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Old 06-28-2008, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Kansas City area
43 posts, read 233,733 times
Reputation: 75
Default Something keeps biting me and I don't know what it is

I think I am getting bitten at night in bed. My husband is either not getting bitten or is not having an allergic reaction. It just started this week: starting with a bite on my ankle, to one of my hand and two on my upper arm, back to my ankle, then to the front of my calf and two more on my other upper arm and another on the hand. The bites itch like crazy.

I have combed the corners and edges of my mattress and do not see any evidence of a bed bug infestation. I bought Advantage and treated both of my cats in case it was fleas (although I never see fleas or cats scratching). I have vacuumed the entire apartment (and threw out the bag) and washed all of the linens in hot water. Also, I have not changed any detergents or anything like that so I don't think it is contact dermatitis. Also, I haven't spent anytime in the grass so I don't think they are chiggers. I went to my family doctor. He thought it was some type of mite or flea but that was just a guess. He gave me something for the itching but couldn't help me with prevention.

I have read about rat and fowl mites, but I live in an apartment (on the second of three floors). So I would think if there was a rat or mouse infestation I would be protected from their nests (especially roof rats who are typical in Texas). I have also read about a type of mites that cats/dogs can carry called "walking dandruff." This is different than the mange mites. But, I have never noticed any skin conditions like that on either of my cats (again, I gave them the flea/tick stuff just as a precaution...not because I saw any symptons).

I am about to go crazy here. It seems like the bites got worse once I started all of my cleaning. Can anyone help me?
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Capitan, NM
7,088 posts, read 11,715,159 times
Reputation: 3359
My guess would be flea bites. I heard they were hard to get rid of but maybe your cats need more of another kind of treatment and if your cats sleep on the bed, that would make the problem worse.
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:33 PM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,613,681 times
Reputation: 1311
Sounds like bedbugs to me. I'd attack your mattress with a vengeance. I had them in Russia once and the only thing I had at my disposal was a can of Lysol. I sprayed the mattress, the sheets, the comforter, the floor, the wall and washed everything I could in hot water. That worked for me. I'm sure there are better methods; that's just what I could think of at the time. I never saw them, by the way. I just woke up with the evidence of their existence in the form of really itchy bites.
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Old 06-28-2008, 04:43 PM
 
Location: NW Arkansas
3,981 posts, read 5,264,827 times
Reputation: 3652
We have had an infestation of fleas this year. They are outdoors and indoors. They are on the cats, and do get on our socks, but we have not had any bites from them. In the past, when I did get bit, they left a flat red spot about the size of a pencil eraser, and didn't itch. I have a crop of chigger bites that I got just in the past day or so. On me they make a welt, a red spot, and itch. I start taking an antihistamine before going to bed, and it reallly helps stop the itching.
I hope you get relief from your bites. I am so aware of how miserable they can make you.
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:04 PM
 
2,047 posts, read 5,510,290 times
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Patterns of bites in a row or a cluster are typical for bed bugs as they may be disturbed while feeding. Bites may be found in a variety of places on the body. I'm not sure this is bed bugs. Since you have cats, it may also be fleas. Have either of you traveled anywhere lately? Bed bugs like to hitchhike. They could also be coming from another apartment.

Here are links to help you just in case it is bed bugs. Be sure to look between the mattresses and vacuum really well. And if you have a headboard, look there too. Call an exterminator and have them look.


Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs
Your bed bug questions answered - 'Don't let the bed bugs bite' - MSNBC.com
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Ireland
650 posts, read 802,976 times
Reputation: 305
Funny that your husband isn't getting the same thing--is he one of those people who's immune to everything? Have you tried switching sides of the bed to see if it happens to him then? Or perhaps try to sleep on the sofa one night and see?

If it's your side of the bed that's infected with something, a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner often has an attachment that can suck out anything (you can rent them); otherwise, you could try a (oops I forget the technical term) bug-proof mattress cover.

And, are you sure it isn't hives? That's my problem, and it sounds very similar...my trigger is strawberries (and my garden's full of them now!) But sometimes they're caused by medicine, or stress, or other things--
There's information at Hives (Urticaria) & Angioedema Causes, Symptoms and Treatment on MedicineNet.com .

Good luck resolving it, whatever it is!
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Kansas City area
43 posts, read 233,733 times
Reputation: 75
Thank you everyone for your posts. Here is some more information, to answer some of the questions you all have posed.

I had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic and broke out in hives once. These bites or spots don't look anything like the hives I had before. But thanks for mentioning that.

The last time I traveled anywhere was the weekend of May 4, and I checked the hotel bed for bed bugs because that kind of stuff freaks me out (however, I did not inspect the furniture because I have since learned they can hide there too). I would think I would have noticed "traveling" bedbugs immediately. This problem JUST cropped up this week.

I have read quite a bit online about bed bugs and flea bites, and these places don't look anything like the pictures that have been posted. They are not in clusters...even the two bites on my hand are spread far apart. The same applies to other areas where I have two bites (on opposite sides of my foot and my upper arm). If it were fleas, the adults should be killed within 2 hours of my cats treatment. Advantage, the way I understand it, turns your animal into a walking flea bomb (so to speak). I can remember a flea infestation that my parents had when I was younger and based on that I can strongly say that we are not currently infested with fleas. I did not see any fleas on the cats after a careful inspection and I do not see any in the apartment. I am still kind of hoping that it is fleas because that is easy to deal with (relatively speaking).

I could even deal with the presence of bed bugs, but again did not see anything after a careful inspection (I read online where you should look for bedbugs, what they look like, what their waste looks like, etc). I am going to put out a sticky card this evening on the floor near the bed to see if I catch anything. And I think I am going to try sleeping on the couch to see if I get anymore bites.
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:23 PM
 
485 posts, read 1,214,801 times
Reputation: 192
If it's the Black Cavalry(bedbugs)it'll be hard to get rid of.

The only way I know is to burn the mattress!

Maybe one of those plastic covers, the kind incontinent people have to use?

With a spray of insecticide, and a few mothballs for good measure!

Just be glad it's not vinegaroons!
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Location: new jersey
315 posts, read 623,850 times
Reputation: 293
just an idea, are you sure you're not getting bit up by misquitos? or spiders? that could explain why you're getting bitten and your husband isn't. i get them in my house no matter how diligent i am about closing the door immediately when letting the dogs in and out but those pesky misquitos manage to find me!
hope you figure it out soon!
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, MD
2,367 posts, read 3,865,156 times
Reputation: 1603
Several weeks ago, we had a robin's nest with chicks right outside the door I use to go in and out of our house. After the birds fledged, I got on a ladder to look at the nest and saw that it was crawling with little tiny mites. Not thinking I'd be affected by these mites, I picked up the nest and took it away from the house. VERY bad move. Those little things bit me several times a day for several days. They were so tiny, I could barely see them on me. I showered several times and scrubbed and I still couldn't get them all off me. I had many bites on me. Finally, over the course of several days, I seemed to not be getting any new bites, but the bites lasted for a good week and were horribly itchy. Smaller than mosquito bites, but itchier.

I did some research on bird mites and found out that if you have a nest on your house anywhere near any windows, they can get inside your house. They search for warm bodies. They are worst in late spring and early summer. Could there be a bird's nest anywhere near your apartment in the eaves or someplace?

Nobody else in the house was affected by the mites, only me, which the website below says is quite common.

Here's a website to read for more info: Bird Mite Infestation Good luck!!!
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