Calling All Mite Experts For Possible ID(30 posts)
Some of you may remember me from when I posted a few times on here starting last September 2011. I was getting bitten by something, but a bed bug dog, passive monitors and the bed bug beacon plus endless glue traps and searches with flashlights at all wee hours of the morning have turned up zero in the way of bed bugs. Along the way I did discover that yes, I am allergic to carpet beetle hairs and when I cut down on the static electricity things got better. Not totally, but not as bad.
However something has still continued to bite me and sometimes the tiny, pimple/blister-like lesions hurt and/or itch. Other times they don't. Most are in areas either covered by hair or cloth and yes, I have felt the bite and yanked up clothing to find a single red hole where I felt the sting. So I don't think at this time it's likely it's bed bugs. So what could it be?
Well, this morning I found this little guy in my flea sticky trap after setting it up and leaving it on my bed following still more bites. So I posted his mugshot to Flickr in the hopes somebody who knows mites will be able to look at it and go, "Ah, you have..." fill in the blank.
At the very least I get to play with the nifty microscope that has a camera attached that we got for my teenage son for his science classes next year. At best I may finally have a final answer as to what's been eating on me since roughly ten months later I still can't find a live, dead or shed skin of a bed bug in a 700 square foot tiny single family home. Fingers crossed and I hope someone out there can help me name that bug.
OK, it appears to be a mite.
What is the approximate size of this critter?
Lou - what do you think?
Thanks P Bello. Yeah, he's a mite all right but what kind? Biting or otherwise is what I'm searching for an answer on. He's uber-tiny--he could fit into this o with room to spare. He looks like a drop of blood and I would never have seen him clearly without the microscope. I've caught three more of these little guys over the last few months--one red like this one (although in the pic he looks more orange) and the other two were a very pale yellow/cream color. I could barely make those out with a miniature microscope I got from Radio Shack. This little guy I can clearly see finally and get a decent picture posted thanks to now having a decent microscope with a camera attachment.
I wish there were more real-life pics of mites online. And the stupid, inconsistent drawings online do not help. I'll likely send him off to someone if they ask, but at least thought I'd try this forum as a first step.
Congrats on the photos !
If it's a clover mite, not a biter.
Will check later on and hopefully our friend Lou is having a look this morning too.
We need an acaraologist but my former professor is no longer with us : (.
Wow, what a sleuth you are.
Bumping this up for the experts to help identify.
I didn't get on early this morning, sorry. Doesn't look like a clover mite (difficult to see the front legs), but it's also not one that is parasitic on birds or rodents.
Thanks, Lou. Okay, I am suspecting spider mite at this point in doing my own searches online. I agree it doesn't look like a bird/rat mite either. And no, spider mites don't bite, which means while the little guys might creep me out looking at them they aren't the culprit that's biting me.
Of course, that begs the question then of a) what the heck are plant mites doing in my bedroom and bed where I have no plants and b) if they are coming in from the outside what else is as well? This morning at 5:30 a.m. I woke up feeling itchy and as I lay in bed I felt a sudden jabbing pain in my foot as if I'd been bitten by something. I ignored it, shifted my feet around and tried to tell myself it was all in my head. Then a few minutes later the same biting sensation happened on the other foot on my heel. At that point I got up, took a flashlight I keep by my bed and searched the white sheets and blankets then room for any signs of movement. Nothing. And yesterday my son had the same type of bites on his forehead and nose--just a hard shiny little blister-like bump. As of this morning though the one on his forehead is gone completely and the one on his nose is still swelled. He says they don't hurt or itch or feel like anything. Just like me. Oh, great.
Stupid mystery bites.
Spider Mites and Clover Mites are not the same thing however these two common names are often interchanged and causes much confusion. This is why science loves latin
In addition, there are over 1,000 species of "spider mites"; Pacific Spider Mite (Tetranychus pacificus), Two-Spotted Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae), Strawberry Spider Mite (etc.).
Mites are very difficult to identify down to the species by looking at a photo (even though yours is a pretty good one). Often it comes down to seeing microscopic hairs on the body to determine the species.
Lou is an arachnologist and I would trust his identification.
I found something that looked just like this, but it was light green with no legs. Do these types of mites shed an exoskeleton?
All arthropods shed their skin as they grow. You have to be able to look at samples with magnification to be sure there aren't any appendages if it's something that's so small or fragile. Many times a magnified image explains a lot (as long as is clear, not fuzzy, out of focus).
