My daughter is getting bitten at night! Help!

My daughter seems to get as many as 8 or 9 bug bites overnight every once in a while. Sometimes it will be just one or two, other times more. When it happens, it seems to happen frequently, like 3 or 4 times in a week to 10 day period. But then it will stop for a few months.

We can’t for the life of us figure out what in the world is biting her.

We’ve washed her bedding in hot water several times, but then she gets bitten again.

No one else in the house is getting bitten (I have an 8 year old son and a 1.3 year old daughter).

Three months ago we moved! So she has a new room. So if something were in the room, it followed us. I’ve been through all her stuff in her room and can’t find any signs of a creature.

Before we moved, the two girls shared a bedroom and the youngest wouldn’t get bitten at all.

I’ve looked over her mattress and box spring as carefully as I could, but I see no evidence at all of wear or creature infestation. Since it was just her getting bitten, and it moved with us, my second thought was that the mattress had a broken spring or something else sticking her. Also, we keep a plastic cover on the mattress as well as a fitted sheet. The bed was inherited from my wife’s grandmother. It is probably 6 or 7 years old.

The bites cause a red area about 0.5 cm across to form (although I don’t know how much of that is due to my daughter scratching it.) There is a raised area in the center just a millimeter or two in diameter. The very center is red as though it were bleeding. As a matter of fact, there are small spots of blood on the sheets after this happens.

The bites appear to be mostly on uncovered areas of her body.

How do I find whatever this is? Can I try to match the bite marks to a creature of some sort? Any good sites for doing this?

Thanks for any and all advice.

Possibly bedbugs.

They are apparantly a problem again in the U.S.

You all might be getting bitten, but not showing a reaction.

We had this problem (chiggers in the sheets) and I was getting half inch across itch bumps, while Ardred didn’t seem to be at all… until I got up close and underneath the hair on his ankles were dozens of little bug bites. He just doesn’t react the way I do.

We washed the sheets and comforter and sprayed down the mattress with bug killer. Worked for us.

You could try getting a plastic covering for the mattress and boxspring (the kind that completely covers each piece and zips up). See if that stops the problem.

It sounds like bedbugs. - if this is the case, they’ll be hiding away in nooks and crannies during the daytie, possibly not in the actual bed, but elsewhere in the room - cracks between floorboards, behind furniture etc.

We went through this and finally concluded it was fleas. We don’t have any cats, but a lot of our neighbors let theirs wander around. Even if you don’t have pets you can bring them into the house on your clothes. They seem to die off eventually.

According to this site (the Penn State Entomology):

It doesn’t sound like bed bugs.

I’ll check the bites tonight to determine if there is a redish center or not.

I am also surprised that the bed bugs or fleas or whatever this is hasn’t moved onto other parts of the house.

Thanks to all who have responded so far. I’ll keep checking back to see if anyone has any other ideas.

Can anyone find pictures of the difference between a bed bug bite and a flea bite?

Bed bug bites.
Flea bite.

If you happen to rule the other two out, another possibility could be assasin bugs. Two of these horrible things got in my house one time, and I wound up with two months’ worth of unbearably itchy, red, weeping welts on my legs, ankles and torso. I finally found them, killed them, and the biting stopped. They have the ability to melt into cracks and corners during the day and come out at night to feed. There are many different kinds, but the ones I had were black and shiny, rather wasplike, with a Gonzo-like beak. I learned a lot about them from Colibri , actually - I don’t have a cite right now but I can see if i can find one for you.

My granddaughter, when she was little, would get “bites” much like you describe. It turned out to be like zits, as in acne. It went away with the onset of puberty.
Wierd, huh?

Link 1

Link 2
These might help.

Don’t worry about anything scary you may read about them concerning diseases: It seems the North American variety are generally just a nusiance, but in South America they can spread Chagas’ Disease.

In the second link, the picture you see of the big black one is the one that bit me.

I’m surprised no one thought of scabies .

That would help explain the bites continuing at a new address.

In my experience with fleas, the bites typically happen around my ankles and lower legs, since the fleas like the carpet. Also, they itch like crazy for two or three weeks each. How long do your daughter’s bites last? It doesn’t sound like fleas so far. Fortunately for me, modern pet treatments have all but eliminated them.

Bedbugs still sound most likely to me.

The bites on my daughter look quite a bit smaller than the bedbug bites shown in the above link. But I still haven’t rulled them out.

I tore my daughter’s bed apart tonight but didn’t find any other signs of the bedbugs. There were simply no traces of blood or the “sickly sweet” odor described in some of the links. There are a few dots of blood on the fitted sheet, but I imagine that came form my daughter and not from the creature. I also looked around the flooring, but still didn’t see anything.

Unfortunately, none of these other descriptions seem to match up well with what I’ve seen. I’ll try to get a picture of her bites online in the next few days in the hopes that someone might recognize them and/or confirm my belief they don’t really resemble either the bedbug bite nor the flee bite.

Fortunately, my daughter doesn’t seem the least bit disturbed by this. We really only find out she has had another “attack” when we give her a bath or see her the next morning without a shirt.

Flea bites often tend to appear in little rows or groups near parts of the body that have been tightly covered, especially just below and above elastic waistbands in underwear, the tops of socks etc.

If your problem is bedbugs, you probably won’t find them easily as they are quite active and very reclusive - they may be hiding up somewhere else other than the bed. The best way to find them is to catch them in the act - if it were me, I’d set the alarm clock and look for them in the bed at hourly intervals (just for one night) - obviously you’d need to discuss this with the occupant of the bed first.

Heh, never knew bedbugs were real. I’ve only heard about them on TV-series and similar, so I always assumed they were about the same as the monsters under your bed.

Break out the bug bombs, & fumigate.

We had fleas a while back. They bit the bejeezus out of my husband, but left me and my son alone. It was just awful for him. He appear to be allergic to them.

Also, we had a little microscopic bug that hitched a ride on our kitten when we first got her. The two of us were ready to tear our skin off. But once the kitten was cleared, we immediately felt better.

These bug threads always freak me out. I always end up itchy for the rest of the day.

Have you ruled out spiders?