Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Detection / Identification of bed bugs

Bites Might be Mites

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  1. BittenInTheD

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 10 2011 18:55:00
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    Hi All,

    So, for the past few months I've been battling what I've assumed were bed bugs. However, several things in my fight have struck me as odd.

    1 - Though I often have the tell-tale "bites in a line" I sometimes get these bites on unexposed parts of my body.

    2 - No sign of bed bugs, eggs, casings or excrement....anywhere. Only sign I have of any kind of bug are the bites

    3 - Taping my bed with two-sided tapes reduces biting, but does not stop it. Nor have I trapped any bed bugs.

    In my last taping, however, I have noticed tiny brown specs, specs smaller than a period. I don't have a magnifying glass so I can't tell you what the specs are, but they are suspect.

    I'm thinking either mouse or bird mites. Now I need a totally new strategy. Any advice on confirming and eliminating mites?

  2. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 0:44:31
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    I don't personally have a lot of faith in double-sided tape. I'd take a different approach with your bed -- try a passive monitor (more on those here) to monitor for bed bugs.

    You can't diagnose anything based on bite appearance, and evidence of bed bugs would be present but can be difficult to find if you don't have a lot of experience.

    If you don't have a loupe or access to a microscope, you can tape items to a white index card and send them away for identification. (Let me know if you need a lead on that.)

    I'd also consider ruling out fleas with a cheap, plug-in flea trap (recommended by David Cain).

    I do not know a lot about detecting mites, except that some have mentioned placing a glue trap on a windowsill. Someone else may be better able to advise you on this.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  3. gladiator

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 1:40:21
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    Similar suspicion here. For about 8 weeks I have found triple bites and blood stains on clothing about every 10 days. I have the climb up interceptors with nothing in them. Diatomaceous Earth dusted in limited places now. No sign of dead or alive BB's. No sign of fecal stains, shed skins etc. However over a month ago I did find what could have been shed skin of some kind of insect which I did not save being unaware. When I get the bites it's the typical 3 linear bites, with bloodstains. At first it was an itch that led to the discovery of mosquito like bites with a dotted center. The last series was the most bizarre. Since I had the interceptors I began to sleep better, so a few days ago I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I was tired and medications require extra time to empty my bladder, so instead of standing I choose to sit. The next morning I looked in bewilderment at the toilet seat and found dried blood smeared. Never/Ever before has this happened. Upon examination I found 3 distinct bites within the upper part of my butt lol. Ya gotta laugh or totally freak - this can't be possible ! There was no blood in my sleepwear at all. If I had been bitten while in bed the blood smear would have shown. I currently sleep in underwear and and long sleepwear. (To think I loved to sleep 'natural' in care free times) Apparently I was bitten while seated and the blood dried and smeared from the bites. I was stunned - bitten seated on the T ? How bizarre can it get? Tracked down there in the dark? Sounds hilarious if it hasn't happened to you yet....
    ...'Butt Beware'... Never again do I do that in the 'wee-wee' hours of the morning
    I am certain I did nothing but empty my bladder. It was not a paper abrasion.

    Now the second part of my story is that I also find this creepy crawly feeling on my body at times. Also little abrasions/bites which I thought might be from DE but since doubt that. When I rub my skin I find these very tiny white specs that upon magnification don't appear to move or have legs. I don't think it's skin rubbed off. This whole experience is totally new to me. Nothing like it in the past. It began after moving into an apartment in a 50 year old building, I have placed fine steel wool between the baseboard floor gaps since this started. I have had a PCO here twice. No physical evidence on the bed so no treatment. He did not examine other furniture, I did. He returns again tomorrow and will bring sticky traps. When I asked about the passive Co2 detectors he said they are not reliable - something about erratic emissions as I understood it. Any opposing opinions ?

    I now suspect 2 aspects to this: a rogue BB, since I only get one series of 3 bites at a time, and now also strongly suspect some type of mite. If it were nymphs I would think I would have found one by now visible to the eye with intensive searches I have done, unless they are also microscopic. Have not seen any hobo spiders. No centipedes which I read can be an indication of BB's since they may feed on them?

    From what I have researched on mites it seems like something extremely difficult to diagnose without a powerful microscope and an organism to examine, and treatment reads just as difficult. How is it possible to get a mite specimen or 'know' if you have them? I am so worn out with this experience and trying to decipher what I am dealing with that I am seriously floundering with everyday life.

    I am wondering if there are people who have dealt with both BB's and animal mites simultaneously and how to differentiate and diagnose both. Mites I've read seem to be far more complicated than even BB's. This is beyond anything imagined. How ignorance is bliss for a time.
    Wish it was all in my head. My body says otherwise. I know bites are not proof of BB's or mites but I sure see 3 bites and blood and now other little bites and there are not too many other suspects to bring in that I've read of. I experienced nasty flea bites once outdoors and clearly saw them but this is nothing like them.

