The beach is one of the best hangout places with friends and family. It is a common place where people set up picnics and spend the night camping. Lying down the sand to relax and building sandcastles are some of the best things to do in beaches.
But have you ever experienced feeling little bites on your legs after setting up on the sand, but when you look down, you don’t see anything? If you have, it’s possible that what bit you were beach bugs.
What are Beach Bugs?
Beach bugs are very small insects that bite. They can be sand fleas, sea lice, and sand flies. One of the most common sand dwellers that bite are sand fleas. If the bites you acquired are wet-like just like mosquito bites, then it’s possible that they are from sand fleas.
One of the common kind of sand fleas that bite people is the chigoe flea. They live in soils and sands and they can burrow in your skin for about two weeks until they release their eggs. If you see a small black peck on your skin in the middle of a swollen bite, it means that a chigoe flea has burrowed under your skin. They mostly bite feet and ankles because they are unable to jump high, unless you lie down on the sand, then they can bite you anywhere.
Aside from sand fleas, there are also sea lice which are tiny crustaceans that live in the ocean. These creatures really do not bite people, but when they get trapped in your clothes while you’re in the water, it will result in a stinging sensation and sometimes with a rash and raised blisters. Sand flies on the other hand are like mosquitos which can bite you a lot. They are also often called “no see ums”.
Tips to Protect Yourself from Beach Bugs
Beach bug bites can be healed by applying cortisone creams and other ointments, however, they can still leave dark marks on your skin. If you do not what this to happen, it’s better to find preventions from their bites instead. Here are some ways to protect yourself from beach bugs.
- Apply Insect Repellent to Your Skin
Wearing insect repellent sprays and lotions is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from sand fleas and other beach bugs. When you notice that the weather is cloudy at the beach or if it is cooler, immediately apply an insect repellent because this is when sand fleas tend to come out the most.
- Keep Moving
If you choose to hang out at the beach during prime sand-flea hours, another way to avoid them is to keep moving. Sand fleas and other beach bugs are not fast moving, but they can swarm you if you stay in one spot for too long.
- Avoid Laying and Sitting Directly on the Sand
If you want to lie down or sit on the sand, make sure to use a lounge chair over a blanket. This will give beach bugs less chances to be in contact with your skin.
- Don’t Bring Beach Towels to Your Room
If you’re staying in a beach resort or hotel, make sure that you return your beach towels before heading to your room. it’s possible that there are beach bugs on the towel and you might give them a free ride to your room where they can bug you more.
- Keep your Feet, Ankles, and Calves Covered
Since sand fleas usually target these areas, it’s better to keep them covered when you go out to the beach.
- Keep Your Room or Tent’s Door Closed After Sundown
If you plan to stay overnight at the beach, remember to keep your room’s door closed or your tents zippered if you will be camping. Since it’s going to be cool after sundown, that will be the time sand fleas and other beach bugs will come out.
Where to Buy
If you will be hitting the beach soon and you’re worried about sand fleas and other beach bug bites, you might find the following items helpful. These are some products that are good in keeping beach bugs away.
This is an effective insect repellent spray that will surely keep beach bugs away. It has 25% DEET powder that dries quickly, leaving your skin feeling comfortable and fragrance free. It can either be sprayed directly on the skin or on clothes. This insect repellent spray offers an 8-hour protection from beach bugs and other insects like mosquitoes and ticks.
If you do not want to use insect repellents with DEET, then this all-natural insect repellent wristband will work for you. It offers up to 120 hours of protection from sand fleas and other beach bugs. It is infused with natural ingredients such as citronella, geranium, and lemon oils. It is a safe protection especially for kids. One box contains 6 unique wristbands that are reusable, perfect for families and group of friends.
If you enjoy laying on the sand or having picnics at the beach, then you will find this beach mat helpful to keep sand fleas away. This is an ultra-lightweight mat that is sand proof. It means that sand, where sand fleas and other bugs usually live, will not be able to get on it. It is made with nylon and polyester in a complicated weave pattern design.
This insect repellent spray has a cool and refreshing scent that sand fleas will surely avoid. It offers up to six hours of insect repellent. It comes in a handy bottle that is convenient to bring when you travel.
This insect repellent wipes will help you repel sand fleas and other beach bugs for seven hours. It is non-greasy, and water and sweat resistant. It is made with water based formula and contains 30 percent active DEET.
Sand fleas can be really annoying and they can ruin your day at the beach, as well as leave dark marks on your skin. That’s why it’s better to come prepared with insect repellents and other sand flea protection to keep these insects away. We hope the tips and the products we shared will help you keep yourself protected from sand fleas and other beach bugs.