What Are Sand Ticks?

Heinrich van den Berg/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Sand fleas, also known as beach flies, sand hoppers or beach hoppers, are terrestrial crustaceans that belong to the Talitridae (Amphipoda) family. These small crustaceans look like tiny shrimp, but they are often mistaken for insects.

A common sand flea found in North America is the long horned sand flea. Long horned sand fleas are most often found on the Atlantic coast of North America. They remain buried in the sand during the day and forage for food at night. Sand fleas prefer to feed on people with pale skin as it easier to pierce. The sand flea injects saliva through the skin into the blood, thus making feeding easier.