It's not fleas...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, May 11, 2012.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I thought for sure when we moved in here that there were fleas. I was getting big welts on my lower legs, and nothing on my arms or chest. The welts would start about the size of a dime, then go up to the size of a quarter or more, then after a week they'd fade. husband wasn't being affected at all. You know how fleas are always in the grass, and there's plenty of grass here.

    So, we vacuumed and kept the dogs up to date with their flea products, and everything was good for about a week. Then we went to a charity thing that was outside on a lawn. And I had 4 big welts on my thigh when I woke up the next day. So, off we go to the home improvement store and get this spray for the grass to kill mosquitos, fleas, fire ants, every which thing.

    Yesterday was beautiful after 3.5 inches of rain the day before. So I'm out on the deck, and a little bit in the lawn, sprucing up the furniture. I was wearing my watch and the inside of my wrist started to itch. It was a small welt the size of a fingernail clipping. They always have a little hole where the bite is in the middle. Today it is the size of a quarter. It burns and itches so bad.

    I have been looking up fleas and remedies and killers and just don't know what I'm going to do with myself! I can't stay inside forever! Finally, today I looked up "bug bites" instead of "flea bites". I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's chiggers.

    ARGH! I'm taking some benadryl and going to sleep! I can't stand this burning/itching/insanity!
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I hate chiggers. Good luck.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If it's chiggers - Look for SPANISH MOSS
    spanish_moss_300.jpg - hanging from the trees......if it is and you have welts on your legs - get some CLEAR fingernail polish and PAINT the welts with the fingernail polish - THAT will kill them - they have to smother. There is ALSO some stuff at the pharmacy called (I kid you not) CHigarid. Fingernail polish works just as well. CHiggers are tiny little red bugs.....if you have spanish moss - you probably have saber tooth critters.

    It could be - SAND FLEAS. AND IT COULD BE - PAPER MITES. If you go out .........KEEP a bottle of PURE alcohol by the back door and SPRAY your skin - then wipe down BEFORE you go in - mites, and sand fleas can't stand the smell of alcohol - but will bite you through OFF - CUTTER DEEP WOODS sounds like a winner.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I hate hate hate chiggers. Never had any experience with the others Star mentioned. But she's right fingernail polish works great on chiggers.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    In my experience, if it's chiggers there will be a tiny red dot in the middle of the welt. That is a tell-tell sign for me. It could be a lot of different things though- still including fleas but you'll eventually see them if that's what it is. It could be as simple as you being allergic to a different type of grass or plant.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sure sounds like chiggers. Clear nail polish will smother them and is what the entomologists at the university use on themselves and their families.

    Have you seen the After Bite sticks at the pharmacy? They are a HUGE help with the itchng and welts. A big chigger problem is that you scratch and the welts get bigger and more open to infection. Around here the AfterBite things are just called Bite Sticks because they look like a fat pen but have a dauber top to apply the contents. Here is a link to them on amazon so you can see what it looks like:

    Being very cheap, I didn't think the $3 or more price tag was that great for half an ounce of stuff. So I started reading the packages. then I just got infuriated. The active ingredient thaat works so well on the itching that the company can charge $48 for 8 ounces???

    Is ammonia.

    Yup. Ammonia that you use on windows, laundry, floors, and a zillion other cleaning projects. Read the label yourself.

    I bought a small spray bottle for $1.50 that holds 4 ounces and I labelled it and filled it with 1/2 ammonia and 1/2 water (eyeballed the half, didn't measure) and it WORKS!!! It doesn't hurt skin (and we have incredibly sensitive skin), it hasn't damaged clothing, and it doesn't leak the way some of the bite sticks have.

    yes, I sound like a lunatic when I say to put ammonia on a bug bite. I first thought it was as stupid as when a neighbor told me to take a bath with 1 cup of bleach in it to get rid of a sunburn - "to get the red out, ya know!". Having asked the entomologists, seems ammonia for bug bites is an old home remedy. The ones I know use it for all types of bites - anything itchy.

    If you get the ammonia on BEFORE you scratch, it will help you avoid welts.

    PLEASE watch the bites and welts. Benadryl is a good thing to help with welts and swelling.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If the welt is going away quickly then it isnt a chigger because it will stay. Chiggers have a distinct red dot in the center. You would also have to be going somewhere to be getting chiggers. They dont just appear in the clear air. Are you walking in tall grass or the woods? Jamie gets them chasing dogs. The other guys get them hunting. I havent gotten one in years and years since I learned to avoid tall grass like the plague.

    Do these have a small blister? That could be a fire ant. Or these could be what we call No see um's. I know...what a name...lmao. They are very, very tiny gnats that fly around. Some people get bit, some dont. Eat more garlic. Especially put flowers on the deck that will drive stuff away plus things like citronella candles you can light.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You can get chggers by sitting down outside. They can crawl up grass or onto a wooden deck or even go through a blanket or towel if you are sitting in one outside. You can also get them walking around a yard or in the woods. I had always heard that keeping your yard trimmed and mowed would go a long way to getting rid of them, but the soccer fields and parks here ae very very well mantained and they still fought thm like crazy until we got some of the entomologists to treat the area (professonal pest control company).

    I know a few weeks ago you were asking about a professional service to treat your yard. Most will do a free analysis and then pitch you their care program. This would probably give you a good idea of what types of bugs you have (be sure to show them the bug bites as good pest care people can identify them from that also.) and also ask about the specific signs/evidence of the pests they say that your yard has. Be sure to find out the qualifications of the person doing the evaluation and if they use natural products or not. Many insects can be killed with natural products that don't hurt the environment or people.

