How Many Days Do Sand Flea Bites Last?

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The beach, the sand, and the waves! There’s nothing like a day well spent at the beach. Sand flea bites may ruin even the nicest beach trip. How many days sand fleas bites last? Sand fleas, unlike typical fleas, are small crab-like crustaceans. These organisms may be found around the seaside, where they live in the sand in the same manner that typical fleas live in animal hair.

After you’ve set up on the sand, you’ll notice little bites on your legs. Nothing is seen when you glance down. You don’t know what bit you. Do you think you may have come across sand fleas at the beach? Are you concerned that you’ve sand fleas bite on your body?

Continue reading to learn how many days sand fleas bite last. 

Sand Flea Identification – How To Identify Sand Fleas?

how many days do sand flea bites last

Sand fleas have hairy, brownish-gray wings and are about 1/8 inch long. They are most active between dusk and dawn, holding their wings in a “V” form over their body. The larvae have the appearance of worms. 

Sand fleas consume honey and sap, but females consume animal and human blood. Small and tan in color (like the sand they live in), these crustaceans have a robust exoskeleton and can jump up to 15 inches. They thrive in the source of damp environments, such as rotting plants, moss, and muck.

Sea lice are common throughout the Gulf Coast from April to August each year. Sand fleas or chigoe flea are endemic to tropical regions like the southern states of the US 9like Florida, South Carolina), the Caribbean, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Madagascar. Their natural habitats are tropical and subtropical climates. 

Sand Fleas Facts

Sand flea

Sand fleas, also known as Tunga penetrans fleas, sea lice, and sandflies, are parasites or insects that live on the beaches. Tungiasis is a disorder in which sand fleas burrow into the skin, commonly in the toes, the sole, or the foot’s heel. These fleas lay their eggs through a hole in the skin, which falls to the ground and hatches. 

Sand fleas may expand their body size by a factor of 2,000 in just a few weeks by sucking the blood of their hosts.

They can cause significant inflammation, discomfort, and itching, and in severe cases, many sores on the person’s foot can make walking impossible. Sand fleas are most active during dawn and dusk, so you’re more likely to get bitten if you visit the beach during these hours.

Do sand fleas bite on humans?

Super macro close up of brown, amber colored flea, Siphonaptera on human skin. It survives as external bloodsucking parasite of mammals and birds.

Yes, sand fleas bite on humans. When biting sand fleas, humans are frequently the best option since they make ideal hosts. They are often prey for hungry adult sand fleas. If a human walks or crawls past a sand flea that has recently emerged from its cocoon, they may be the first food option.

What do sand flea bites look like? Signs of Infestation

Sand mites (fleas) feed on your blood. Sand mites bites resemble a mosquito bite. While a bite isn’t dangerous, it might cause a red welt by pumping saliva into your skin, which can provoke an allergic response!

Sand flea bites are often unpleasant and might result in red rashes and blisters. These lumps and blisters can get infected or produce dermatitis or skin irritation.

Swollen lesion areas with a few black spots might result from a sand flea bite, which you should be concerned about. A female sand flea burrowed into your skin and deposited her eggs, resulting in an enlarged region.

Sand flea bites resemble typical flea bites in appearance. Sand fleas on humans symptoms are small, red, raised lumps on the skin, usually below the knee. The calves, shins, ankles, and feet are the most usual places to find them.

Skin sores can appear weeks or months after the bite. They usually go away on their own, but they can be dangerous in rare circumstances.

How many days sand fleas bites last?

Siwa Oasis, Egypt, September 25th, 2009: Red spots on the skin  showing where the chigoe flea bit.

Sea lice can become stuck inside your bathing suit if they get caught while you’re in the water, causing a stinging feeling. A person who has been stung may suffer severe stinging and burning, as well as a rash consisting of tiny, raised blisters. 

It would cause an instant reaction, like red welts, like a flea or mosquito bite. These would normally linger a few hours before dissipating. A blemish may appear within a day. It will appear red and bloated, and it will itch. If you experience an allergic response, the afflicted region may produce a blister.

The abscess would continue for a day or two before fading on the third day. There may be a bite that lasts two weeks followed by a faint red mark that lasts one week.

So estimating how long the bite will continue. However, the rash and itching will normally last three. To answer how long sand fleas bites last, complete fading requires one to two weeks.

How to Treat Sand Fleas Bites? (Sea flea bite/Beach flea bites)

Sand hopper, Talitrus saltator, small crustacean on the sand

A bite from a sand flea may be extremely irritating and inconvenient. Avoid the impulse to itch sand flea bites as much as possible. Scratching can irritate your skin even more, and scratching too much might raise your chances of getting a skin infection.

For treating sand flea bites, use the following solution:

  • Itching: Anti-itch creams containing hydrocortisone cream are available over the counter and can help to decrease inflammation and irritation. Aloe vera and oatmeal baths can also help to relieve itching. Oral antihistamines can help with persistent itching.
  • Pain and Swelling: Ibuprofen can help with the pain and swelling of the bites. 
  • Bites: Use hydrocortisone or calamine lotion directly to the bites two times a day.
  • Damaged Regions: Make a basic paste with baking soda and water. Apply for 5 mins and wash it.

If you think you have an allergic response, get medical help right once for sand fleas bites treatment.

Why do sand flea bites show up days later?

Irritation from the bite. Redness on the skin from a tick bite. A dangerous tick bite. Close-up.

Sand flea bites are more common around the legs and ankles. An allergic response to flea saliva causes the red lump. Because the itching may not begin for many hours after the bite, some people may be unaware that they have been bitten.

Generally but not always felt right away, the bites grow more irritating and can last up to a week before becoming uncomfortable and itchy.

How to get rid of (Sand) flea bites scars?

Extreme case of flea bites on humans.

The following are some natural and home treatments for soothing or relieving irritation from sand flea bites:

  • Aloe Vera can help with swelling and redness.
  • To alleviate swelling and numb the region, wrap ice packs (or frozen vegetables) in a towel and apply them to the skin.
  • To dry the bites, apply rubbing alcohol.

Are sand fleas dangerous?

little sand flea in a girl's hand

Sand Flea bites can cause two major consequences. Allergies and subsequent infections are the causes of these symptoms. A flea bite may get infected. Swollen glands, intense discomfort surrounding the bite, or significant redness are all signs that the affected individual should see a doctor.

Fleas can contain illnesses including flea-borne spotted fever, plague, typhus, and cat scratch fever, which transfers through bites.

How to prevent sand flea bites?

Follow these tips to prevent sand flea bites: 

  • Go to the beach in the mid-morning or early afternoon since these small mites prefer the colder early morning hours.
  • Sand flea activity is also increased by cool, damp weather. As a result, it’s better to avoid going to the beach shortly after it’s rained to prevent getting bitten. Sand flea bites are less likely to occur on windy days.
  • Apply insect repellent to your entire body before going outside. Check the label to ensure the insect repellent is effective against fleas and mosquitos.
  • Before you sit down, put something between you and the sand, such as a beach towel or a lawn chair.
  • Sitting or reclining on the sand makes you a more attractive biting target. If possible, try to keep your feet, ankles, and lower legs covered.


With all these problems, sand fleas come with one advantage. These fleas are not capable of infesting your home. So, a day on the beach may result in sand fleas, but there will be no sand flea infestation. Sand flea bites seldom have long-term consequences. For a brief time, they produce minor inconvenience and irritation. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.