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Name this bug bite

  1. Jul 9, 2008 #1

    DaveC426913

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    I live in the Great Lakes area. I've been working out in my yard for the last month tearing down my old, rotted fence and putting up a new one. I have acquired a couple of mind-numbingly itchy bites. I assumed they were just mosquito bites - the first ones of the season are usually particularly bad - but I'm not so sure. Now I'm wondering if they're chigger bites. I've been reasding up on them.

    I got one on the inside of my forearm and another in the crook of my leg - both very soft spots. They are very itchy, and last a long time (a week or two) and the swelling is broad and flat (~1/2" across) but no blisters.

    We do have lots of little "red spider mites" on my property, but I'm not sure if these are harvest mites or not. They are bright red, about .5mm across and run around all over everything very fast. They sure look a lot like harvest mites from pictures, I'm just not sure they're the same thing. If I understand correctly, it's not the adults but the larvae that do the biting, and they're microscopic in size.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2008 #2
    did you visit Evo?
     
  4. Jul 9, 2008 #3

    LowlyPion

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    Chiggers seems about right to me on the basis of what you've said. I recall they used to exactly settle there and were not at all shy about getting even more intimate. And they itched like crazy.

    My dad used to give me little yellow sulfur pills as he said the chiggers ingest the sulfur from your blood and remove themselves and their irritating infection. While he was a pediatrician and all, I would be loathe to suggest that as a treatment today without further research and proper professional advice. That was some time ago and I suspect medicine may have made advances in knowing more about the varmits and remedies.

    Good luck with it though.
     
  5. Jul 9, 2008 #4
    No-see-ums come to my mind
     
  6. Jul 9, 2008 #5

    DaveC426913

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    It appears one of the big myths about chiggers is that they drink blood. They do not.

    "The larval mites feed on the skin cells, but not blood, of animals, including humans."
     
  7. Jul 9, 2008 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Yes, though their bites IME, are more akin to mosquito bites; itchy but small. And I would have thought I'd get dozens, not two.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2008 #7
    I dunno, the bite I got from No-see-ums were about the size of a quarter, and I only got 3 of them. They not only itched, but hurt as well, and lasted a very long time.
    I tend to be allergic to most bites, so lol I cant compare anyones bites to mine.
     
  9. Jul 9, 2008 #8
    if you were tearing down an old rotten fence (wooden fence posts)--it could be wood nesting ant bites too--
     
  10. Jul 9, 2008 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Haven't seen any ants around (except the usual yearly carpenter ants). Also, I'd expect to get ant bites more like around my ankles, not the soft area in the crook of my knee or arm.
     
  11. Jul 9, 2008 #10
    I've been bitten by carpenter ants--it just depends on where they 'land' on you
     
  12. Jul 9, 2008 #11

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I thought it was Evo's old thread resurfacing when I saw the title.
     
  13. Jul 9, 2008 #12

    turbo

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    If you were working in the cool of early evening, I would vote for no-see-ums. They are particularly bad just around sunset. You don't notice the actual bites, just the burn and itch. They are very small flies and they probably have to inject some blood thinner and anti-coagulant before they can harvest your blood.
     
  14. Jul 9, 2008 #13

    LowlyPion

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    Here it is. More than you may want to know about chiggers.

    http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/arthopo/chiggers/

    I think I just figured out that my Dad was likely giving me a placebo by giving me the sulfur pills, maybe to relieve his symptoms of being irritated by my being bit and complaining.
     
  15. Jul 9, 2008 #14

    Moonbear

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    :rofl:
     
  16. Jul 9, 2008 #15
    Might be a cedar gnat. But you live a long ways from me in New Mexico, so it's probably something different.
     
  17. Jul 9, 2008 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Interesting that you mention that. My new fence is cedar. I've spent the last three weeks in constant contact with about 2 tonnes of cedar.
     
  18. Jul 9, 2008 #17

    Dr Transport

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    Chigger bites last about a day or two, then take about a week to heal.

    No-see-ums come to mind as do horse flies, but if you got bit by a horse fly, you'd know it and they usually take a chunk of skin with them.

    Cedar gnats are a definite possibility.
     
  19. Jul 9, 2008 #18
    Ironic, but as far as I know, there is no major connection. Cedar gnats are TINY, and they're bites will become large and dark, and itch insanely...
     
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