    You can also do some research on teh use of Neem oil as an insecticide. We have had excellent results for years and it is very safe to use. heck, it is one of teh latest big beauty products because the oil is good for your skin. I saw it in a cream for cracked heels and had to google it to see if it was the same neem oil that I use for insect control including head lice when that goes around. it is the same thing, has been used for thousands of years, and is very safe for humans and animals. It is used in organic farming also, or it was as of about 2 yrs ago when I last looked it up.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    These definitely have a small hole in the center, but no blister. And they don't go away quickly. The start small and get bigger after a day or two, then take at least a week - 10 days to settle down. It's not no-see-ems because they only bite down low. We have killer no-see-ums in the camping areas in the Pac NW, and I'm way too familiar with them. This is not that, for sure.

    I'm sure that the reason I got one on my wrist is because I was spray painting something on the lawn and had that hand down near the lawn where the chigger got up under my watch. These are definitely bites rather than a rash. It starts as a small red dot with a hole, then becomes a bigger red dot with a hole. And I'm getting them when I am in grass. Just had all of the underbrush cut out of the back, so hopefully that will keep them out of the more manicured lawn area. And husband is going to spray the lawn for bugs again today.

    They say that if you put a white plate or cardboard vertically on the lawn you will see the chiggers on the paper. I suppose it could be some sort of flea, but looking at photos of flea bites - which react the exact same way as this on me - and chigger bites, I'm thinking they're chiggers, because no one other than me is getting bitten, and apparently chiggers prefer women and children because our skin is thinner and easier to eat from. Also, no fleas on the dogs or on the light colored furniture. I'll try the white paper thing later on.

    husband and I are going to go out today and do some shopping, and Chigarid is definitely on my list.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    witzend, I had the same experience. I had never been exposed to chiggers. My first summer in NC, I suffered horribly. I had never had experience with ticks either. What a difficult summer. I do have the lawn folks spray for fleas in the yard to diminish the amount for the dogs.
    Evidently, chiggers go to where they can't go any farther. Around my bra line and underwear was the worst.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Fran - :beafraid:

    I got a topical stick of Benadryl today, and it's really helping. I couldn't find the Chigarid and the kid at the pharmacy looked at me as though I had said something insulting... I'll have husband spray the yard again this evening. I also bought some OFF that's supposed to take care of mosquitoes, fleas, and chiggers. We'll see... I'm not leaving the house without it for a while.

    All of the undergrowth is out from the treed area of the lot, so that should help. I hope. I'm having a professional come in to spray the entire lot for mosquitoes and fleas in a week, so hopefully I won't be home bound this summer!
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Th red dot in the center of the bite is actually the chigger. It doesn't just bite, it makes a hole and jumps in and continues to bite. that is why they keep getting bigger for so long.

    The nail polish will kill them and keep them from getting bigger. does NOt have to be clear nail polish, but colored can look a bit funny. One of J's friends put bright purple nail polish on her little bro's chiggers when he was just crawling and got into some. The photos of it are just hilarious - bright purple dots all over his legs, arms, belly and tushie. doctor said t wouldn't hurt him, but not to use nail polish remover because that might be too harsh on his skin.

    I have had them and treated with nail polish and they go away in a day or so. not treating them means they get huge and nasty like you are describing.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes if there is a little dark dot in the center it sounds like a chigger. They itch like the devil. Oddly I have no issue with them unless I go somewhere I have no business being like the woods or fishing or somewhere like that. Jamie ended up with his entire lower body covered in them about a year or so ago and that was bad. He has scars.
  14. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Janet, I live in the middle of the woods plus walk the dogs in the nature center so I am a real target. I tuck my pants into my socks and wear long sleeved tops. It's not a pretty sight.
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I didn't read the other responses but I had these once, and I thought they were fleas also. I went to the dematologist and he gave me this white prescription medication. It looked like white calamine lotion. They were gone immediately. They were all over my feet. difficult child, his friend and I all had them. We were outside in the woods together. I had them for so long.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I WOULD LOVE to know what that calamine like lotion was ------because --------true story -

    When I first got to Florida - we all went horseback riding. Yeah - fun....adventure. And I left my kleenex and wipes at the car. No one had a kleenex and 'nauture" called. So I tinkled and air dried - and well THAT is how I can tell you about - SPANISH moss, Chiggers and sabre tooth crotch critters. I was attacked, molested, and miserable. I have not gone behind a bush since. It's also how I can tell you about Chigarid. and Nailpolish and ETERNAL and UTTER embarrassment.....because you can't exactly - mmm how do you say this GET comfortable. You just suffer in silence. Chiggers are horrid little creatures. Nail polish was awesome.
  17. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Nail polish does those devils in.... I have had them a few times :(
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    UAN, I was wondering if I should go see a dermatologist about this. For now the benadryl stick is doing it's job, but if I get bit a bunch again, I'm going to do that.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your family doctor should be able to tell you what they are. They see them frequently.

    And Fran, yes, your area is quite nicely I imagine you would get attacked. But I do have to say I got quite the giggle picturing YOU all dressed like that! I love the area you live in and I go by it several times a year. In fact, I was just there when I had my MRI and I waved as I went down Tony and I ate at a little place and both of us said "boy wish we had Fran's number so we could invite her!"
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You Southern Belles do realize that when I told you all that I was moving to North Carolina and was there anything that I should know that you should probably have told me about chiggers and copperhead snakes, right? ;)

    Is there anything else you should be telling me?