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Sand Fleas

Sand fleas, also known as sand crabs, are one of the most dangerous types of fleas found in the northern Pacific coastal regions. They are endemic to the Caribbean, but are occasionally found in the United States. Unlike dog and cat fleas, sand fleas are not actually insects. Sand fleas are sand colored crustaceans that live in sandy areas and attach themselves to flesh and scales of other water animals. They are considered parasites, as they do harm to their hosts by consuming their flesh.

Sand fleas can be described as shrimp-like, small creatures that measure less than 1/16 of an inch long. They have sand colored bodies, and transparent wings with grey and black spots. They feed on starfish, small fish, swordfish, flying fish, sun fish, and whales typically either early in the morning or at dusk. Once a sand flea lands on a suitable food source it begins feeding.

A sand flea first eats the outer layer of slime covering the body of its prey. It then attacks and eats the skin and enters through the broken skin, mouth, eyes, or dorsal fin. At this point, it prey usually is either dead or dying. Sand fleas will then eat the remaining parts of the body including blood, sweat glands, and muscle.

Sand fleas are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases to humans. They also are known to spread certain infections. The bite of a sand flea is considered to be more painful than that of a mosquito. Humans are particularly vulnerable when walking along or laying down around beaches, marshes, swamplands, or creeks. People should be aware of any high pitched whining sounds and move away.

When humans are bitten by sand fleas, a red welt will develop. People can lessen the risk of infection by not scratching at the wound, which would increase swelling. Sand fleas are also known to occasionally burrow into human flesh after a bite occurs. At this point, a noticeable painful swelling will occur which will require medical intervention.

To prevent bites, precautions should be taken. Sandy areas known to contain sand fleas should be avoided early in the morning and at dusk. Long pants and closed toed shoes should be worn. Appropriate repellant should be used.

Sand fleas, also known as sand crabs, are one of the most dangerous types of fleas found in the northern Pacific coastal regions. They are endemic to the Caribbean, but are occasionally found in the United States. Unlike dog and cat fleas, san fleas are not actually insects. San fleas are sand colored crustaceans that live in sandy areas and attach themselves to flesh and scales of other water animals. They are considered parasites, as they do harm to their hosts by consuming their flesh.

Sand fleas can be described as shrimp-like, small creatures that measure less than 1/16 of an inch long. They have sand colored bodies, and transparent wings with grey and black spots. They feed on starfish, small fish, swordfish, flying fish, sun fish, and whales typically either early in the morning or at dusk. Once a sand flea lands on a suitable food source it begins feeding.

A sand flea first eats the outer layer of slime covering the body of its prey. It then attacks and eats the skin and enters through the broken skin, mouth, eyes, or dorsal fin. At this point, it prey usually is either dead or dying. Sand fleas will then eat the remaining parts of the body including blood, sweat glands, and muscle.

Sand fleas are capable of carrying and transmitting diseases to humans. They also are known to spread certain infections. The bite of a sand flea is considered to be more painful than that of a mosquito. Humans are particularly vulnerable when walking along or laying down around beaches, marshes, swamplands, or creeks. People should be aware of any high pitched whining sounds and move away.

When humans are bitten by sand fleas, a red welt will develop. People can lessen the risk of infection by not scratching at the wound, which would increase swelling. Sand fleas are also known to occasionally burrow into human flesh after a bite occurs. At this point, a noticeable painful swelling will occur which will require medical intervention.

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