While going for a relaxing walk on the beach, nothing could be more annoying than getting bitten by sand fleas. But what can you do to repel sand fleas and prevent their bites? To get your answer for the same, keep reading this article…
At the first mention of sand fleas, most people mistaken them to be parasitic insects like the common fleas. They are true crustaceans, which are found in different sizes. Those identified on the American coast are characterized by presence of elongated antennae. The common names of sand fleas are no-see-um and hop-along. They thrive within the sand and come out during early morning and dusk time, when bites occur most commonly. The feet, ankles, lower legs and other exposed skin areas are most susceptible to sand flea bites.
Why Should you Use a Sand Flea Repellent?
As sand fleas are usually found in groups, presence of more than one sand flea bite is obvious. Bites by sand fleas not only result in painful skin lesions, but they pose risks for various ailments. The female sand flea requires blood meal for laying eggs. At the time of biting, it injects saliva that contains pathogenic organisms. People who have lighter skin tone are frequently attacked by sand fleas. Although flea bite treatment can be done, carrying a potent sand flea repellent that really works is a practical way to deal with this dangerous bug.
Sand Flea Repellent Products
Go through the constituent ingredients before purchasing one. See to it that the product is potent for sand fleas, mosquitoes and other insects, which are prevalent on the beaches. For some people, products containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) are found effective to repel these annoying creatures. This active component is one of the most frequently added ingredients in commercial-grade insect repellents, especially for mosquitoes.
Basically DEET is a pale yellow oil that drives off insects. When used properly, it is safe for skin and is associated with less adverse reactions. Another plus point of DEET containing sand flea repellent is, the product stays on the skin for 10 hours or more based on the percentage content of active component. In simpler terms, it doesn’t get washed away very soon. Once applied to ankles and legs, the spray or ointment gives protection for longer hours, thus reapplication is generally not required.
Use and see whether DEET containing flea repellents work for you or not, as some beach walkers complain about triggered skin symptoms and are not satisfied with the results. Another active component that is purported for warding off sand fleas is permethrin. This is a strong chemical used in formulation of insect repellent and insecticides. For applying as a sand flea repellent, permethrin products having a strength of 0.15 percent are effective (not more than that). They are meant for application on clothes, so follow the user directions properly.
Natural Sand Flea Repellent
When it comes to deterring insects and pests, natural remedies are the most reliable options. This specially holds true for repelling sand fleas, as you are expected to use the formulations directly on skin or clothing. Natural flea repellents are seldom associated with adverse skin reactions, which is so with the store bought, chemical based products. Even those containing DEET and permethrin may cause skin irritations in people, who have hypertensive skin. Also, many are of the opinion that DEET potency is restricted to repelling mosquitoes, not fleas.
So, the best approach is to prepare homemade flea repellents. You can try making natural insect repellents with peppermint, essential oils and other active ingredients that work for deterring sand fleas. In addition to using sand flea repellent, proper care from your side is suggested to protect yourself from getting bitten by these troublesome critters. Ensure that you wear longer pants that cover your lower legs, and place a barrier cloth before relaxing directly on the sand. Last but not the least, avoid visiting sea beaches during wee hours of morning and evening time.