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No idea what kind of bug but I am going crazy

(11 posts)
  1. tincans

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 11:31:13
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    Okay, so my bug problem has started pretty suddenly, and I thought I had it taken care of but new bites have me confounded.

    On the 29th I went into Philly for a friend's party. It was a fun idea, water balloon fights and capture the flag through his neighborhood, everyone had a good time and most of us slept on his apartment floor that night. When I got home the next day, I showered, took a nap, and woke up with marks on my neck. I though it was allergies but a friend said it looked like bites. No one else who slept at my friend's apartment have any bites or bugs.

    Over the course of the week I got more bites every night. The next set was by my underwear line, seemingly on the inside and then all over my butt on the right side, also a few on the back of my left thigh. Then I got some on my shoulder and chest. So far none on my back.

    I assumed it was fleas once more started. I treated my room with igr, moved all my clothes and washed everything in hot water, dried things multiple times, put down borax powder, even went so far as to fog the room when those didn't seem to help. I couldn't sleep in my regular blankets because they made me feel incredibly itchy, even after washing and drying multiple times. When my old bedding was put on some different blankets I was using to sleep on the couch that didn't itch, those new blankets became itchy also.

    Throughout all of this I have found mixed bug evidence. I have found nothing of bed bugs, no casings, fecal stains, bloodspots, etc. I found a single flea on myself outside. I have found a decent number of carpet beetles and their larva, casings from them, but I have had them around for a while. I read that allergies to their larva hairs develop after having them for a while so maybe that makes sense?

    My marks/bites have been really hard to identify. Some were under my clothes, which doesn't seem like bed bugs, some are in straight lines of 3, which does seem like bed bugs, they all seem to have a delayed reaction in that they'll be flatish red marks that start to get itchy either within hours or a day. On my butt they're really clustered looking. On my shoulder I have several small lines of bumps. I also have some tiny individual spots. A dermatologist told me it looked like an allergic reaction and gave me a steroid shot and a prescription for a topical steroid, but couldn't tell me the cause. So it's not mites or anything.

    After I fogged the bites slowed down to like 1-3 a night, and have been much smaller. As opposed to a 3-4mm spot, they've been as small as 1mm and less itchy. I am really confused as to what this is. I am going crazy. Even though it's been such a short amount of time, I have general anxiety disorder and depression and this is really hitting me hard, especially since I haven't been able to sleep at night from the itching. I know my anxiety could be making it worse. All of this also seems to be contained to me/my room, none of my friends or family or pets(who have been treated for fleas and have no symptoms). My bf slept over on that sinday when i had the first bites but has had nothing. I am glad no one else is suffering but I really need to find an answer to stop this ASAP. Anyone have any advice?

  2. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 11:58:03
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    A dermatologist told me it looked like an allergic reaction and gave me a steroid shot and a prescription for a topical steroid, but couldn't tell me the cause. So it's not mites or anything.
    After I fogged the bites slowed down to like 1-3 a night, and have been much smaller. As opposed to a 3-4mm spot, they've been as small as 1mm and less itchy. I am really confused as to what this is. I am going crazy. Even though it's been such a short amount of time, I have general anxiety disorder and depression and this is really hitting me hard, especially since I haven't been able to sleep at night from the itching. I know my anxiety could be making it worse. All of this also seems to be contained to me/my room, none of my friends or family or pets(who have been treated for fleas and have no symptoms).
    Just because meds from dermatologist were given due to supposed allergic response, it doesn't mean that mites couldn't be an option. That might not be the case with you. After fogging, some bite-like reactions slow down or disappear due to the causal agent being in the air and it is knocked down for a few days from floating in the air. This can be particulate matter, fibers, etc. Are you on any anti-anxiety meds or new meds because sometimes side reactions are formication, see definition from Wikipedia:
    -Formication is the medical term for a sensation that exactly resembles that of small insects crawling on (or under) the skin. It is one specific form of a set of sensations known as paresthesias, which also include the more common prickling, tingling sensation known as "pins and needles".
    -Formication is a well documented symptom, which has numerous possible causes. The word is derived from formica, the Latin word for ant.
    -Formication may sometimes be experienced as feelings of itchiness, tingling, pins and needles, burning, or even pain. When formication is perceived as itchiness, it may trigger the scratch reflex, and because of this, some people who are suffering from the sensation are at risk of causing skin damage through excessive scratching.
    -In some instances, static electricity can attract particulates to the skin and can also cause body hair to move, giving a sensation like insects crawling over the skin, However, in many cases no external trigger creates the sensation.

