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Ask the Orkin Man

Are you aware of sand fleas; tiny white flies?

Question: Are you aware of sand fleas?

They are common in California’s High Desert and L.A. They are tiny, white fleas that get on people, burrow under the first layer of skin (like chiggers) and feed on their blood. Most people are not bothered by them; but there are a small minority of us who are. Also very prevalent in Las Vegas, and other sandy areas, like Florida. They call them “no-seeums” there; but they can be transported anywhere and live in carpet. Please email me back and tell me if you are aware of this nasty little pest. It’s important. People think I’m crazy, or imagining things, and I’m not.


ANSWER: You’re not imagining things. The sand flea is also called the chigoe, the scientific name is Tsunga penetrans. Yes, they penetrate the skin (thus the scientific name), and they can be a pest of humans.

Interestingly, in parts of New England, people use the term “no-seeums” to describe a small biting fly or gnat.


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