I looked at it with magnification. Wouldn't have been able to see its little eyes without it. Unfortunately I tried to move it into a bag and squished it in the process. Oy. But I am guessing a light green version of this red guy wouldn't be a biter anyhow (doesn't resemble the rodent or bird mites I've seen photos of).
I wouldn't go by color necessarily. Remember that many creatures can bite even if not a blood sucking one by nature. Sometimes they just taste to see what you are.
Hi LA Woman (and friends) - What ever became of this situation? Did you rid yourself of the bugs? Were they ever correctly identified and what did you do to get rid of them?
I need help. I have these mites and I am so distraught about it. I don't want to go to bed tonight. I'm in LA too. I would LOVE to know what you did to get rid of the bugs and stay sane.
I here in tears asking the same question as poor brother Conka
how in hell do we kill those things
also I guess this is more of a question for a doctor, but maybe some of you guys would know
would applying Permethrin cream (for scabies) kill any type of mites? because scabies are mites aren't they?
how awful and horrible of a situation
If you have scabies, a doctor should be able to do a skin scraping, diagnose it and treat it with creams.
If you have a mite in your home, they can be treated by an experienced pest control professional.
Thank you so much for your kind response Nobugsonme, I'm sorry to be crying so much I know it's no very commandable for a grown man, but I do wake up with crazy itching bites
I did make a post also about bed bugs dropping from the ceiling, I'm afraid that perhaps I've isolated my bed too much and scattered the bugs all over my flat....
I guess people eventually see signs like casings and living bugs even if they isolate...
This is the loop going on in my mind right now: "It's bed bugs" "no it's mites" "no it's nothing" "it's some weird thing I'll have forever" and again and again the hamster runs in the wheel
are mite PCOs hard to come by? I see none listed in my area
I hate to repeat this but what kills me is when I sleep elsewhere I'm not bitten + I don't get blood stains
Just an update: I am still getting bitten on a regular basis. I have come to conclusion it is either some sort of mite OR some sort of skin reaction to something. By this time given that this has been going on since August of 2011 and I live in a one-bedroom bungalow in a standalone structure that is all of 700 feet I would be overrun if it were bed bugs and able to see the bleeping things, no problem. They'd be sipping coffee and asking me to share the morning paper by this time as a matter of fact. I know the things are hard to find and to see in the early stages of an infestation, but I am long since past that point. I find blood spots now and then, but that's all I've ever found and they are always red--not black or brown. Two K-9 inspections a year apart have also turned up nothing although the last K-9 inspection wasn't quite as good and the handler said some things that left me less than impressed with his competency. Also a large portion of my bites are on my head and face in areas covered with hair while my bare arms and feet often go completely untouched.
Given that we have gophers that have gotten under the house plus a landlord who ignores my pest control requests I have come to conclusion that this won't really end until I move out since it is most probably rodent mites brought in from the gophers. It's all certainly date coincident with the gophers showing up in our lawn back in 2011 anyways.. I do notice that regular vacuuming and low humidity as well as washing my bedding weekly including running blankets and the comforter through washer and/or the drier are the only things that actually keep everything under control. Regular baths of colloidal oatmeal and epsom salts also keep my skin soothed and for the most part I've sort of gotten used to the whole thing.
What has not worked for me is steam-cleaning furniture and bed, DE, essential oils including citrus and lavendar and eucalyptus and mattress encasements as well as painting and sealing my wooden bed and examining and cleaning every square inch of furniture in my house. These are all good things to do, but since they didn't work I'm pretty sure pesticides would be an equal waste of time. Don't bother looking online for solutions either since you will freak out and be introduced to all manner of "treatments" that are weird and potentially dangerous--do not, I repeat do not, bathe in bleach people. Ever.
It's annoying as heck living with these things, but then so is the traffic and our neighborhood also suffers from a large migration of "hipsters" who are frankly far more annoying in the long run. So at this point I am throwing in the towel, so to speak and simply investing in a dehumidifier for the bedroom since really the one thing that does seem to stop the biting are those days when the humidity drops to below 40 percent--not something that happens often enough in Southern California unfortunately. If anyone wants to PM me go ahead, but I've outlined everything here that works for me and what doesn't.
