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Sand Fly Bites: What’s Eating You at the Beach?

Flip flops on the beach with sand fly bites

No one wants to be bugged while they’re at the beach by sand flies. So what and who are sand flies? Sand flies are known by lots names such as sand fleas, beach fleas, sand gnats, hop-a-longs, punkies or the very appropriate “no-see-um” because of their tiny size. Learn more about common pests showing up in summer. In fact, there are a number of biting beach bugs that get lumped into the category of sand flies—some are biting midges while others are tiny, jumping crustaceans. All of them can be found on warm-weather beaches all around the world. Sand fly bites are normally found in clusters around the ankles, arms and back. If you are sitting or laying on a beach, it makes you a prime target because these beach bugs don’t ever fly or jump higher than a few feet off the ground.

Despite the sand fly’s small size, the bite from one can cause a large welt or rash that persists for days. Discover non-toxic pest control tips here. These bites are itchy and painful. Scratching bitten areas should be avoided as irritating the skin will prolong the symptoms and scratching can infect the bites.

Helpful Tips for Preventing Sand Fly Bites

  • Wear DEET insect repellent and re-apply regularly throughout the day especially on feet and ankles. Learn more about keeping your backyard party bug-free.
  • Avoid the beach in the early morning, at sunset and when there is cloud cover.
  • Windy days are better beach days for avoiding sand flies since they aren’t strong fliers.
  • Stay off the beach right after the rain as the cooler, wetter conditions encourage sand fly activity. For more pest-free outdoor tips, check out our 7 great hacks for the perfect pest-free picnic.
  • Avoid laying or sitting directly on the sand: a lounge chair or a blanket is ideal.
  • Keep windows and doors shut at night if you’re staying near the beach—sand flies can sometimes fit through screens.

How to Treat Sand Fly Bites

If you do get bitten, there are a few steps you can take to sooth the irritation. Much like with other minor bug bites, sand fly bites can be treated with calamine or hydrocortisone cream, ice compresses, a colloidal oatmeal bath or aloe vera. Antihistamines can help ease itching, and ibuprofen can alleviate pain.

Whenever you travel to a beach destination, carry some of these remedies with you.  But most of all…enjoy your beach vacation! If you have any unwanted pests, give us a call (778) 903-7378. We are pest control.

In conclusion, don’t let pesky sand flies ruin your beach experience. If you’re in need of professional pest control assistance in your area, our team is here to help. Check out our services for West Vancouver Pest Control, North Vancouver Pest Control, Vancouver Pest Control, Burnaby & New West Pest Control, Coquitlam & Tri-Cities Pest Control, and Richmond Pest Control. Don’t let pests keep you from enjoying your time outdoors. Contact us today to reclaim your space and ensure a bug-free environment for you and your loved ones.

If you are looking for advice on control flies at home, check out our blog: How to Get Rid of Flies and Fruit Fly: Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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