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Rat Mites or Ticks?

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  1. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:00:18
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    Hi, I was terrified that we had bed bugs as my husband has been getting mystery bites around once per week. Have found zero evidence of them. However, we recently found out we have rats in the attic and crawl space and probably walls, and they're going to be trapped next week. Could we have rat mites or ticks? I found two tiny insects on the baseboard. First photo is of an orange bottle cap next to the bug. Second photo I zoomed in. I have a two month old baby and am FREAKED OUT! Thank you to anyone who can help. The exterminator comes on Tuesday.

    Oh, and our cats have been itching like crazy and have tons of scabs. The vet thought they had a food allergy but now she suspects rat fleas. I see no evidence of fleas. Could the mites or ticks bite the cats? Either way, I'm giving them flea medicine today.

    This is very scary.

  2. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:01:00
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    Trying to upload photos...

  3. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:22:24
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    Mysterybites36 - 20 minutes ago  » 
    Trying to upload photos...

    I'll wait to see the pictures. More common to have rat mites more so than rat ticks.

    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.
  4. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:42:42
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    IMG_6223 by kim james, on Flickr

  5. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:43:27
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    IMG_6222 by kim james, on Flickr

  6. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 12:44:33
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    Thank you, Lou.

  7. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Thu Oct 11 2018 14:05:01
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    Mysterybites36 - 1 hour ago  » 
    Thank you, Lou.

    Nothing to worry about. Yes, an arachnid, but a female oecobiid spider. It's oriented upside down. Order Araneae and not Acari, so not mite or tick.

  8. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 21:04:03
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    Thank you again, Lou, for the identification. I was oddly disappointed because I would rather have rat mites than bed bugs. Anyways, I keep comforting myself by repeating what I've read here on this website. You either have bedbugs or you don't, and until you find evidence of them it's not helpful to assume the worst. I have no evidence except my husband keeps getting bites.

    In the past three days, he got a single bite on his tricep, which he noticed at around 5pm. Then he got one the next day, which he noticed in the morning... on his inner thigh, close to his testicles. So whatever bit him got in his underwear. Yesterday nothing. When he first noticed the bites around September 7 he got a ton. He was sleeping in our guest room, which is right next to our bedroom in our tiny house. We have a baby so he was trying to get undisturbed sleep since he had to go back to work. After about five days he came back to our bedroom and then he got bites around every 7-10 days. Usually single bites, which makes me think bedbugs. I also got a few bites on my arms and ankle. One night I woke up really sweaty and found bites between my thighs, which I assume was prickly heat. He was also doing a lot of gardening for the first time since we moved here in July.

    Meanwhile, in the past couple weeks we found out we have rats in the walls, attic, and under the house. I can hear them. The exterminator is coming on Tuesday.

    I also found out that our two cats are covered in scabs, constantly itching. I saw no evidence of fleas. I took one to the vet and the vet said it was most likely a food allergy. I didn't take the second cat because I didn't realize she was also having issues until I got home from the vet. They often sleep in the guest room. We only allow them in our room during the day. I realized they had scabs around September 29. But I haven't pet them as much as I normally do, poor girls, due to being busy with the baby.

    I gave our cats flea medicine yesterday. I just found what I think is a dead flea on the guest bed, where the cats have been sleeping all day. Could it be a flea from a rat? The exterminator said he smelled something dead right below the guest room. I can't believe this is the first flea I've found. Can someone please let me know if it looks like a flea to them? Pray to god it's not a squashed bedbug.

    So, mystery bites, rats, itchy cats, maybe a flea (?)... it has to be related, right? We couldn't be that unlucky to not only have rats but bedbugs??? The uncertainty is horrible. I hate not knowing so I finally bought a passive monitor, which should be here early next week.

  9. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 21:05:00
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  10. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 21:05:30
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  11. Mysterybites36

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Fri Oct 12 2018 21:06:41
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    I should add, although I prefer fleas to bedbugs, the idea of rat fleas is terrifying. I heard there was an outbreak of typhus from rat fleas in Pasadena, California (about 25 minute drive from my house).

  12. loubugs

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    Posted 1 week ago
    Sat Oct 13 2018 8:15:50
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    Mysterybites36 - 11 hours ago  » 
    I should add, although I prefer fleas to bedbugs, the idea of rat fleas is terrifying. I heard there was an outbreak of typhus from rat fleas in Pasadena, California (about 25 minute drive from my house).

    Pictures aren't highest resolution and largest picture size. It looks like a common cat flea which will bite lots of different warm-blooded animals.


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