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Parasites of the Caribbean

  • Blog Post by:
  • January 19, 2010 - 4:44 PM

 

 

Q. I just returned from the Caribbean and have bumps on both legs that really itch. I don’t remember seeing any mosquitoes or other insects, so am worried that I was attacked by bed bugs, is it time to call the exterminator?

A. It’s possible that you shared your room with bed bugs, but don’t rule out other possibilities. In the tropics many of the flying and jumping insects that feed on human blood are much smaller than they typical Minnesota mosquito, so it’s likely that while you were hanging out on the beach you feeding the local wildlife. Possibilities include sand fleas (aka sand flies, beach fleas and no-see-ums), which are only about 1/8-inch long, but can jump than a foot high – a likely explanation for why the bites are on your feet. An over-the-counter antihistimine will help relieve the itching.

 

- Jim Buchta

 

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