Bugs – Cuba – Debbie's Carribean Reviews Forums

renee 2010-04-29 12:17:49 UTC #1

Hi All,

Just came back from the Blau Colonial in Cayo Coco and although I am susceptible to insect bites, both my partner and I were covered with small, itchy bites. Now, could this be from sand fleas on the beach or (god forbid) bed bugs? I know this is an icky subject but we are worried that if they are bed bug bites, that we may have brought the critters back in our suitcases.
Any comments?

eeeefarm 2010-04-29 12:55:22 UTC #2

What is the location of the bites? If mostly on your lower legs, I would say sand flees for sure. If all over…hmmm…could be something else. Bedbugs are visible if you look for them, although they do like to hide. Probably too late to suggest you leave your luggage in the garage and immediately put all your clothes in the wash? Seriously, I don’t think there is an authenticated case of bedbugs in Cuba, although they certainly can be anywhere, since they arrive courtesy of other guests!

shirleyujest1 2010-04-29 14:28:21 UTC #3

We had the same thing happen to the four of us in Cayo Largo. We have bites, mostly on our feet, ankles and legs, but I did manage to get some on my back and arms.

I used OFF! in the evenings but that didn’t seem to work at all – or maybe it did and the bites would have been worse if I hadn’t used it?

Anyway, I find the bites I get in the Caribbean don’t amount to much when I get home. They were really itchy in Cuba but they don’t seem to bother me at all at home. :-*

yhz 2010-04-29 18:24:50 UTC #4

I had a horrible allergic reaction to sand flea bites this year in Cuba (and after I got home…the rash is still slightly visible almost 3 weeks later) so I have been reading up on them. The following link depicts what my bites looked like, only I had more / bigger welts: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sand-fleas-on-humans.html . This is what they look like on someone who doesn’t have as bad a reaction: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3126/3082004041_85b6f5b663.jpg

They are typically concentrated on the feet and lower legs because sand fleas can’t jump any higher – thank heavens, is all I can say. I suppose if you’re lying right on the beach, they would probably bite any available flesh on your body but I don’t know that first hand.

I thought of bedbugs as well, but I checked the mattress in Cuba and could not see anything. Bedbug bites look more like this: http://www.bedbugresource.org/2008/03/bed-bug-bites.html As the link says, they often appear in a line or cluster and tend to be all over the body as opposed to just on the feet and legs.

babas1 2010-04-29 19:03:36 UTC #5

Hubby didn’t spray any Off the first night we were in Cayo Coco. Woke up the next morning with puffy bites and what looked like a poison ivy rash on his ankles and calves. The Afterbite I packed didn’t do the trick the next night so he went to the doctor’s office. The doctor’s assistant told him it was caused by tiny black flies. She applied a cortizone cream and he was fine after that.

nhathanh 2010-04-29 19:50:59 UTC #6

I got the same thing everytime I returned but it was OK after 2 weeks. Never happen to my wife probably because I wore short all the times

mr1 2010-04-29 21:23:22 UTC #7

I had a bad infestation of them at Luna Y Mares this past Feb. I finally had to go to the Dr there for some treatment.

I have never previously had a bug bite in Cuba

My wife was not affected at all and the only place we were
not together was in the public washrooms

cigarnewf 2010-04-29 22:14:37 UTC #8

Along these lines, same thing but a little different:

Every time we go to Cuba my wife gets plenty of bites (12-18 or more) that turn into what can only be described as welts that are filled with puss that are, in her words, unbelievably itchy.

Eventually they dry up and a hard scab forms on it and then by the time we’re back home for a week, they’re gone for the most part.

I, however, never seem to get a bite at all.

We’re usually on the beach together, we sleep in the same beds, yadda yadda.

I tell her that she just tastes better than me. She doesn’t find that funny at all though.

eclaire 2010-04-30 00:20:20 UTC #9

I was also at Luna Y Mares in March and came home covered in bites. My bf had not a single one. We also were nervous of bed bugs, as a few days after we got home it seemed like more and more were appearing. But about a week after we got home they started to go away. Its been 2 months and no new bites, so I think its safe to say it was sand fleas.

