The Bay Islands of Honduras are lush, tropical isles filled with flora and fauna natural to this part of the world. You will find cute little agoutis and brightly colored lizards, ancient-looking iguanas and stunning tropical birds. And - of course - you will also find insects. So, yes, there are sand fleas in the Bay Islands.
What are Sand Fleas?
Sand fleas are sometimes called sand flies, no-see-ums, or chiggers. They are tiny little flies that do bite humans, and unfortunately, we often don't notice these bites until well after they've happened (that's why they're called no-see-ums!). That's also why it's important to take preventative measures against sand fleas when you visit the Bay Islands.
Throughout the beaches of Honduras and up through Belize, sand fleas are a typical problem. However, we choose to not spray harsh chemicals on our beaches in order to protect the natural environment.
In an effort to curb the annoyance of sand fleas, raking beaches and spraying non-toxic deterrents is typical for all popular sandy areas. You'll find nearly all hotels, resorts, and even some vacation rentals will have their beaches cared for regularly in an effort to mitigate this issue.
However, sand fleas are still around. When visiting the Bay Islands, it's important to protect yourself from the elements so you can properly enjoy your vacation. You'll want to ensure you use eco-friendly sunscreen everyday, and you'll also want to add eco-friendly insect repellent to that routine.
How Can You Avoid Sand Fleas?
There are many natural or eco-friendly options for both sunscreen and insect repellent - including combinations of the two! Please try your best to purchase an appropriate product so we can all work together to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Bay Islands. You will only need to apply sunscreen when you're out in the sun - not, for example, when you're underwater and scuba diving. You will need insect repellent specifically for sand fleas when you're out on the beach.
If you react strongly to insect bites, then sand fleas might be a nuisance for you, so it's best to use preventative action with ample insect repellent before lounging in the sand all day. Many people find that sand fleas are most annoying after they've been in the saltwater and then lay out on the beach. Protect yourself and reapply insect repellent as needed.
Are Sand Fleas Dangerous?
These sand fleas do not carry any known diseases, and their bites do not affect most people as much as mosquito bites. However, if you are allergic to these bites, you will react to them and should seek out antihistamines at the pharmacy.
Sand fleas are part of the ecosystem of the Bay Islands. While they are not the most pleasant of our local wildlife, they are here to stay and we have learned to live with them.
Please help us in our endeavors to protect our natural environment, and choose and use your insect repellents responsibly.