I wish everyone the best and am glad to have found this website. You all kept me sane during this time and I am certainly a lot more conscious of the does and don'ts to avoid bringing bed bugs home. As to mites, it would be great if there were more information out there about them, but truthfully there just isn't that much good, scientific, factual information about the little suckers--blood or otherwise. The mites I found are tiny, less than pinhead size and visible only by microscope although I have seen a few larger ones that looked like fast-moving black dots. If any of this sounds familiar that may be what you're dealing with, especially if you aren't finding the usual evidence of bed bugs after several months and inspections from professional pest control operators don't turn up anything.
Thanks for the update, lawoman.
Thanks for sharing more info about the problem. The only way to really identify any mites (and some insects as well) is by actually examining specimens. Collect mites with a alcohol dampened Qtip, gauze pad and place into a ziplock bag (air out) and mail it for examination. If you can do this PM me. I'm on the east coast. Your reactions can be from many things, but pinpointing on things that crawl because they are there is not highly accurate. ID from only images is very difficult and with mites, the images normally are photomicrographs, not pictures taken with a camera or phone. Microscopic examination of body parts, setae, sclerotized plates are needed.
Thanks, if I can do this I will. Of course, seeing the darned things is next to impossible and when I do see these things they move so fast I barely have time to register the fact that it was sitting there to begin with. Frustrating, and I know you are right about the fact that mites need better ID than just pictures. If I can find something likely I'll send that to you. I have run the Victor non-toxic flea traps and caught mites in it, but have no idea how I'd even begin to get that to you or if it would do any good since the insect is covered in glue by that point. Bleh, at least I've finally let go of the idea it's bed bugs. They are visible and they multiply, so by this time I'd be seeing them given that there is no clutter left in my place and it's been a year and a half.
Hello all - new to this forum and seeking answers, as are others. Loubugs: my symptom is that I get scratches, as well as bites, but mostly scratches. These are NOT self-inflicted! They almost always happen during the day. I will feel slight pain, pull up my sleeve and there is a scratch. Some are tiny - 1/8 inch long, others are 1/2 long or longer. I have searched everywhere for info on mites that leave scratches and have found almost nothing. This started 8 months ago when I visited my sister in TN. Doctor said it was scabies but standard treatments did not work for either of us. A dehumidifier, DE in my sheets every night and many other things have made my environment nearly mite free - but I still get these scratches - one or two a few times a week. I do not itch. My sister has no more visible signs.
I know you will tell me to get a sample but not sure how. I have never seen a bug on my skin, even when I see the scratch form right before my eyes. Thank you for any help!!
Oh AC_in_MA I feel for you, but DE in your sheets cannot be good for your skin and lungs. I had to learn the hard way that even if they say it's food grade it's not something that I can have anywhere near my skin. It also creates static electricity and then yeah I was turning up with scratches occassionally, which I suspect were more my sensitive skin reacting to or even getting scratched by the DE. Try walking around with no shoes or socks in the house, clean up the DE and maybe spritz the sheets down with fabric softener and water before bedtime to help with making sure you aren't getting allergic reactions to carpet beetle hairs or other particles. Not trying to tell you what to do, but rather just what I found worked for me.
Did the doctor who diagnosed you find scabies mite evidence or just go on the scratches? I'm interested since I brought that up at one point and the doctor I saw said I didn't show the burrows, but he'd give me the prescription cream anyways. I turned him down since I'm not going to pesticide myself with no hard evidence. I am getting a dehumidifier for the bedroom to see if that helps since I have found that on those days where the humidity is below 40 percent I do not get any bites or skin reactions.
Good luck and I hope you can figure it out. I agree it is odd, but what I'm experiencing fortunately are not scratches.
Hi LAWoman, thanks for your reply! I have been seeing the scratches right from the beginning, though at the beginning I had more bites than scratches, and now I have only scratches! It is so strange. I am sure that the DE is not causing them.
I have no carpet in my home so static electricity is minimal. My skin is dry so I also put on DE mixed with grapeseed oil before I go to bed and that helps a lot.
I really think my hair is the culprit - I didn't suspect it because I don't itch and obviously I can't see what is going on with my scalp. I was putting DE powder in it at night and then washing it out in the morning, but now I put the DE plus oil in my hair and now I'm leaving it in, even at work! Yeah, it looks a bit weird but I don't care. I don't have any crawly feeling today. It has just been 5 days since I started treating my hair aggressively, so we will see what happens.
My sister was much more aggressive with her hair, dried it out (not with DE) and then cut it fairly short. My hair is long and thick and I really don't want to cut it.
