Vietnamese Sand Fleas – How to Protect Themselves and Their Relatives

Updated: 23 August 2021
Time to read: 15 minutes
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Many people like to travel to rest in the southern countries, but not everyone knows that there is a serious danger there. The hot sun and warm sand can end up in big trouble for those who do not follow the safety rules. Along with insects that simply bite, there are some that can easily reproduce directly under the human skin.


Who are sand fleas and where they live?

Sand fleas are small parasites that live on beaches in countries such as Southeast Asia, Africa, South America. In Thailand, there are practically none, but in India and Vietnam there are quite a few. The most widespread of these parasites in the Caribbean.

The length of insects does not exceed two millimeters, therefore it is almost impossible to notice them in the sand. These fleas are excellent jumpers, the distance of one jump can reach 35 cm. Such a distance is promoted by long hind legs.

Appearance, like all other fleas, very repulsive. The dark brown cows are equipped with special bristles that allow these insects to cling to the animal’s fur, skin and clothing. The shell is very durable, covered with a chitinous layer – sand parasites are almost impossible to crush with your fingers.

The larvae of these insects resemble white worms 3-4 mm in length. The female lays it in garbage, in the floors of living quarters, in the grass and in any other shady places where there is organic matter – it larvae feed on after hatching from the eggs. Adult insects live mainly on wild beaches. Hotels and hotels, constantly receiving crowds of tourists, are well aware of the problem with fleas, because regularly clean the beaches and areas. For this reason, you should choose for rest and walking only well-groomed places.

Type of sand flea

How They Bite

Unlike simple fleas, sand can not only drink blood, but also get under the skin, which ultimately leads to serious consequences.

Males and females bite in different ways. If the first for some time cling to the skin, and after saturation fall off, the latter, in addition to nutrition, also multiply under the skin of a person or animal. Female sand flea biting the skin and sucking to the blood vessel – from that moment she begins to eat continuously. Within a few days the fertilized female grows several times in size – during this time hundreds of eggs develop within it. As a result, it becomes like a white pea.

After a couple of weeks, the eggs are ejected from the body and remain under the skin. After that, the female tries to get out, but often can not do it and dies on her own masonry. After maturing larvae fall out of the wound to the ground and after 20 days grow into an adult full-blown flea.

Such parasitizing of the flea is accompanied by acute pain and itching, and the place of the bite becomes inflamed and festering. During the entire period of the female’s stay, a liquid is released from the wound under the skin.

To a greater extent, the legs, arms, area under the nail plate, abdomen are subject to attack. But this does not mean that they do not stick to other places, it is possible to detect such a parasite on any part of the body.


Along with the simplest consequences, such as an allergic reaction, there is also a very serious – the Tunghiz.

This disease is caused by the female of the sand flea by its presence under the skin. The entire period allocated for reproduction (laying eggs) is accompanied by an inflammatory process. For this reason there are painful sensations – if the flea has got under a skin in the field of a foot the pain can be so strong, that the person can not normally step on a leg.

Suppuration of the wound is accompanied by swelling and redness around it. With this problem, you should consult a doctor who can extract the parasite from under the skin and process the hole that has been formed after removal of the flea.

Consequence of a bite

In no case should you try to squeeze or open this formation with a needle or other objects at home. Female fleas during the ripening of eggs are much easier to pierce or crush, and then her entrails can get into the blood.


In case of an abscess, it is necessary to immediately consult a doctor.

If there is no serious inflammation, but itching is troubling, it is recommended to use ointments or creams. The places of bites of both females and males are rattled, because this sign is not an indicator for surgical intervention.

An allergic reaction to a sand flea bite is usually accompanied by a rash or fever. In this case, you should use antihistamines, for example, b5i7l4ux9cfqlwl5.

If suppuration is still present, then no ointments and tablets will help – get rid of the parasite can only be surgically. The doctor opens the site of the mating of the female and carefully extracts it with the eggs. After that, the wound is treated with antiseptics, a dressing is applied and a course of antibiotics is prescribed.

If you ignore the doctor’s recommendations, the consequences can be very serious:

  • Deformation or amputation of the fingers (if the flea settled on the toes or hands);
  • Thrombophlebitis;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Necrosis of tissues at the site of the bite (necrosis of flesh particles).

Safety regulations

During the trip to the southern countries there is always a risk of being attacked by sand fleas, but there are certain rules that allow it to be minimized:

  • Immediately before the trip or on the day of arrival, purchase a special drug from sand fleas. Spraying should be done several times a day. Since the preparations are washed off with water, additional body treatment should be done after each bath.
  • Wear closed shoes or wear socks. Also, you should cover your body and head – long-sleeved clothes and all sorts of hats or panamas will help to protect yourself from sand fleas.
  • Moving along the beach and other sandy areas only in slippers or flip-flops. Fans of walking barefoot on the sand can grab not one, but several fleas.
  • Do not sit on the sand. Sunbathing is only necessary on a plaid or in a deckchair.
  • In case of suspicion of sand fleas on the beach, it is necessary to choose a sunny place. These parasites prefer shady places, because the probability of catching a flea in the sun is significantly reduced.
  • Daily inspect your body for bites, paying special attention to the legs. Observe personal hygiene.
  • Do not walk in tall grass. The probability of meeting fleas or other insects in low grass is much less than in high.
  • Choose only well-kept places for rest. The best option will be beaches, the sand on which is washed by water, because sand fleas live only in dry sand.
  • Move more. People who prefer active rest, sand fleas practically do not bite, and those who like to lie on the beach, attack much easier. In a special group of risk are those vacationers who prefer to doze in the nature in the evening.

Safety regulations

Sand fleas attack warm-blooded creatures, because their victim can be either a human, or an animal or a bird.

Bite Like a Flea

In addition to sand fleas, in hot countries there are other insects, the bites of which can be confused with fleas. Affected sites also itch, even an allergic reaction may appear, but it will be caused by completely different insects, namely:

  • Ants. Often fall under the clothes accidentally. If their way is blocked by an obstacle, then the ant will prefer to climb over it, and not go around, so sometimes one or two individuals can crawl on a person. Mass attacks do not happen, except when a person harms an anthill.
  • Moss and mosquitoes. Very small and nimble insects – they can not even be noticed. Usually, that one of them has bitten, the person learns already then, when there is an itch and reddening. Neither the first nor the second do not lay eggs in living creatures, because, in addition to itching and possible allergies, they are not particularly dangerous in anything.
  • Bedbugs. These insects live in living quarters and can not tolerate any diseases, but they can bring a lot of discomfort. Bites are located in a chain and have a larger size than flea.
  • Ticks. The swelling from the bites of these parasites is quite large, therefore it is impossible to notice the consequences.
  • Beach flies. These parasites bite very painfully, and the wounds after that, heal for a long time and unbearably itch. In such cases, you can not do without special antihistamines.

Insect of Vietnam

Despite the abundance of harmful insects, do not postpone the trip to tropical countries. Now thousands of reviews of holidays in the southern countries are full of complaints about bites, but with safety, they do not overshadow the rest, so before the trip should be prepared.

It is also worth remembering that active rest is good for health – it not only improves the work of the whole organism, but also negates the likelihood of sand flea attacks.

Before the trip, be sure
Get insurance to be safe
Buy tickets at great prices
Save discount coupons for stores and restaurants
Find the cheapest hotel prices
Order a transfer from the airport to your hotel