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Robin_K

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Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:41:58 AM »
I've been freaking out lately because I feared I might have Lyme disease, but now I doubt it. I keep getting bad insect bites, and I don't know from what or where.

The bites are all on my left side. I had two on the back of my upper arm last week, like mosquito bites but far itchier and with obvious stings in the center. Three days ago I had another on the back of my forearm, which led to a rash and a very large and hard area -- sort of a knot. That's what made me think it might be Lyme disease. Two days ago I had two very small stings on knuckles of different fingers. One turned purplish, like a bruise. This morning I have two bites on the back of my upper left leg.

I notice these late in the day and early morning, at my desk or waking up. That doesn't mean that I'm bitten at these times, just that I notice then. For the most part they look to me like a severe reaction to mosquito bites, but I've never had problems with that before, and I seem to get them only inside.

I live in the central northern part of the country. I've checked online, and it doesn't seem to be characteristic of spiders that would be found here, or of ticks, biting flies, bed bugs, fleas, etc. And I surely would notice a wasp on my knuckles.

I've hung flypaper, washed and bleached my bedding and Lysol-ed my pillows. I turn over a lot in bed, so having them all on my left side makes me associate this with my desk chair, an old family wicker chair.

Any ideas what this may be, and what to do?
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 10:43:52 AM by Robin_K »

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Zorro

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 11:57:41 AM »
If you are able to, take pictures of the bites and if you don't have a private doctor, check in  at an ER or a clinic in your area.

The general description of what they look like could be spiders and/or fire ants. I am no authority though and it would be best to report this to the proper authorities.
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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2013, 07:31:39 PM »
Thanks, Zorro. Wiki says there are no spiders in my state that could bite like this. Anyway, here are the latest bites, on the back of my left thigh. I noticed one before bed last night, the other this morning.

All advice will be very welcome.

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gonZo

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 12:35:27 AM »
I think you should probably call an exterminator. Are those red areas inflamed, or are they hematomas?

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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 12:58:01 AM »
Both, Gonzo. Thanks very much for taking an interest!

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DruulEmpire

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 07:04:14 AM »
We live in an age of trains and trucks, so I would not trust all spiders to know where they "should" be.

I once was bitten by a spider -- that is to say, I never saw the fellow, nor did any research on him (or her), but the way my ring finger was swelling up cried out for Occam's razor.  At dead minimum I hope Neosporin is able to help some.  Meantime, your gonZorro advice sounds highly sensible.  Best luck. 

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pedonbio

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »
The photo helps a lot. I have no clue what kind of bug did it, but it is clear there is an allergic reaction. I would suggest using Neosporin on one and Benedryl or a similar cream on the other and see which improves the most in 24 hours.

Regarding the cause, there are lots of bugs we share our homes with, but remember that unless you are in Antarctica, you are never more than a meter away from a spider. They don't have to bite to cause an allergic skin reaction; just walking on your arm will do it.
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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 09:55:22 AM »
Very helpful, Pb -- and everyone. I really appreciate it.

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Zorro

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 12:45:55 AM »
I just thought of another type of insect life it may be.

Bedbugs.

Some folks are highly allergic to these little vampires and here in my area of Virginia they are at an epidemic stage.

Ever since the USA no longer has DDT, these critters are damn near impossible to get rid of. It has nothing to do with how clean you keep your home.

Unfortunately I brought them in to my apartment from someone on the bus. In my apartment building there are 4 apartments.

They would spray one or two apartments so the little critters would just move to the other ones. I can not vacate my apartment so they can use the real lethal stuff. The exterminator comes in, does his thing and it has no effect at all.

Anyway it might be a good idea to have that checked out as well.

Pal adds: IMO, that's not a Brown Recluse or another kind of spider bite where the tissue around the bite becomes necrotic. I've had them twice and after a week, they start looking like fresh bullet holes surrounded by darkening skin. Still, that doesn't mean that antibiotics won't come in handy, particularly if the kind of bites can't be IDed.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 12:55:35 AM by Palomine »
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ROUNDandHEAVY

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 09:18:05 AM »
Are you diabetic or susceptable to infection on your extremities?

I have contracted cellulitis three times from simple flea bites, and that looks like it. Does it feel like burning? When i had it on my leg it hurt like a bitch and burned when i put weight on it.
Call me Bob.

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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 11:21:57 AM »
No, it doesn't burn.

I've still been getting bitten, despite using spray that's effective against spiders, fleas and bedbugs. Then two days ago I tried mosquito spray (on myself). A cold snap yesterday completed the experiment: long sleeves, long pants, and no more fresh bites -- except on knuckles of my fingers (which is really, really irritating), likely while I'm asleep. I think that I've developed a severe reaction to mosquito bites. If I scratch, each bite gets really inflamed and grows to more than 1/4 inch. So I'm not scratching!

I have some screens with tears in them, and we've had a lot of wet weather, so we have a vast crop of the buggers.

I've never reacted this way to mosquito bites before, though. Is it possible to develop a sensitivity?

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solvegas

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 02:57:27 PM »
I've never reacted this way to mosquito bites before, though. Is it possible to develop a sensitivity?



Yes. I'm allergic to dogs. When I was a kid we had dogs and I never had problems. I then joined the Navy, was in the silent service AKA submarines and for years I was in a mostly man made enviroment with not much exposure to dogs ( never liked cats and I've always been allergic to them anyways )  and now I can't be around them much, forget petting them. Kinda of a bummer.  :(

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solvegas

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 03:00:44 PM »
By the way, we have no mosquitos here in Vegas. Too dry and not a lot of still, fetid water holes for them to breed. Ants, in the other hand ......  :(

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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 03:31:11 PM »
One thing that makes me think of ants, rather than mosquitoes, is that the bites often are close together -- two on the same knuckle, or three in a row on my forearm. Also, the skin almost never appears to be broken. Sometimes it does, but that's after I've itched, probably breaking it myself.

Whatever it is, I never see any insects here at all, except for mosquitoes I've drawn to flypaper beneath a lighted fixture. I also have glue traps on the floor, and for awhile had one on my bedside table (until I got stuck onto it once too often while reaching for my alarm clock).

At least now it's occurring only on exposed skin, which is a relief of sorts. Our cooler weather lets me bundle myself in bed, and last night I was sure not to leave wrists or even fingers exposed.

Thank you again to all. This is a small matter, but very irritating to me.

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Robin_K

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Re: Bug bites! But from what? Advice, please.
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2013, 06:26:33 AM »
This morning I woke up with more bites, which this evening have become very red and painful. Meanwhile, I've been reading up on the internet.

It's said that bed bugs often bite three times in a row. I have four in a line on the side of my left hand, and two below. This is all in a space of barely more than an inch wide and a quarter inch across. But it's also said that bed bugs don't bite behind the knee, which I've had (and which I posted photos of above). I don't mean to be a crybaby, but you can't believe how much they itch.

Some past bites have swollen up so much that you could see a definite bulge on an arm. The fresh crop is so far smaller, thank God.

I suppose ants and spiders are still a possibility. If it's bed bugs, then I am truly f**ked; everything I read says that they're nearly impossible to get rid of. There are folk remedies, such as Bounce dryer sheets (of all things).

Ugh. I hate this and I just wish it were over. Sigh.