Beaufort Sand Fleas, Gnats and No-see-um's
It seems that wherever you go, whatever you do, the sand flea is your constant companion. So much so, that the term "The Beaufort Salute" is now the Beaufort areas official phrase describing the hand and arm motion universally used when repelling swarms of sand fleas.
About Sand Fleas and Sand Gnats
The sand flea is Beaufort's most popular unwanted guest.
Many names are given to this micro vampire, such as No-see-um's, punkies, gnats and numerous other four letter words I won't mention.
It is hard to believe an insect only 1/10th of an inch in size is capable of such an annoying bite.
The bite of a sand flea is actually a sting and the effects may be felt for hours. Bites appear as red spots, like small freckles, and may itch at first. Bites usually cause no serious reactions, but can remain visible & itch for hours or even days on some people.
Sand Flea Diner Time
A small reddish or whitish welt, about the size of a freckle is a sure sign you have become a sand fleas feast. Often, one encounters hundreds of sand fleas at one time and will receive many bites, as the sand flea loves to share its meal with all its hungry friends. Sand flea diner time is most of the time, especially around the morning and evening hours. Their tiny size allows the sand flea to enter homes through the smallest of window screens. Incandescent lights seem to attract larger numbers of sand flea into homes. Sand flea encounters are most often around marsh and sandy areas, although they seem to be plentiful everywhere else.
If you have many tiny insects swarming around you, and can hardly see them... you are about to become diner for the sand flea.
Sand Flea Repellants
Locals use Skin-So-Soft (Avon), vitamin B-12 patches, various insect repellants (some people add a few drops of pennyroyal oil).