There are thousands of species of sand dwelling insects around the world. While some of them will merely scuttle out of the way if you happen to disturb or tread on them, others may defend themselves by delivering nasty bites or stings.
Others still may actually bite or sting you deliberately in order to suck your blood or lay their eggs in your skin.
Sand dwelling insects that may hurt you
Here are five sand dwelling insects, or, to be more precise, families of sand dwelling insects, that could cause injuries on holiday:
- Phlebotomine sand flies: There are around 600 species of these blood-sucking insects. Found in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, some of these species may transmit a serious disease called Visceral Leishmaniasis, or Kala-Azar, as well as varying forms of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, disfiguring skin diseases.
- Cicada Killer Wasp: Found in the USA, Mexico, Central and South America, Canada and the Caribbean, these Cicada Killer Wasps are typically harmless to humans, but may deliver a painful bite if stepped on.
- Scorpions: Out of the hundreds of scorpion species found around the world, the three most dangerous species likely to inflict stings that could make you seriously ill or even kill you if stepped on include the Indian red scorpion (India, Nepal and Pakistan); Death stalker scorpion (Middle East, North Africa, Algeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia) and the Arabian fat tailed scorpion (Africa, Middle East, Algeria, India, Turkey and Egypt).
- Fire ants: There are more than 200 species of fire ants found all over the world. Their bites are usually quite painful and, in case of allergic reactions, can be fatal.
- Chigoe fleas: Endemic to West Africa and Central America, these fleas neither bite nor sting, but females may penetrate your skin and swell up with eggs in your toes, which is not only painful, but may cause inflammation, ulceration and, if left untreated, gangrene.
Fortunately, a little care and suitable footwear can often prevent being injured by things living in the sand. Injuries by slips, trips and falls are, in fact, more common than injuries by insects.
Compensation for holiday accidents
While being injured by bites and stings in the wild is something little can be done about by others, being bitten or stung in a zoo, for example, is a different matter, and may entitle you to claim for compensation. This is true of an injury by a slip, trip or fall.
If you had a no-fault accident on holiday, contact us, Accident Advice Helpline, as soon as possible via our freephone helpline on 0333 500 0993 from a mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice