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Old 11.08.2014, 17:48
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Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

I recently came up with many insect bites which were not mosquito. After a few days I checked at the chemists who said I have duck fleas.

I picked them up from swimming in the Vierwaldstattersee and still have them 10 days later.

A friend picked some up in Zurisee recently.

On googling the topic I saw that it is a common problem in many lakes. You get them from the water and not getting close to ducks. To help avoid them I was advised to take a cold shower after swimming in the lake and dry off vigerously with a towel.

I hope this post may spare some of you from this ailment !!
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Old 11.08.2014, 18:02
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

I would suggest you get them by sitting on the beach, not by swimming. The fleas are also at the Geneva beaches.
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Old 12.08.2014, 15:12
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

Are these actually fleas? a friend was told she had these, but they aren't actual fleas, it's the name given to parasites that burrow into you then have the bad taste to die inside you, are these like huge red bumps or just small red marks?
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Old 12.08.2014, 15:24
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

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Are these actually fleas? a friend was told she had these, but they aren't actual fleas, it's the name given to parasites that burrow into you then have the bad taste to die inside you, are these like huge red bumps or just small red marks?
They are not fleas, but rather the larvae of a duck parasite. They are transmitted via duck poo. They burrow under your skin, causing the severe itch. It is not normally a dangerous condition, unless it results in a secondary bacterial infection.

See article here for more information regarding the condition as well as how to treat/prevent it.
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Old 12.08.2014, 15:31
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

Thanks for the info.

They are not contagious or dangerous and actually didn't itch much - but they are stubborn. I have about 25-30 I guess which are taking time to go away and look unpleasant.
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Old 12.08.2014, 15:33
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

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.... taking time to go away and look unpleasant.
had a girlfriend like that once.
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Old 18.06.2015, 17:54
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Duck flea alert Geneva?

Is anyone aware of any cantonal alert about these? There seems to be an unusually high incidence of duck fleas, with one girl ending in hospital, such was the severity of the" bites".


For the first time in 5 years, I was also "victim" of the little buggers: I felt like a 6 year-old with chicken pox for a couple of days!


I have found a link on the official Geneva city website, but it's all in French:


http://ge.ch/eau/baignades-et-plages/puces-de-canard


This one is a map of all the beaches with water quality scale:


http://ge.ch/eau/baignades-et-plages...rte-de-qualite
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Old 18.06.2015, 18:02
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

Basically the site says that you should take the following precautions:

always shower well after swimming and dry yourself vigorously with a dry towel

duck fleas are more prevalent when the water is warmer (if I remember rightly over 23C) - so if you are a good swimmer, go and swim further from the shore were the water is colder - and check the map published regularly (the second link you gave).

On lake Neuchâtel the South shore has much less of a duck flea problem than the North (Neuchâtel town side).
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Old 18.06.2015, 18:35
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

20 years ago there were duck fleas on the beaches at Geneva. I can't believe they haven't fixed the problem yet. Another solution would be to take a good can of insecticide with you and spray the beach when you go there.
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Old 18.06.2015, 21:07
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

My understanding is that it is a larva, not a flea as such, and it would appear that this year, you find them in water also under 20C, which is not usual.


I rinsed very thoroughly, but did not dry myself...and paid the price.


My thread went under complaints corner, but it is a fact of daily life in Geneva's Summer months!
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Old 18.06.2015, 21:34
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

It is indeed the larva, which swim in the water- the beach is not the problem- as said the adivce if to rub yourself dry vigorously to dislodge any before they settle in, as it were.
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Old 19.06.2015, 07:54
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

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20 years ago there were duck fleas on the beaches at Geneva. I can't believe they haven't fixed the problem yet. Another solution would be to take a good can of insecticide with you and spray the beach when you go there.
God, they'll think we're madder than we already are!! Spraying the beach!!
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Old 19.06.2015, 08:56
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

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God, they'll think we're madder than we already are!! Spraying the beach!!
I'd have thought the proper British way would be to whitewash the beach...
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Old 19.06.2015, 15:27
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

I do remember having the bites 20 years ago. And they were not nice at all.

What to do?

And for all you Zurich peeps, who are laughing about this - beware!!!
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Old 19.06.2015, 17:29
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

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I do remember having the bites 20 years ago. And they were not nice at all.

What to do?

And for all you Zurich peeps, who are laughing about this - beware!!!

A special gel called "Fenipic Plus" (available from your chemist's, but not Boots! ) did the trick for me. Certainly helped with the unbearable itchiness.
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Old 19.06.2015, 17:38
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

Seriously.

I haven't swam or swum in the lake since the last duck flea epidemic. And, yes, it was horrible.

But i do sunbathe beside it.

I would think to get an anti bug for the skin spray. I may have to purchase one for myself. But spraying the beach around you is a bit odd.

Do they jump? Like big huge lake monster jumpy thingys?
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Old 19.06.2015, 19:54
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Re: Duck flea alert Geneva?

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Seriously.

I haven't swam or swum in the lake since the last duck flea epidemic. And, yes, it was horrible.

But i do sunbathe beside it.

I would think to get an anti bug for the skin spray. I may have to purchase one for myself. But spraying the beach around you is a bit odd.

Do they jump? Like big huge lake monster jumpy thingys?


They are not fleas. If you click on the link I posted, there is a very clear picture explaining the cycle from duck to snail to human.
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Old 20.06.2015, 10:12
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Re: Beware of duck fleas in the lakes

I know what they are, having suffered the bites myself.

But i still think spraying yourself with anti-big bitey lake monster spray is better than spraying the area where you are sitting. What happens if you step out of your sprayed area?

They will all be waiting for you... having concocted a rather good attack strategy.
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Old 04.09.2016, 21:42
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Duck Fleas

So I had a nice dip in Lake Neuchatel a couple of days ago - mentioned this to my neighbour who threw his hands up in horror and asked if I was aware of the duck fleas
By all accounts it is a big problem in the lakes and can bury themselves under the skin of swimmers - I know we have an algae problem in Yverdon which is a bit smelly and makes the lake uninviting but has anyone encountered a problem with the duck fleas.
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Old 04.09.2016, 21:48
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Re: Duck Fleas

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So I had a nice dip in Lake Neuchatel a couple of days ago - mentioned this to my neighbour who threw his hands up in horror and asked if I was aware of the duck fleas
By all accounts it is a big problem in the lakes and can bury themselves under the skin of swimmers - I know we have an algae problem in Yverdon which is a bit smelly and makes the lake uninviting but has anyone encountered a problem with the duck fleas.
ewwwww!

Beware of duck fleas in the lakes
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