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Can You Eat Sand Fleas or Sand Crabs? (Read This First!)

Sand fleas and sand crabs are found at the beaches. They are very small in size and hide in the sand. Sometimes people get frightened at the sight of them because of a lack of enough information. Today, we are going to discuss whether sand fleas or sand crabs can be eaten.

Can you eat sand fleas or sand crabs?

Sand fleas and sand crabs can be eaten. But one can not eat raw sand fleas and sand crabs.  Sand fleas and sand crabs need to be cooked in a way that ensures the elimination of all the parasites in them. Sand fleas and sand crabs taste like crabs and go along with any seasoning flavor.

Many people think that sand fleas and sand crabs are not edible. But it is not true at all. Sand fleas and sand crabs can be eaten by following certain recipes. We are used to eating regular-sized red crabs and so on.

That is why most people perceive sand fleas and sand crabs to be inedible.

If the sand fleas and sand crabs you want to eat live on a healthy and clean beach, then you can certainly eat them without any worry. It is beneficial to eat the female sand fleas and sand crabs. Because they present more meat than the small male sand fleas and sand crabs.

Sand fleas and sand crabs are quite adaptable as well when it comes to cooking. They can taste good with any seasoning flavor.

Are sand crabs poisonous?

Sand crabs are not poisonous by nature. They do not bite with harmful intentions like the regular-sized crabs. Sand crabs are a very peaceful group of animals that keep to themselves and leave on the ocean shoreline. Sand crabs adapt well to the environment of the ocean.

They do not come into the household environment and create a fuss. So if you are living near a beach, you do not have to worry about your house becoming infested with sand crabs.

But their bite can cause irritation on the skin. In that case, you will need to consult a doctor. You can also get sick by eating raw sand crabs. If you have a pet dog or a pet cat, then you need to worry about them.

Because eating sand crabs can cause acute domoic acid toxicity in pet animals. So you have to be careful when you go out for a walk on the beach with your pet.

What happens if you eat a sand flea?

There are no side effects to eating well-cooked sand fleas. But eating undercooked and raw sand fleas can cause quite a few problems. They are:

Can cause Vibrio vulnificus:

Eating raw sand fleas can be harmful for the human body. If you eat raw sand flea, it can build up Vibrio vulnificius in your body. It is a bacteria that is responsible for most of the seafood-related demises around the world.

Vibrio vulnificus can result in amputation of your body parts. So you have to avoid eating raw and undercooked sand fleas at any cost.

Can carry parasites:

If you do not wash the sand fleas thoroughly after catching them, the parasites dwelling upon the sand fleas do not get removed.

So when you eat raw sand fleas or undercooked sand fleas, the parasites get into your digestive system and cause several problems in your body.

Can cause Domoic acid toxicity:

If you eat too much sand fleas, it can destroy the protein balance of your body. It can cause Domoic acid toxicity in your body and make you ill. Eating raw or undercooked sand fleas can be a harmful mistake.

Are sand fleas the same as sand crabs?

Sand crabs are also known as mole crabs. But sand fleas and sand crabs are different even if they sometimes look the same. Sand crabs fall in the category of the Emerita genus of decapod crustaceans.

Sand crabs are also a little bigger than sand fleas. Sand fleas are mostly one inch long. But sand crabs can grow up to two inches. Sand crabs also have harder outer shells than sand fleas. That is why cooking sand fleas is easier than cooking sand crabs.

How to catch sand fleas?

Catching sand fleas is not such a hard job. But still, you need to follow some common tips and tricks while catching sand fleas. They are:

Catch them at night:

Catching sand fleas at night is easier than catching them during the daytime. So if you fail to catch sand fleas in the day, you can just go out to the beach and catch them at night.

Use a sand flea rake:

You can buy a specially designed rake from the market that is used only for catching sand fleas. You will need to dig the sand flea rake into the watery sand of the beach.

When the high tide comes, it will bring out the sand fleas into your sand flea rake. The sand fleas in the watery sand searching for food. Instead of using a sand flea rake, you can also your bare hands to catch sand fleas one by one.

Put them in a bucket:

You will need to fill the lower part of the bucket with a little amount of sand. Then you will have to pour some water into the bucket. After that you can put the sand fleas you have caught into the bucket.

The sand and the water in the bucket will be great for the sand fleas before you start cooking them. You can even use the sand fleas as bait to catch fish and other sea creatures.

How to cook and eat sand fleas?

There are several steps involved in the cooking process of sand fleas. They are:

Wash them:

First of all, you will need to wash all the sand fleas you have caught. Sand fleas are an abode of parasites. So not washing them thoroughly will put your health at risk when you eat them after cooking.

Boil them:

You will need to boil the sand fleas in a pot to make sure that their outer shell softens. This will also make sure that the parasites residing in the sand fleas are completely gone. You can eat the sand fleas at this stage if you want. But it will not be tasty.

Season them:

After that, you will need to season the sand fleas with the flavors you prefer. Sand fleas go along with almost every flavor.

Fry them:

Next, you will need to fry the sand fleas in the frying pan. You can use cooking oil or butter to fry the sand fleas. You will have to fry the sand fleas until they turn pink.

Serve them with vegetables:

After the frying process is finished, you can serve the sand fleas with healthy vegetables like broccoli, green beans, etc. as side-on.

How do sand fleas taste?

It is believed that sand fleas taste like regular-sized crabs. It is mostly true because of its outer shell and flavorful insides. It is better to cook and eat the female sand fleas. Because they have much more meat on them as they are bigger in size.

Another important thing to note here is that the sand fleas that have soft outer shells taste better than the sand fleas that have hard outer shells. Sand fleas are a crunchy treat when they are deep-fried.

After biting on their outer shell, you will feel the burst of all the flavors into your mouth. Sand fleas taste good with almost all the seasonings.

What attracts sand fleas?

Sand fleas get attracted by high tide. When the high tide starts hitting the shoreline, you will find the sand fleas coming out in groups. They come out at that time to search for food like plankton.

Another thing that attracts sand fleas is rainfall. Sand fleas thrive under rainfall and come out when it starts raining heavily. Sand fleas are generally peace-loving animals. But during high tide and rainfall, you have to be careful while walking on the beach.

Because sand fleas might bite you and cause you discomfort.

Final thoughts

Sand fleas and sand crabs can be eaten only after they are cooked. One should not eat raw and undercooked sand fleas and sand crabs. Raw sand fleas and sand crabs can cause Vibrio vulnificus and domoic acid toxicity. Softshell sand fleas and sand crabs taste better than hard shell ones.