above, you can help protect yourself from these parasitic pests.

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