Toenails, strange question(11 posts)
I cannot cut my toenails myself, as I cannot bend that far (old age and bad hip). So they can get a little longish--I get them cut for me at a Doctor's office. Last few days, while sitting at work (I still do work at an office on a casual basis), and wearing socks and boots, both days I felt something moving in my sock. Only on one foot. This was happening most of the day. Came home threw off the sock into a basin of bleach and water, then washed feet in the bathtub right away. The next day, the same thing happened, and I soaked my feet in a basin of water and bleach.
I might be going completely berserk here, or is it possible for the adults or nymphs to harbor under toenails???? (PS: My home is infested)
I don't think they really live on people. They like to bite and run. I gues anything's possible, but maybe you are just being paranoid? I feel things crawling on me all the time but they are not really there.
I really don't think that they can live under you nails. But what about you shoes? I have had some success by throwing stuff in my freezer and killing bugs that way. Actually my samples were killed that way. I have an authentic Mexican blanket that my husbands mom bought him years ago in Mexico and it doesn't get used but because it was in our apartment it needed to get cleaned. I was afraid to wash it so I stuck it in our freezer for a few days. When I took it out, I went outside and shook it out and out fell 3 dead bed bugs! Now if I have any fears, I put my stuff in my deep freezer for a few days. Its worth a try!
In my experience they only transmit with people in advanced infestations where pressure for food means that they want to remain close to people or in the case of homeless people. The only exception to this was a case where a child's comfort blanket was infested because it was something that they always carried around with them.
I have NEVER heard of anyone having bed bugs under finger or toenails outside of a macabre picture illustrating a long term bed bug problem with a homeless person.
Bites44 - It's possible that there is one residing in your shoe. Depending on the shoes, you could dry it on hot, freeze it for a week or more (there's evidence that they can survive at least 5 days at -29 degrees F....and that's colder than any of our freezers), or use something like sterifab or 91% isopropyl alcohol (but that is more of a direct contact approach).
It's also possible that you have our phantom itching. I feel like things are crawling on me all the time now....and even feel "bites". Sometimes they actually do turn out to be real (with bites evidence there to show) but many times my mind is the perpetrator.
Thank you for the replies and helpful ideas!! My life is so surreal. Have isolated my bed, threw out wooden bed frame and replaced with new metal frame, got good covers for everything. I don't believe I have had bites in bed since then, but unfortunately I get only small pin prick bites, that do not itch. So I could be getting bites on back legs, and would never know. Yes I get itching all over at times, just talking about the bugs.
However, the crawling sensation (in the sock) seemed quite real. Well last night I doused my nails with isopropyl alcohol. Treated the boots again with alcohol, and then when that dried also used the hair dryer. Today I wore clean socks and the same boots (it is -16 Celsius here now and snow) and I did not get the same crawling sensation. Go figure!! My mind working overtime or what is this crazy thing? Everywhere I look I see bugs, but they turn out to be crumbs, sand, coffee grounds.
Today, I bought a child's microscope, and yesterday saved stuff from under the toenails, also from the water after soaking the socks (there were lots of black specks floating around.) Using the microscope soon, and will let you know perhaps tomorrow. Put my boots outside yesterday as well, as it was about -22 Celsius (this is -7 Fahreheit).
On another note my niece and I are so happy that the weather is that cold, we have placed a lot of stuff outside. I bought some mystery books in a second hand store today and will keep them outside for at least a week. -22 Celsius for a week should kill the bugs and nymphs at least. (I have said this before, I am afraid of books, as the first one I saw was in a book that was given to me at a time when my niece did not yet know about her infestation--she was already getting bites but did not know why)
Thank you again, I have learned a lot from this forum. Will tell you aboaut what I find under the microscope.
Bites44, now that I'm thinking about it, it's extremely unlikely BBs will harbor under toenails. BBs are attracted to you to feed (CO2 and body heat?), once fed, they run and hide.
Unlikely, I certainly agree. Paranoid, yes certainly, I admit this freely. (LOL) Too old for this kind of thing also. But today I bought a microscope, and I can see myself putting every bit of "fluff" I find and look at it. Coffee grounds as well. Cat hair, All kinds of stuff. Actually the microscope is a really great idea. I will then see just how paranoid I am, and give my mind some rest, and then I can give the microscope to my dear granddaughter.
I will keep you updated, just in case anyone is interested, and probably look like a really old fool. On the lighter side, so joyful that here in central Alberta, Canada, the weather has turned really foul and miserable.
There are a few documented cases of this happening. There have also been cases of bed bugs harbouring in prosthetic limbs.
Entomologist / Pest Professional
Thank you Sean! I fully believe there was something in the sock.
After I cut the toenails, sprayed them with isopropyl three days in a row, and also sprayed the boots, put the boots outside in -22 C, the crawling feeling in the sock against the skin of the foot stopped. No more crawling sensation.
Then got the microscope, --it is x300, x600, and x900. Can see a Paramecium (I think), but tooooo much magnification for a bed bug. But it has a viewfinder that magnifies.
Put the scrapings from the shoe, and from inside the sock on a slide into the viewfinder. Well guess what? Nice bits of "fluff" with a thousand legs, and dirt-- grains of sand as well. Nothing that looks like a bug, but I am HAPPY. Old paranoid fool. ha! There you have it, I said I would report.
Other question is that my watch strap was rotten, and I was wearing it to bed. One day about a week ago I felt an itch on the wrist under the watch, looked and it was my familiar pin prick bite, quite red. Now that could have been just a scratch or something aggravated by the watch. Howver, threw away the strap, kept the watch in a zip lock, and bought a cheap Timex. I do believe they could have found a nice harborage there. Paranoid or not, I don't trust these bugs with anything.
Yikes, BBs infesting the underside of toe nails? I know BBs have evolved over thousands of years to pray on humans. I really prey for better protocols.
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