  4. gladiator

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 1:54:04
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    @Nobugs .... thanks re your reply and advice - had started writing my post and finished later on and hit send - then saw what you had replied to the original poster so will ask the PCO about the sticky traps on window sills. Also read that mites could come in through in wall air conditioners if birds had been nesting around them at some time.

  5. PANewBugger

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 11 2011 18:03:02
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    We had both BBs and rat mites - the BBs were brought home when my husband went on a trip, and the rate mites were introduced into our home from my husband's office, which had a rodent problem. As many others have mentioned before, you can't diagnose by bites alone, but I do understand what you're going through and the frustration that the mite and BB bites can cause. If you suspect mites, try to find a PCO who can help you make that determination. Since we were dealing with BBs when the mite problem started, we were able to contain the mites somewhat since we already had most of our belongings in sealed bags. Vacuuming helps a lot, and I would wash everything in hot water with Borax to help get the mites out of our clothes and linens. My husband and I would get that horrible crawling sensation all over our bodies as well - it takes time and lots of work (constant cleaning and laundry), but with time, it gets better. Our situation with mites might be different than yours - we didn't have a proper host in our home so after several weeks, the mites would die off, but then we'd have a re-infestation from something my husband brought back from work despite all the measures we put into place to prevent further contamination (they'd be in his clothes, shoes, etc.). If you have a mite source in your home, you need to remove it to eliminate the mites.

  6. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 8:34:38
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    PANew....I have a few questions, too. Could you distinguish a mite bite from a BB bite? How did find the mites? From what I've read, it sounds like you can feel mites crawling on you and biting you, but not with bed bugs. Is this true? Do you think mites can draw blood, as the OP believes? Did you ever see any tiny "white rice" looking things in your bed?

  7. gladiator

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 12:28:31
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    To 'PANewBugger' thank you very much for sharing your story on mites. I do not have any animals but have friends with dogs, cats and a bird. The cats go outside and kill birds and mice. Also know someone with a dog who is always itchy - vet says a skin allergy. I wonder could whatever ails the dog be transfered by touching/petting.
    How did you and you husband make the determination it was rodent mites? What method did you use to trap and identify them.

    I spoke with the PCO yesterday who said you should be able to see bird mites if they were around. I wonder about that since they are so tiny.

    To 'BittenInTheD' and 'Toledo' - I found a website called 'Ask The Exterminator' and it has a lot of info about mites on there. I have 2 links here about bird mites and the 2nd one about all the other kinds of mites. Read the replies from people below the Bird Mite topic on the site who discuss methods of dealing with mites and products they used in their battle. Very interesting and helpful stories.

    http://www.asktheexterminator.com/Mites/Bird_Mites.shtml

    http://www.asktheexterminator.com/Mites/index.shtml

  8. PANewBugger

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 13:04:47
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    Here's another link that might provide some info on what to look for and how to get rid of mites (and teh source): http://www.acvcsd.org/biting_mites.pdf

    For us, my husband saw mites (very very tiny - smaller than a period) and confirmed them in his office with the company's PCO who confirmed that the building has had a long history of problems with rodents and resulting rat mites. We used Borax in everything we washed, and when he would come home from work, his clothes, shoes, everything, would immediately go into a large bag that we'd then spray down with 91% alcohol and then put into a large freezer (we bought the freezer just for this!). We'd store items in the freezer for several days before taking out to clean. I vacuumed everyday when the mites (and BBs) were at their worst. I also found spraying cloth furniture, like the couch, with Lysol helped.

    We never saw small white things in the bed or anywhere else. We would feel crawling and biting sensations throughout the day. My husband had it worse than me since he would be at work, which was where the mite problem started. He would even feel popping sensations on his skin, hair, under his clothes, etc. I at times would feel a really sudden sharp pain that appeared to come from nowhere (felt like someone stuck me with a pin), look at the area and see a small hole with blood coming out of it. The bites from the mites were larger than you'd think - I could see a puncture hole and had scabs all over the place from the mite bites. They took a long time to heal.

    When he would take time off from work, the mites would subside, and as soon as he'd go back, there would be an increase in activity. It was maddening.

