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View Full Version : What bug is biting me? (Need answer fast)


drastic_quench
10-25-2010, 04:54 PM
Funny title. Anyhow, I've got one carpeted room in my apartment (thankfully not my bedroom) where I'm getting pestered by invisible bugs. The bites range from faintly annoying to painful pin pricks. Amazingly and thankfully they leave no marks. At first this was just on my bare feet and legs, and I originally doubted it wasn't just in my head. In the past two days however they made themselves known. It's real. I can feel them crawling on me. Yet even on my hand, and under bright light, I can't see them. This makes me think it is not bed bugs or fleas.

Googling turns up scattered info on various mites. Is that the culprit? I've contacted the landlord to get an exterminator asap, but you know how that goes. Proven remedies, tips, advice, and speculation welcome, thanks.

may_be_ignorant
10-25-2010, 04:57 PM
Your place is haunted. Obviously. :D

Sailboat
10-25-2010, 07:48 PM
Get a magnifying glass. If you still can't see them, and still feel them, get medical or psychological help.

Markxxx
10-25-2010, 10:47 PM
Body lice? Do you see spots of blood anywhere? I sometimes will get pin pricks that feel like something is biting me but I get no marks and such. I think it's just really dry skin.

Scabies usually is itching. Bed bugs tend not to bite in hairy areas. But about 1/3 of bed bug victims don't react to the bites at all, so you could have them.

Rachellelogram
10-25-2010, 10:56 PM
The fact that OP experiences symptoms only in one room leads me to believe this is more than just dry skin.

While the nature of this injury is potentially psychological (I've heard about the people who think they have black worms under the surface of their skin, etc), again it seems unlikely given that the itching only occurs in the only carpeted room in the apartment.

We can't tell you what's up for sure, it could be dust mites or some other form of mite. They aren't necessarily biting you, though. You may just be allergic to their presence, and this is something that will bother you but might not bother someone else (I am seeing a guy who's allergic to dust mites, it's possible). Try to get your landlord to fund an exterminator. If he won't, then you'll have to fund it yourself. If it turns out there is a mite problem, you can go after your landlord to pay you back.

Lynn Bodoni
10-26-2010, 01:43 AM
When my daughter got head lice, one of the treatment steps was to spray down her mattress. There are OTC sprays available for lice and bedbugs and the like, and if I had a problem like this, I'd saturate that room, if the landlord didn't get an exterminator ASAP.

drastic_quench
10-26-2010, 08:15 AM
The exterminator comes today. I guess we'll see how insane I am :rolleyes:.

The bites leave no marks, and don't draw any blood.

mozchron
10-26-2010, 09:07 AM
Dust mites don't bite. They eat organic detritus like skin flakes.

Anything that was biting you you would be able to see (fleas, bedbugs etc...) especially if you are looking.

By all means, see what the exterminator says - its always good to rule things out.

But if they can't find anything, you are either having a reaction to the carpet, or you should seek medical attention.

On edit - I don't mean to suggest that you are crazy - there are legitimate medical conditions that can cause these sensations.

If the exterminator finds nothing, and your doctor says nothing is wrong, only then would I seek Psychiatric help. As an aside, as an entomologist, I have dealt with many sufferers of delusional parasitosis (and frankly, your symptom description is dead-on). I have nothing but sympathy.

Sailboat
10-26-2010, 09:29 AM
The exterminator comes today. I guess we'll see how insane I am :rolleyes:.

The bites leave no marks, and don't draw any blood.

Don't be offended. The situation as you describe it defies analysis. It would be one thing if you're just not noticing small bugs, but if you're serious that they're actually not visible... even with a magnifier...it's not bugs at all. I don't think you can feel truly microscopic things.

There are medical and psychological conditions that can cause such symptoms; there may also be potential chemical causes for all I know.

"Morgellons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgellons)" is what springs to mind from the description so far, frankly. But that seems unlikely.

Does anyone else experience the "bites" in that room?

Sattua
10-26-2010, 10:19 AM
No-see-ums can bite pretty hard and are, indeed, difficult to see. I've only encountered them out of doors, though. Their bites don't leave a mark on me, just a painful itch that persists for several minutes.

kim_jung_il
10-26-2010, 10:28 AM
Are you itchy on your hand, on the edge of the skin between your forefinger and thumb?

mozchron
10-26-2010, 10:29 AM
No-see-ums can bite pretty hard and are, indeed, difficult to see. I've only encountered them out of doors, though. Their bites don't leave a mark on me, just a painful itch that persists for several minutes.

You can see noseeums (ceratopoginids). They're small, but easily visible.

Here is a site with a good picture. (http://www.handmade-natural-soap.net/Natural_Bug_Repellent/no-see-ums-repellent.html) (i'm not advocating what they are selling, just the picture).

And they would, for most people, leave a bite welt.

The Controvert
10-26-2010, 10:49 AM
Maybe it's some kind of skin irritant like fiberglass splinters or irritating carpet fibers? Have you tried thoroughly vacuuming the carpet?

drastic_quench
10-26-2010, 11:06 AM
Are you itchy on your hand, on the edge of the skin between your forefinger and thumb?
Nope.

Also, I did think it might be fiberglass or the like, but it didn't jive with the lack of itchiness, the crawling feeling, and the random bites.

Unfortunately, what ever it is has migrated into my shoes. Now I have to find a way to eradicate them from my shoes so I'm not being gnawed on throughout the day. The pest control man is bringing magnifying devices, so we'll see.

MLS
10-26-2010, 12:18 PM
Are you itchy on your hand, on the edge of the skin between your forefinger and thumb?
I'm not the OP, but what would that indicate? An allergy to pens and pencils?

toodlepip
10-26-2010, 03:16 PM
Are you itchy on your hand, on the edge of the skin between your forefinger and thumb?

I'm not the OP, but what would that indicate? An allergy to pens and pencils?


Scabies lesions are often found in the webbing between fingers (and other body crevices).

Scabies is usually very itchy, though, and while the itch may not be constant, the mites burrow under the skin and don't confine their activities to a particular room in a house.

drastic_quench
10-26-2010, 03:31 PM
Pest control couldn't see anything, but the magnifier wasn't at all powerful, and he said they can be incredibly hard to spot. They sprayed permethrin on all the carpet, and I am at the movies while it takes. Fingers crossed. As for the shoes, I might bag they and give them a few days in the freezer. Still no visible bites, but just like with mosquitoes, some people don't react.

micro bit
05-22-2014, 04:46 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I've been battling the exact same issue for seven years. Did the permethrin work? Did you ever find out what was causing your discomfort? Did you find a way to remedy it?

FYIW, I suspect this is an atypical allergic response, either to dust mites or to another entity with similar habitat preferences.