I'll post back on any progress but if ANYONE knows what the scratches are I would love to have that info!
oh forgot to answer your other question - my sister did have a skin scraping and doctor said it was scabies but not sure if he really knew what type of mite it was. She didn't really have burrows. She DID use the permethrin and that made her itch like crazy so I did not use it. I did take the ivermectin a few times and it did nothing. My doctor just assumed I had scabies, since I caught it from my sister, who was diagnosed. No skin scrapings were ever done on me.
Ok It is me again ...I have had two companies here Terminix and another Fort Myers company, Both say they see no signs of bed bugs , I had samples for Teermanix and he had no idea what kind of bug it was which really shocked me I thought they were good . So since I have no camera or scanner I will tell you the activity of this bug and I have not seen anything bigger yet I have stayed up at night and set my alarm 2 to 3 to 4 am in the morning no big bugs, Now in the evening I have these skinny pencil point size brown bugs that seem to bite through my clothes they get on my clothes really fast before I know it I see them every where. At night they stop for a while I really don't feel much at night inless some got caught in my cover . I have bites on my head and some strange small bumps on my face not in any kind of form they are just here and there and don't itch . And different bites on my back all over my back some are red bites some are fainted. I know I have posted many things on here , But I really feel what I posted was true I livd it and after this it only proves what I posted can happen. And if these are bed bugs I was right how they can travel. Now if you can tell me what this bug is I will be happy to redo what I wrote in my other threads, But no one here can prove to me if these are bed bugs or mites, The professional pest control say that they should not bite in the day time , is that true? is a bud got round and not long and skinny I really don't want to put any money out of mite control or a sniffing dog is I have to save up for $1200 to get rid of bed bugs and that don't include cleanup of clothes and other things . I am on a limited income. That is why I was so desperate to see if you guys can help me before I make any moves . Also there was a gentlemen who was going to give me his address and I could send him a sample of what is on my clothes in the evening, they come in many sizes but I never see no legs one was tiny and round like a mite looking thing like a spider tiny tiny one .If you can email me at [email deleted] your address I will send the sample to you that I will collect later., But if anyone has any idea's on this tiny kind of long like a point on a pencil but thin brown , and they seem to bite into my clothes and get under my clothes really fast. And bite like hell. Please anyone help me I am disabled and on a fixed income and don't want to have to spend money and trouble if it is not a bed bug. Thank you
Have you checked and compared with the bird mite image link I posted on the other threads you have posted?
You may also want to stick to one thread rather than jumping around so all the information is in one place, otherwise its hard for us to keep track and help you.
"My skin is dry so I also put on DE mixed with grapeseed oil before I go to bed and that helps a lot."
"I was putting DE powder in it at night and then washing it out in the morning, but now I put the DE plus oil in my hair and now I'm leaving it in, even at work!"
Why mix the 2 together and put on skin? The DE will dry the skin, especially if simply a powder. It absorbs oils, waxy layer of insect cuticle that gives rise to dehydration. It can absorb up to 6 times its volume in fluids. It is slightly abrasive and used in toothpaste. It does not slice and dice insects as so many websites explain about how it kills bed bugs.
Scratches aren't related to insect biting.
"my sister did have a skin scraping and doctor said it was scabies but not sure if he really knew what type of mite it was."
There is only one species involved with scabies in people. Sarcoptes mite.
Bed bugs feed any time of the day -- not restricted to night hours or very early AM hours.
As I explained before, there's no way to determine what you have without examining specimens. I emailed you my address.
Loubugs (Lou Sorkin) is the one who you should send your bug sample too. I am really glad you're going to do that.
Please consider replying to the thread you started in future (instead of a new one each time you have an update) because people with an interest in your situation will have subscribed to the original thread. If you respond with updates in other places, they may not see it.
You can always find your other threads by going to your own profile. There's a link to view your profile in the sidebar where you log in. You can also click "newbite" under your username next to any post to see your profile.
Also, I deleted your email address above -please read explanation as to why posting your email is a bad idea in the forum rules.
to loubugs - thanks for the reply. I was mixing the DE and the oil as a guy from another forum said that this cured him - the oil seemed to help suffocate the mite? Thanks for the info on how the DE works.
It is always hard to say what it is that works for each person when so many factors are involved. So you are saying that the DE by itself is sufficient to kill mites?
On the scratches - I never had them prior to the mites - but perhaps they result from all the treatments?
Also - can you tell me if it is normal to feel a slight tingly feeling, always in the same spot, after mites are gone? Thank you SO much for helping to answer my questions and others!
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