  9. gladiator

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jan 12 2011 14:05:52
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    Thanks very much 'Pa' ! You sharing is very helpful. The sensations you describe are very familiar. Feeling sudden pinches and the crawly feeling, which is not constant but more so at night at the computer. Were your bites numerous and all over or just a few. Have you also dealt with BB's?
    Yesterday I was at the computer and felt an itch on my stomach, scratched it and got a raised area. Most of my bites have been under clothing but it's only just a few at a time.
    So if I am dealing with mites would I be finding numerous bites as described or could it be limited to the itching?
    This morning I had the inspiration to start spraying my shoes with a mist of alcohol and also hanging my clothing for the day and spraying it finely with a mist of alcohol then letting it dry.
    I can't definitively find anything that appears to be mites, just the sensations and at times I rub my skin and come up with a hard little white spec, not sure if that's dry skin or a mite. When you discovered them were they in movement or stationary?
    I am glad you mentioned that you were surprised at the size of the mite bites. So you are saying they can appear like BB bites and actually draw blood. Were the bites you had daily and always observable.
    I examined the windows, ac units, bed and clothing and don't see anything like them. Lastly in appearance were they black specs or white in color?
    I much appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experience with this issue as I try and determine if they are a real part of my experience.
    The link is also helpful. Much Thanks !!

  10. BittenInTheD

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 17 2011 8:51:25
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    Hi all,

    I might try a monitor, they seem to be reasonably priced and I suppose I can sell them on Amazon or Ebay if it turns out I do not have BBs.

    I got bit again last night, though not as bad as a couple weeks ago. I just find it weird I get bit in unexposed areas. For example, I wore two pair of socks with my night pants tucked in between and I got a bit on my ankle and foot. Still no sign of blood stains, feces. I will get bites along my stomach, where I tuck my night shirt into my pants. I'm thinking of not doing that anymore because it makes wearing a belt during the day unbearable.

    If its mites, it might be mice mites. I haven't trapped any, but I know my neighbor has them. And I know just because I haven't caught one doesn't mean I don't have them.

    Thanks for all the responses, I'll update you guys after I get my monitor!

    D

  11. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 17 2011 19:55:29
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    I at times would feel a really sudden sharp pain that appeared to come from nowhere (felt like someone stuck me with a pin)

    That's the exact way I would describe the pain, only I can't see any hole or bite. It's such a jolt when it happens, almost like a shock of electricity. It scares the ^&*( out of me. I've had this happen about 6 times now and one time I did find a really small white speck, like gladiator mentioned. I just couldn't believe that something that small could have caused such severe pain, so I threw it in the trash can. I will save anything I find in the future, thanks to everyone's great advice.

  12. victimized

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Jan 17 2011 21:59:24
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    I'm seeing lots of questions, mostly the same questions, and no answers to them! What do these mites look like? Are they visible? Were they moving (to those who actually really have them and found them in their home)? I have the tiny red pin pricks ALL over, especially around my inner thigh and knee region and all along my legs but they become more concentrated at my ankles and on the tops of my feet. I wear socks all the time albeit I now wear my open toed foam sandals which can be easily washed under hot water and slip off and off. I find it odd that, while I do get bit on my face and along my hairline etc, I have so many of these on my feet. It makes me wonder if I am being attacked while sitting at the table on here. I sit a few feet away from the cabinets which are 25+ years old. There is an open space underneath them all full of dust and goodness knows what else, and I once saw that the baseboard panel (or maybe even entire wall) is just not there along the back. This said, I know we have had mice come and go through the home and now I know there is pretty much no barrier there to protect the inside, kitchen floor, from creepy crawlies coming from the wall. However, in the distant past, I would get stinging itches on my bare legs and feet while babysitting at someones house and I would look and just see these tiny white specs where I felt the sting. I'd look at it on my finger for a long time and never saw movement but suspected. Which is why I think we need to know, do these things move????? Lately when I feel a stinging itch sensation I'll examine that area under my magnifying loupe and see very tiny fibers or hairs on the creases of my skin that I couldn't really see with the bare eye.

  13. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 18 2011 9:03:40
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    Victimized.....the white specks I've found are very small and don't appear to move. In fact, when I use my magnifying glass, I can't even see any legs on the darn things. But obviously, they must move. Once I get a few samples, on scotch tape, I'm going to bring them in to a local PCO who has a microscope. My magnifying glass may not be strong enough to see what these are. The reason I suspect mites is because my daughter worked at a pet store, cleaning cages, and the hamsters had mites. We could have a bird problem in our attic, too. I'm going to make my husband go up there and look for dead birds. As for mice, we've trapped 5, but all have been in our basement. We're hoping we got rid of them, as we haven't caught anything in the last 3 weeks.

  14. BittenInTheD

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 18 2011 9:12:53
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    I just find it strange that there has been an explosion of all kind of buggers in the past four or five years. My mom was telling me BBs or mites weren't common at all when she was growing up, or when she was raising me and my siblings. What has changed that's caused BBs and mites to take over in such epic proportions?

  15. toledo

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Jan 18 2011 10:15:34
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    Outlawing certain chemicals and more global travel/goods


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