My bites were all on my lower legs, from the knees down. They were ITCHY as can be, and puffed up like welts. The itch went away in a few days though it took a few weeks for the bites to disappear.

To be honest, I can still see where some bites were, but I am really really fair and scar easily, so it doesnt surprise me. I wouldnt worry if I were you!

yhz 2010-04-30 00:27:51 UTC #10

The only things that even moderately controlled the itching in my case were (1) a paste of baking soda and water, and (2) multiple ice packs.

I took TONS of Benadryl , used calamine lotion, Aveeno oatmeal bath – nothing else worked. I had unbearable itching for 6 solid days before it finally started to improve.

Plus, I had a very strange coincidence in that on my last day at the resort, on the second day of itching, I had the worst “food poisoning” of my life. The resort doctor thought that’s what it was, but when I got home and saw my regular doctor several days later, he wasn’t so sure that it wasn’t a systemic reaction to the bites.

Needless to say, I am going to be pretty leery of the beach in future.

verycoldcanadian 2010-04-30 03:25:50 UTC #11

I got bit up pretty bad this trip. I have no idea by what though. ??? I think my problem was that I only had beer and rum ( not together ) I saw one person drink wine, gin , scotch , beer and everything else that wasn’t nailed down and he got very few bites. I think there is a lesson here.

I must learn from the master

system 2010-08-25 01:17:31 UTC #12

In April 2009, only 1 out of the 3 of us travelling together had an issue with bites. She had the massive loonie size welts on the last of the 7 day trip, and it took weeks to heal. In April 2010, I went back to the same resort, after having 2-3 bites the year before, and this year I was chewed! It did put a damper on the trip as the itch was crazy, but thankfully, I never had a reaction like my friend. There is major construction near the end of Varadero beach and I think that worsened an already existing condition. But, I’m still going back, albeit it with a thermacell appliance, higher deet, more slacks and long sleeve blouses, coils, citronella, cortisone, bendryl … same stuff I’d have if I was camping!

And I’ll drink more of a variety, as Dr. VCC suggests …

system 2010-09-12 02:12:20 UTC #13

****** To add to my previous note, I just discovered that the butane cartridges used with the ThermaCELL bug repellent appliances are restricted; you can’t take more than one on a flight. Gotta scrap that part of the defense plan.

Spunky 2010-09-12 02:43:49 UTC #14

There are some other members with info about the ThermaCell repellent device situation.

I think that we all have enough information to figure out the bug bite problems. Maybe, start a thread about what to do and not do. Like: Don’t walk on a damp beach early in the morning or on a dull/dark day or after dusk. (sand fleas) :-[

I’ll start a thread and see what happens…

domtrip1 2010-09-23 00:57:25 UTC #15

We just got back from Sandals… sand flea bites too… on the calves and feet… 1 or 2 mosquito bites on the arm…

I don’t think I’d worry about bed bugs… but to be on the safe side, we left everything in the garage when we got home, and i carried in the clothing as I was doing laundry. Misc items are still on the floor of the garage, as well as the suitcases… Moreso for the little buggies that were in the bathroom of resort… like little gnats…

djenning 2010-09-23 14:47:10 UTC #16

Sand fleas we can take, bed bugs!!! We’ve become very cautious and always leave all our luggage out of the house in quarantine. Reading about what to do, things like don’t put luggage on bed, floor, furniture.

Freezing for 5 days (works in winter) or putting stuff in dryer for an hour is supposed to kill em. They lay a couple eggs a day and can live ~ a year without feeding so there isn’t much else one can do.

hollydog 2010-09-23 16:09:55 UTC #17

Sand fleas can end up in the bedding. See my post in the Bites!!! thread. (Sorry, don’t know how to link to it).

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