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How to Get Rid of Sand Fleas? (What You Should know)

how to get rid of sand fleas

If you've ever spent any time at the beach, you know that sand fleas can be a real nuisance.

These tiny pests are attracted to heat and movement, which makes them practically impossible to avoid if you're trying to enjoy a day in the sun.

Not only are sand fleas annoying, but they can also bite, leaving behind itchy welts that can take days or even weeks to heal.

In this blog post, we'll go over sand fleas identification and how to get rid of sand fleas using both natural and chemical methods.

What are Sand Fleas?

sand fleas

Like we already mentioned, a sand fly bite is common to all animal breeds because it is very similar in shape to the bite of a flea.

Sand fleas refer mainly in nature to insect bites including sand and cat fleas. Sand hoppers are creatures that are pictured above.

This terrestrial crustacean, similar to fleas, is well adapted for jumping. Typically, this animal stays sheltered from water during the day and emerges at dawn to consume organic matter.

What Does Sand Fleas Look Like?

The length of a sand flea is between 0.25 and 1 inch. They come in a variety of hues, ranging from gray, brown, or green.

These small crustacean species have long, thick antennae and several pairs of legs. Additionally, they have two forked appendages coming out from the backs of their bodies.

Where Do Sand Fleas Live?


The sand flea is native in places where salty waters exist. Wetlands, beaches, swamps, and other moist areas have good water supply and the habitat is ideal.

It prefers tropical climates and is found in USA, North America, Caribbean, Madagascar, and African countries.

In the US, they are often seen at the beach. Occasionally you can walk the dog along the park's trails or recreational grounds.

The coastline has the most sand fleas as compared to other regions. They have even been reported from the deserts as well.

See Also: Does Salt Kill Fleas?

Why do sand fleas bite humans?

Flea sand is a parasite in nature that hunts for a blood meal. This tiny crustacean is more active at night and at dawn so beach lovers who love the night swimming or walking the beach at sunset seeking seashells have a higher risk of contracting sand bites.

Fleas have bites on a human body because of two things.

  1. They generally crave blood meals.
  2. Like sand fleas and other blood-sucking insect pests, sandflies produce saliva to prevent a blood clot.

Do Sand Fleas Carry Diseases?

Sand fleas can cause tungiasis, which is also called sand flea disease. Female sand fleas cause this disease through penetration in the skin, usually in the heel or toes.

According to World Health Organization, its symptoms are inflammation, extreme pain, itching, and wound at the bite area.

Signs of Sand Flea Infestation

sand flea infestation

The most noticeable sign of a sand flea infestation is the presence of bites on the skin.

These bites are often itchy and can be painful. If you have welts or bumps on your skin that you cannot explain, it's possible that they're caused by sand fleas.

Other signs of an infestation include:

  • Finding sand fleas in your home or on your clothing
  • Seeing bites on your pets
  • Noticing small, dark spots on your floors or furniture (these are flea droppings)

Sand Fleas in the Yard

Unfortunately, sand fleas have been around for a long time but are no strangers to beaches. Probably you'll see some little insects in your yard at some point.

First, find out where animals breed first. Remember Sand fleas prefer dark, wet and muddy places; therefore check your sandbox before going out.

Then check for any cracks and holes where larvae and pupae may be hidden. Once there is a problem, you can find an alternative.

How to Get Rid of Sand Fleas Naturally

There are many ways how to get rid of sand fleas, but the most common and effective method is using diatomaceous earth.

This is a type of sedimentary rock that's made up of fossilized algae. It's safe for humans and animals, but it's deadly for sand fleas.

Step 1: To deter ants, sprinkle diatomaceous earth and salt around the perimeter of your home.

Step 2: To kill the pests, allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours then vacuum them up.

However, diatomaceous earth can be harmful if inhaled, so it's important to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Sand Fleas?

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can't kill sand fleas, but rather it can help as a repellant as they hate the taste and smell. To use apple cider vinegar as a sand flea repellent, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle.

Then, mist the solution onto your skin and clothing before going outside. Reapply every few hours for best results.

You can also add a few drops of essential oils like aloe vera to the mixture for extra protection from adult sand fleas.

Use Baking Soda to Eliminate Fleas

baking soda

Baking soda can also be used to kill sand fleas and other pests as part of natural remedies. To use this method, follow these 3 simple steps.

Step 1: For carpets, you can put baking soda on them and then use a stiff brush to rub the fabric.

Step 2: Finally, vacuum your home thoroughly.

Step 3: Afterward, put the vacuum's contents into a bag and dispose of it in the trash.

Use Coconut Oil to Eliminate Fleas

coconut oil

Coconut oil's lauric acid component, which fleas avoid, may be used to kill and repel tiny crustaceans.

Will Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Eliminate Fleas?

dish soap

Dawn dishwashing liquid can be used to eliminate fleas on contact. Simply add a few drops to a cup of water and mix well.

Then, use a sponge or cloth to apply the solution to your pet's fur. Be sure to avoid their eyes, nose, and mouth.

Afterward, rinse your pet with clean water and dry them with a beach towel. Repeat this process every few days until the fleas are gone.

Does Bravecto kill sand fleas?

It is commonly applied as a topical and oral medication in dogs that kills Sand Flies in the body. An oral dose is more than 92% effective against sand fly infestation.

If the fleas are really in danger you could try this product. Take care of yourself.

Can Sand Fleas Travel Home With You?

Sand fleas may come with you but will probably never survive long in the house. Then eventually, they die from lack of a water supply in their homes. It does not mean their pain or irritation will disappear.

When you come across them on tees at the beach, it only makes your entire next month miserable.

They can also bite people on beaches but cannot invade the property of your home.

How can I prevent Sand Flea Bites?

Sand flea bites are painful and itchy. Knowing this it's important to avoid being bitten by the parasites residents of the beaches.

Here’s the best way to prevent sand flea bites.

  • Wear long pants and shirts when going to the beach.
  • Use insect repellent that contains DEET.
  • Avoid walking on sand dunes or in areas with tall grass.
  • Stay away from standing water where fleas may live.
  • Inspect your body for fleas after leaving the beach.
  • Take a shower as soon as possible after leaving the beach.
  • Wash your clothes in hot water to kill any fleas that may be on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can sand fleas live on humans?

Sand fleas are parasites that burrow into people's skin, causing intense pain, itching, and inflammation.

How do you know if you have sand fleas?

Typically, they appear as small, red bumps on the skin and are usually located below the knee. They're most often found on the calves, shins, ankles, and feet.

How do you get rid of sand fleas in the sand?

The sand flea bite looks the same as the usual fleas. It is usually presented as a small red raised bumps on the skin, usually under the knees. They are most commonly located in the legs and the thighs.

Final Thought

Sand fleas as you have seen from this article are tiny creatures that can cause you a lot of misery.

By following the tips in this guide, you can get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.

Also if you have tried all the methods and the sand fleas are still around, it is best to call an exterminator for their pest control plan.

Be sure to take all the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by these pests. Stay safe and enjoy the beach!

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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