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Assult of the Invisible Biters

We're in our new (to us) country home. Pictures to follow.

We have an infestation of something that bites but which we never see. At first I thought we had flees, but we've battled flea infestations in the past, and we always saw at least a few of our assailants. This time we see nothing. We itch and bites appear, but we see no little critters.

I next thought we might have an infestation of noseeums, but they supposedly plague areas near water. We live on high ground far from the nearest creek. We do have ponds nearby, but not on our property.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
low_key
Aug. 10th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
Two thoughts:

1) Bedbugs are supposed to be making a comeback.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedbug

2) You didn't say where on your bodies the bites were, so if it's around areas where you walk through grass, etc. I would also guess chiggers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_mite

By the way, if it is chiggers, I know a home remedy. ;-)
kmo
Aug. 11th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
Bed bugs
From Wikipedia:
Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, flattened, oval, and wingless, with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye, but adults grow to 4 to 5 mm (one-eighth to three-sixteenths of an inch) in length and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attentive observer.


Whatever we're up against can either jump like a flea or fly, and we haven't seen one yet.
low_key
Aug. 11th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Bed bugs
What about the chiggers then?
kmo
Aug. 11th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Bed bugs
Much to my past torment, I have ample experience with chiggers. That's not what we've got going here.

Even more mysterious, the bugs seem to prefer adult human flesh. We have two new kittens in the house (the biting bug problem preceded the arrival of the kittens), and the kittens, along with our two-year-old son sleep in the same bed with my wife and me. The biters do their worst to Lara. I come in a distant second. The baby and the kittens seem to suffer little if any discomfort.

What's even weirder, I seem to get the worst treatment from these things when I step out of the shower and onto the bathroom linolium floor. I'm starting to wonder if maybe we're dealing with some environmental irritant that mimicks biting bugs.
low_key
Aug. 11th, 2006 06:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Bed bugs
An alergy... That's a thought.
Your pores are wide open after a shower and you sweat when you sleep...
low_key
Aug. 11th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Bed bugs
Wait, sorry, you just said jump or fly. So Imagine you have bites on your torso and I don't think I've ever seen that with chiggers...unless you've been rolling around in the grass.
wildgarden
Aug. 10th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
Could be chiggers, especially if you're wandering around the grounds.
wildgarden
Aug. 10th, 2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
Oh! And congratulations.

Looking forward to seeing pics of your new digs.
kmo
Aug. 11th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
chiggers
Unfortunately, I have much experience with chiggers. That's not what we're up against here. Whatever these things are, they attack exposed skin anywhere on the body seemingly within seconds of our entering an infested area. They're mobile, fast, and they don't seem to have any preference as to which area of the body they attack. Chiggers tend to congregate in areas where clothing presses against skin.

My wife is applying liberal amounts of industrial poison to our carpets (grrr... carpets!). I don't like it, but right now I spend less than two waking hours a day in the house, while she and the kids are there all day and night, so I can't really object to her taking whatever action she thinks necessary.

Thank you for the congratulations. You're certainly invited to the house-warming party, though I realize the absurb impracticality for you of such an invitation. As soon as I get a decent screen capture program working on my computer, I'll post a satelite image of the property. I'd love to get your input on laying out the gardens.
wildgarden
Aug. 12th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: chiggers
Aw, I'd love to come to the housewarming but you're right about the dubious practicality. I'm done with cross-country driving for the time being, having done it 6 times in the past 2 years!

All good wishes for you and your family. If you have any garden questions I'm always happy to add my 2 cents.

owlsdragon
Aug. 10th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's either of the suggestions so far. But if you DO find out what they are, PLEASE let me know. I was out watering the plants this morning and my arms got itchy as all get out from something</> biting me. Not fleas, 'skeeters, or noseeums that I could tell. But the itch was unbearable enough to necessitate taking an anti-histamine.
kmo
Aug. 11th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
mystery bugs
If we learn what we're up against, I'll certainly post something about it. At present, we're fighting in the dark.

I know nothing about bed bugs, but I'm sure we're not dealing with chiggers.
owlsdragon
Aug. 13th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)
Re: mystery bugs
I had a thought the other day..... it might be mites that's causing our problems; they tend to be pretty tiny and difficult to see and seem to prefer dry, dusty, or sandy areas.
kmo
Aug. 14th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: mystery bugs
Mites, eh? Do you know any remedies?
owlsdragon
Aug. 14th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: mystery bugs
Ro might have a better idea on mite control, but she's not here. Quick google on the subject brough this up:

http://allergynursing.com/solutions/nas/chemicals_mites.html
wildgarden
Aug. 13th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
Just came across this site this morning. Might be a clue....

http://ianrnews.unl.edu/static/0409200.shtml
kmo
Aug. 14th, 2006 03:13 pm (UTC)
might be a clue
No internet at home yet, so I just got this. I've saved the page for later reading. Thank you.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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