    Professional entomologist/arachnologist. I consult on all matters dealing with insects and arachnids, including those of natural history and biology to pest management and forensic entomology investigations.
  3. tincans

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 12:33:07
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    Loubugs, thanks for your response. I actually am not on any medication for anxiety yet, and I haven't changed any other medications in years. I also haven't changed any food I eat, detergent, cleaning products, etc. This is part of the reason why I suspect bugs of some sort, along with marks showing up before itching. The passive itchiness i feel doesn't seem to result in any marks/bites, and seems to only happen in contact with certain blankets/clothing items. Do you think fogging could have altered the presence of an allergen like carpet beetles hairs? I am not sure why I would still be getting bites just at night in bed

    The dermatologist did say it looked like hives, but I guess she didn't take a skin scraping to completely eliminate mites from the options here. She did in particular suggest it could be a reaction to bites, though.

    This whole thing has been very stressful so far

  4. Richard56

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 12:54:46
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    Not saying you have bed bugs but if you do fogging will make the situation worse, so best not to do any more treatments -- especially fogging -- unless/until you identify what might be biting you. If visual inspection and/or monitors produce nothing, and the bites continue, you might consider bringing in a professional for an inspection.

    Richard

  5. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 12:57:55
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    Do you think fogging could have altered the presence of an allergen like carpet beetles hairs? I am not sure why I would still be getting bites just at night in bed
    The dermatologist did say it looked like hives, but I guess she didn't take a skin scraping to completely eliminate mites from the options here. She did in particular suggest it could be a reaction to bites, though.
    Yes, that often happens - carpet beetle hastisetae (and possibly just allergen dusts from dead body or shed skin breakdown) will be knocked down with aerosol/fogging droplets. The mites I was talking about (and should have mentioned) are those that are external parasites of birds and rodents. These species are the more typical ones that lead to problems as reported on this site and whose bites are often incorrectly identified as bed bug bites. Hives, yes, possible. Stress, yes, a problem, too.
    So monitors would be best to use: glue boards, climb up intereceptors and passive type monitors (can be corrugated cardboard pieces, folded up washcloths, fan-folded paper - creating potential harborage areas). Can collect surface dusts, particulate matter, fibers with tape lint roller, peel off the section and save in ziplock/slidelock bag.

  6. tincans

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 15:41:51
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    Thank you for your responses. My biggest problem as far a detection would seem to be is that I don't have bed legs to put a trap on; my mattress is directly on the floor. There haven't been any spots on it or the carpet. Maybe a CO2 trap would still be effective?

  7. jim danca

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 16:17:29
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    A CO2 source for bedbugs will only work in an empty room. Are you sleeping on a box frame with a mattress? Remove the mesh cover and plastic end caps on the frame and look for fecal on the wood.

    PCO and inventor of a bio active bedbug trap
  8. tincans

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 17:53:19
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    My mattress is literally on the floor, lol. I have decided to stop messing around on my own and call a PCO near me with a dog. Hopefully they can give me some answers. Thanks for all your help.

    I'll post back with results in case someone else has asimilar problem and googles this like I did!

  9. loubugs

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 18:06:04
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    I have decided to stop messing around on my own and call a PCO near me with a dog.
    Make sure that any positive alerts are followed by visual verification.

  10. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Fri Sep 11 2015 23:36:54
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    Ask if the dog handler visually verifies all alerts by searching for evidence. You don't want someone who just takes the dog's word for it. We have a FAQ on bed bug dogs.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  11. tincans

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Tue Sep 15 2015 7:50:05
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    So the dog came in this morning, the handler and the tech both checked everything as well, and there were no alerts. They checked through regardless and found the same thing I did: nothing and a few carpet beetles. The bites/marks have been slowing down and maybe even stopped last night, so maybe this really is just a case of carpet beetle allergies?

    I suppose I'll just have to keep an eye out and hope it's done with. Thanks again to everyone; this forum has been a great resource.


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