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When summer comes around, there’s nothing quite like heading to the beach, soaking up some sun, and enjoying a refreshing dip in the ocean. But just because you’re on a beach vacation doesn’t mean that you’re exempt from the presence of bugs. From mosquitoes to shore crabs, sand flies and beyond, here’s a guide to help you prepare for and keep annoying bugs away during your beach getaway.

1. Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are universally known as the most irritating of beach insects. These small pests bite and can spread serious illnesses. To reduce the presence of these insects, use repellents and treatments that contain DEET, and substances of similar composition. Wear light-colored clothing, and try to avoid stagnant pools of water outside of the beach.

How Can I Avoid Mosquitoes Bites?

Try to stay away from the mosquito-prone areas in the beach– near overgrown grass, for example, and water sources. Mosquitoes tend to bite in the early evening and at night, so cover your skin with protective clothing if you’re in a mosquito-prone area after dusk.​ Wear a mosquito repellent spray, use citronella candles and nets, or wear an insect repellent bracelet or clip-on.

What Are Some Natural Mosquito Repellents?

There are several natural mosquito repellents available. Essential oils like geranium, lavender, citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, and clove are considered effective. Garlic and sage are also thought to be good natural mosquito repellents, as well as apple cider vinegar.

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2. Shore Crabs

Shore crabs have become a nuisance at many beaches across the world. These small crustaceans thrive in warm waters and often leave behind a pungent smell when disturbed. The best way to avoid them is to pay attention to the lay of the beach, look for areas that never seem to have any crabs, and be mindful of the areas you are walking in while exploring the beach.

What Should I Do if I See a Shore Crab?

If you do happen to find yourself with a few shore crabs, the best course of action is to avoid them and do not touch them. Shore crabs are equipped with powerful pincers that can give a painful pinch and are known for their aggression. If necessary, you can use a beach net or bucket to physically remove the crab from the area.

How Can I Deter Shore Crabs?

There are a few methods that can be used to deter shore crabs from an area. One method is to fill a bucket with seawater, add a few pieces of fruit, or fish parts, and place it in the area where the crabs seem to be congregating. Another method is to use products such as garlic or sodium chloride, which can be applied directly to the beach to repel the crabs.

3. Sand Flies

Sand flies are small blood-sucking insects that live in the sand of many beaches and coastal areas. They can be annoying pests, as they bite and leave a painful, itchy rash in their wake. To keep these pests away, keep your skin covered, use insect repellent sprays, and invest in a good pair of sunglasses, as flies are attracted to bright and shiny surfaces.

How Can I Avoid the Bites of Sand Flies?

The best way to avoid sand fly bites is to cover up exposed skin. Wear closed-toe shoes to avoid having sand flies coming into contact with your skin. Wear light colored clothing, as sand flies are more attracted to dark-colored clothing. Be sure to use a good insect repellent as well, and keep an all-natural alternative, such as coconut oil, close at hand to soothe any itchy bumps.

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What Are Some Natural Remedies for Sand Fly Bites?

Some natural remedies that can be used to alleviate the itchy sensation of a sand fly bite include the application of aloe vera, witch hazel, tea tree oil, coconut oil, or calamine lotion. Applying a cold compress on the affected area can also help ease the itching and reduce any swelling that may have occurred. In extreme cases, an antihistamine can be prescribed to reduce the allergic reaction to the bite.

4. Seagulls

Seagulls are common beach dwellers and they can be pesky, too. Seagulls are known to be quite a bit bigger than other beach pests, but they also rarely bite or sting– they are, however, a nuisance and can sometimes be an annoyance to beachgoers. The best way to keep seagulls away is to keep food and other objects out of the reach of these birds.

How Can I Discourage Seagulls from the Beach?

One of the best ways to discourage seagulls from the beach is to keep food away from them. Never leave food items unattended and be sure to clean up after yourself if you have food with you on the beach. It also helps to be aware of your surroundings and avoid any seagull nests that are nearby. Lastly, you can invest in a noisemaker such as an air horn or whistle to scare away the seagulls.

How Can I Tell the Difference Between a Seagull and a Sea Duck?

Seagulls and sea ducks can look quite similar at a glance, but there are several telltale signs that will help you tell them apart. Seagulls usually have a white head and body, with a gray back, whereas sea ducks tend to be a solid brown color all over. Seagulls also have thinner curved beaks, whereas the beak of a sea duck is usually quite thick and straight.

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5. Ticks

Ticks are small eight-legged bugs that feed on blood, and they can be found lurking in tall grass and other areas around the beach. To avoid ticks, avoid walking through tall grass, wear light-colored clothing with closed-toed shoes, and apply a tick repellent before you head out.

What Are Some Symptoms of a Tick Bite?

Some symptoms of a tick bite include a red rash or lump that may be itchy and painful at the site of the bite, a fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.

How Can I Prevent Tick Bites?

The best way to prevent tick bites is to wear light-colored clothing that covers your entire body, and to use tick repellent when you are outdoors. Avoid walking through long grass and be sure to check your clothing and body thoroughly after a walk in a tick-prone area. Ticks are also fond of humidity, so be sure to keep your skin dry and limit your exposure to humid environments.

Conclusion: Final Words

A trip to the beach can be a great opportunity for relaxation and fun, but it’s important to be aware of the pesky beach bugs that could ruin your fun. With some preparation and preventive measures, you can make sure that your beach getaway is free of bothersome bugs and pests. Be sure to do your research before you go, follow the tips mentioned above, and you can be sure that your beach vacation will be truly enjoyable.