A friend was visiting us this summer and started complaining of incredibly itchy bug bites. This is the tropics and yes, there are bugs, but we were all perplexed. Anti-histamines didn’t seem to help terribly much, so finally she went to the doctor. Guess what the culprit was?
|photo from Sandfleas.org|
Say what? I have never heard of sand fleas. So I looked them up. These are not actually fleas, they are tiny little crustaceans that look like mini-shrimp. They must have bitten her when laying on the sand at one of the beaches. Her husband who was at the beach with her, did not have any bites. Go figure.
The word from the doctor was – for most people ice for the bites and an anti-histamine like Benadryl will do the trick. Unfortunately my friend had an allergic reaction to the bites, but the doctors were able to give her something stronger.
The good news is – this is the first time I have ever heard of someone getting bitten by a sand flea, so go ahead and enjoy your vacation! If you want to grab an anti-histamine just in case – check out Long’s Drugs or the Safeway pharmacy.
Maui’s hospital and emergency room (Maui Memorial) is located in Kahului.