Sand Fleas are tiny insects that live on beaches and rocky shores. They have a total body length of 0.3 to 1.5 inches, and are found on both coasts of the United States and the western coast of Africa. Despite their small size, they are essential parts of the ecosystem. Their long feather-like antennae allow them to filter feed, and they are often used as bait by fish.
Sand fleas reproduce all year long. The larvae grow to be about a quarter of an inch long and have iridescent bodies. Sand fleas can lay up to 50 to 45,000 eggs per month, and they are completely harmless. They live in sandy beaches, and will not bite or sting humans.
Sand fleas can be mistaken for human bites because they can jump high and fast. They usually bite the lower legs or ankles. While these bites are harmless, it is still best to avoid lying on the beach, where they can spread to other parts of the body. When bitten, the body produces histamines, which cause the body to swell and produce fluid that helps the body ward off foreign substances.
Sand fleas are small and can range in size from a quarter-inch to an inch. They feed on seaweed, detritus, and plankton, which are microscopic organisms that live in the ocean. They also feed on fish, crabs, clams, and oysters.