Sand fleas are dangerous enough parasites, in some places of their range creating a serious problem for local health. Unlike other biological relatives, they not only bite and suck blood, but also can bite into the skin and lead to the development of a serious disease, which doctors call sarcopsulosis.
However, it should be noted that in Thailand and Vietnam, the bites of holidaymakers on the beach are more often associated not with fleas, but with other bloodsucking and biting insects, which tourists collectively call fleas. The fact that sand fleas in Vietnam and Thailand are rare, and described in the forums of multiple bites can not produce. Therefore, when planning a trip to Southeast Asia, one should get to know both the so-called "sand fleas" themselves, and insects with which they can be confused.
"I flew only in Vietnam and only on some beaches. In general, they have seasonality, in October they are the most. In Thailand, they bite several times on the beach, but they were midges. They are one-day, usually not even near the sea scurrying, but near all ponds. "
How to look like sand fleas: detailed photos
Sand flea - a small parasitic insect, a relative of the usual for Russia, cat and rat fleas . The length of her body is about 1-2 mm, and the width is 1 mm. The insect has no wings and can not fly, but it jumps very well and can travel 30-35 mm in one jump.
Young specimens of sand fleas have a dark brown color of the body covers, they are shiny and hard enough - it is almost impossible to crush an insect with a finger (see photo).
The larvae of sand fleas are similar to tiny white worms. Their length is 3-4 mm, and they live in the grass, in the floors of village huts and in piles of garbage.
Female sand fleas are significantly different from males, since they prefer a more sophisticated way of feeding than simple bites (see below).
Bites of male sand fleas are simple red dots on the body, painful in the first few hours and very itchy several days after appearance.
In the photo - typical bites of sand fleas, which will stop bothering a person in 3-4 days:
But female sand fleas, hitting a man, bite into the skin and so rest against the paws in the fabric, that it is extremely difficult to extract them from under the skin. Here the insect gets to the blood vessel and literally grows to it, constantly fueled by blood.
In her body, eggs begin to ripen - several hundred - and from 2-3 mm the parasite grows to the size of a pea. Such a female has a white body and can not move. When the eggs ripen, it shoots them from the oviduct, and the very body of it weakens somewhat and wrinkles. Sometimes after this the flea leaves the wound.
The photo below shows the female of a sand flea, drunk blood and extracted from the body
man, and also the place of the bite:
"I thundered in the hospital in the hospital with malaria. Next to me, the guy was lying, a peasant of some kind, he had six fleas from his legs pulled out, so white and greasy. The doctor said that if the suppuration on the finger started, he could fall off. I even formulated it like self-amputating. "
After penetration of an insect under the skin, a person experiences severe pain, the tissues around the sand flea naryvayut and inflamed. Most often, insects affect the feet of people who walk without shoes, less often - back, hips, buttocks and hands. The most common place of penetration of the parasite is under the fingernails. An ulcer can form at the site of implantation, and if a secondary infection occurs, generalized disease can begin.
Below are examples of human infection with a sand flea:
Considering the fact that among Russian tourists in Thailand and Vietnam there were practically no those who were infected with sand fleas in a similar way, one can conclude that this name is often called absolutely other insects.
Where to live and how to bite sand fleas
Sand fleas live in almost all tropical countries, but most of them in the Caribbean - in Cuba and Jamaica, in Trinidad and the Dominican Republic - and in Africa.
Sand fleas in Thailand are rare, they are more numerous in India. Sand fleas in Vietnam are somewhat more common, but here they are practically unaffected by tourists, since they are found mainly in rural areas and slums of large cities.
In areas where sand fleas are common, they are found almost everywhere: on the ground, under rocks, in the floors of dwellings, in animal bedding on farms, on beaches, under trees. They can parasitize on a large number of animals - from rats and rabbits to cats, dogs, goats and humans, and therefore almost everywhere they find themselves a victim.
"Here on Tobago, once I was bitten by fleas. As I recall, I shudder. Not on the beach, but in the forest, on the river bank. There was such a luxurious sandbank with white sand that I bathed and fell asleep. I woke up from them - gnawed, probably, 20 pieces at a time. Then all these bites were so scratched that I left the rest of my leave as lousy. Two fleas under the skin climbed and began to pick up there. The pain was creepy. They cut it out in the hospital, told me not to swim in the forest anymore. "
But if it so happened that the sand fleas bite, the treatment should begin immediately.
How to treat flea bites in Thailand and Vietnam
Usually, special treatment for flea bites is not required, but only on condition that the insect has not penetrated under the skin.
- Itching is removed with any anesthetic cream. In Southeast Asia, Yellow Balm is very popular.
- In case of appearance of suspicious swelling at the site of a bite, you should go to the hospital. Probably, a parasite settled under the skin. If this is just a reaction to a bite, swelling can be removed with Fenistil gel or Compound Dexamethasone Acetate Cream.
- If you have an allergic reaction with a rash and a fever, you should go to the polyclinic and start taking antihistamines.
Get rid of sand fleas, penetrated under the skin, it is difficult. Some try to independently extract the parasite with a needle or a knife, but it is better to contact the polyclinic. The fact is that the flea itself is in close proximity to the blood vessel, and if it is accidentally crushed, the contents of the insect can get into the blood.
Usually if the beach began to bite fleas , it makes sense to move to the next. In Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, hotel owners are aware of the problem of parasites on beaches and regularly sift the sand there. Therefore, fleas most often bite in the wild areas.
With whom sand fleas can be confused (and most often confused)
But it is in Thailand and Vietnam for sand fleas that they are most often taken by insects that have no relation to these parasites at all. For example:
- Mosquitoes and mosquitoes. Some gnats are so fast that when they fly off the surface of the body, it's difficult to notice them, but they leave bites that are very similar to flea ones.
- Ants that bite when accidentally crawling onto the body and pressing down, such as a hand.
- Ticks. They can drink blood very long and almost always painless, but after themselves they leave big painful bumps.
- Bedbugs, but only in the most uncomfortable hotels and bungalows. Bedbugs leave multiple traces of bites, but they never cause cones to grow.
Usually, sand fleas bite the rest only at their feet. For testing, the upper part of the feet and calves can be smeared with a thick layer of cream, and the parasite will become stuck in it. After it can be considered and find out what kind of view it is.
Security measures: what to do to prevent fleas from biting on the beach?
On well-groomed and clean beaches of hotels in Vietnam and Thailand, fleas should not be particularly feared - here they are actively fighting.
But if you want to tickle your nerves (and legs) on a wild beach or in the forest, but do not become a victim of fleas and other parasites, you should:
- Get dressed. It is desirable - in pants, a shirt with a long sleeve and socks. On the neck is good to tie a handkerchief.
- Spray your feet, hands and neck with a repellent with a high content of DETA.
- Avoid moving around areas with high grass.
- Try not to step into the puddles.
When sunbathing on the beach at the first bites should be moved to the sunlit place. Fleas, and other parasites, prefer to be in the shade of trees and usually do not climb into the sun. Also they are not touched in sea water.
Enjoy your vacation!