Sun, fine sand, sunbathing… and our friend the sea flea. Have you ever had small perennial critters with spectacular jumps ruin your afternoon at the beach? Although harmless, they can become disruptive very quickly. So if you are tired of tapping your feet to keep them away, here are some simple tips to apply.
What is a sea flea?
Are you lying quietly on your towel when suddenly a microscopic creature tickles your leg and starts jumping on your body? It is probably a sea flea or sand flea (the scientific name) talitrus salator). we meet this small crustaceans about 1 centimeter on many beaches in the Channel and Mediterranean. In the winter, when the beaches are deserted, it hibernates, while in the summer, as soon as holidaymakers point the tip of their nose, the sea flea reappears. She can jump up to 30 cm high, the equivalent of 300 times her height!
He is found both in the sand, where he likes to dig galleries, and in the water (yes, he is also an excellent swimmer). The sea flea is valuable for the environment. Indeed, it plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy environment as it feeds on algae. Only downside: it stings. The bites can cause severe itching and even infection in an allergic reaction.
How do you protect yourself from sea fleas?
Avoid sunbathing in the morning and evening
Did you know that sea fleas are sensitive to light? So to avoid being disturbed by his jumps, it is better to do not go to the beach in the morning and evening. Indeed, it is at this time that small crustaceans are most numerous. In the afternoon they seek shade by hiding in the sand. So you run less risk of being bitten in the middle of the day.
Choose a beach with little seaweed
As you have understood, the sea flea cleans our beaches by feeding on algae. If you don’t want to cross his path, preferably choose a beach where there is very little, even no seaweed at all. It makes you calmer!
A sea flea jumps about 30 centimeters. To avoid use as a trampoline, sit on a lounger. The higher you sit, the less likely you are to be disturbed by this crustacean.
Keep sea fleas away
The sea flea or sand flea cannot stand the smell of coconut. To avoid being bitten, you can: apply coconut oil on your body, focusing on the feet, legs and arms.
How to relieve a sea flea bite?
Did a sea flea just bite you? Just like any other bite (mosquito, ant, spider, etc.) the common mistake is to scratch ! This gesture can aggravate the situation and cause skin irritation or even infection. To soothe itching, massage the area with water mixed with baking soda, aloe vera gel, or lavender essential oils and tea tree that have calming properties.
If the itching persists and the bites become infected, you should of course consult your doctor quickly so that he can prescribe an appropriate treatment.
Now all you have to do is enjoy your beach holiday to the fullest! And to avoid unpleasant surprises while swimming, here are 8 remedies to treat the bites of live fish, jellyfish and sea urchins.