bites mostly around ankles, going on for a year(3 posts)
I have a mystery bites situation with some weird features and I'm hoping someone here might have some ideas.
For the past year I've been getting bitten intermittently around my ankles and lower legs--the area covered by socks. Sometimes I get bitten in other areas but it's rarer. More recently I've been seeing bites around my waist. The bites aren't terribly frequent but they seem to cluster so I'll get a few around the same time
At the beginning of this period (August 2011) my housemate's dog had fleas so I attributed it to that. My housemate with the dog moved out of the house around October. I put off dealing with the problem for a long time out of fear/denial but in January 2012 I finally called a PCO. They inspected my bed and room and found no sign of bedbugs but did find one carcass on the mattress that they eventually identified as a carpet beetle. They sprayed some insecticide around my room and it didn't take care of the problem as I guess you could predict.
Around the same time my housemate with the dog moved back in, before moving out again at the end of April. The dog probably contracted had fleas again during this time though I don't know that for sure.
In May I called another PCO who didn't find any sign of any insects around my bed and room, or anywhere else in the house for that matter. He thought fleas were the most likely cause (though he wasn't confident about it) and sprayed insecticide around the house. Around the same time I tried the carpet beetles treatment strategy of vacuuming the house with a HEPA filter vacuum and spraying distilled water around (I skipped the bathroom and the bedroom occupied by my other housemate). FWIW my house is mostly wood and tile floors rather than carpet. I've gotten bitten a few times since then.
During this time I've shared this house with three people and afaik none of them have had any symptoms (I've only asked two of them).
To me bedbugs seem unlikely because the problem hasn't gotten worse over time. I ordered a passive monitor but it hasn't arrived yet. I also put in climbup interceptors in May and haven't noticed anything in them, but I haven't been totally consistent about keeping the bed away from the walls.
I can see that the symptoms also seem to match chigger bites, but I don't think I spend a lot of time in tall grass, and this was happening to me during the winter too. On the other hand my front lawn is always overgrown and I brush past the grass there on my way out the door every day.
tl;dr I've been getting bites around my lower legs and more recently my waist for a year, two PCOS I called in didn't find any physical evidence of bedbugs, spraying insecticide around the house didn't get fix the problem, neither did vacuuming with a HEPA filter and spraying distilled water.
Any thoughts on possible culprits or detection strategies I could try would be appreciated.
Are you sure they are bites, and not a rash? The waistband area is notorious for rashes. Also, wearing socks to bed can irritate hair follicles and cause red bumps.
I'm not sure of anything but they look like distinct circular bites, rather than a blotchy rash. I do wear socks to bed but I've always done that, and this only started happening a year ago (basically the same time I moved into this house). But I'll try not wearing socks and see if that makes a difference.
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