Now that the summer is here and the country is starting to open up again, it’s time to start thinking about one of our favorite past-times: spending a nice, relaxing day at the beach.
If you’ve ever been at the beach and thought that you were being overrun by mosquitoes, chances are you were actually being attacked by sand flies. These tiny insects are similar to mosquitoes in many ways. Like their winged cousins, sand flies are attracted to warm-blooded hosts (like humans) and have a long proboscis designed to pierce the skin and give the sand fly access to the host’s blood.
You can tell you’re dealing with sand flies instead of mosquitoes mainly in what they leave behind -- mosquito bites leave a red, irritated welt, while sandfly bites are small, painful, and typically appear clustered together.
One of the reasons people get sand flies and mosquitoes confused at the beach is because mosquitoes are also a common insect that can be found along the shoreline. We probably don’t need to go into too much detail about these pests, since they are known nation-wide. Suffice it to say that when you go to the beach, you can find these everywhere.
Another common pest is the sand flea. While “sand flea” is a common name applied to a lot of different beach pests, the term most accurately refers to a species from the family Talitridae. This technically isn’t a flea at all but is instead a small crustacean that lives in the sand, typically near the high-tide mark. In many respects, they resemble tiny shrimp that can be anywhere from a quarter-inch to almost a full inch in length. These sand fleas are also known as sandhoppers because they can jump up to almost a foot in height.
Sand fleas don’t always bother humans since they prefer organic matter that comes from seaweed, but when they do they typically bite around the feet and ankles, due to their location. Of course, laying down gives them access to more parts of your body, so be vigilant!
Of course, insects and other pests can bug you no matter where you go, so if you want to be fully prepared for whatever the summer season throws at you, contact Venice Pest Control today.