Click to View Our Awards and Press Releases

 

Click to Leave a Review at AngiesList.com

Sign up for Savings
Enter E-mail Here:

Best Pick Reports

Possible Flea Problem

insect problem


Hello.


I am having a problem that is directly related to my dog. For the past few monthes i have been dealing with an unknown creature(s) that have me infested. At first i thought that i had a flea problem but know i am beginning to think it's some other type of insect. just about all day and all night everyday (if i sit quietly) i start feeling these very little tiny things crawling on me and occasionally biting me. the areas of my body that are affected are mainly in my shoes and socks and my pants and legs. sometimes i will feel them on my face and in my shirt. judging by their movement, it feels like they are about the size of a grain of sand or a little smaller. everytime i go to look to see what is moving on me and biting me, i cannot find anything at all! i would take numerous samples of the affected area by using s piece of clear scotch tape and applying it to the area in hopes of getting whatever it is to stick to the tape. then i would take my handheld microscope and look to see and i still cannot find anything. i would take samples of my skin, pants, shoes, socks, carpet, my dog, and still nothing. no sign of any fleas or anything else that i know of or at least anything that looks like an insect or something with legs. i have tried many things to eliminate these constant pests or i would like to call them (little juggernuats of hell)! i have used flea bombs, 2 different types of flea killer sprays, 97% rubbing alchol, fire (heat), steam, washing all clothes, pillows and blanket with color safe, bleach, borax, salt, boiling hot water, and many other things i cant quite remember. the flea bombs worked for only 1 night then they came back. i even used 2 bombs that one night in one room (more them recommended) cause i need to sleep and these things are driving me up the wall. boiling hot water seems to work, but i am not too sure on that. for when i used so many chemicals to kill the supposed fleas, my dog would not be in my room. as i know, when i let my dog in my room, 4 days later i have this problem. when i go to do these things, i never let my dog in my room and it takes about 2 weeks for the problem to go away. i just recently started my dog on adavntage and when i took my dog to the groomers for a flea bath, the groomer found only 1 flea on him. so my dog is not infested with fleas and i cannot see any fleas that are crawling and biting on me. just what the hell is it? i have no allergic reactions that i know of and the affected areas do not show any rashes, scars, bumps, or redness or itchyness. also, many of my friends that i have told this problem to, think that my problem is all in my head. i strongly disgree. i have never had this kind of problem ever. what ever these bugs are, they seem to attach themselves within the fibers of the fabrics of my clothes and my blanket. can you please help me? tell me what i am dealing with here. i have spent alot of money trying to eliminate this problem and have done so much. many sleepless nights. i have ran out of options, that is why i am seeking an expert who can help me.
also, if you strongly believe that what i am dealing with is fleas, tell me exactly how big a flea is right when they hatch.


special note:


my dog is a beagle 8 years old and a male


i also have another dog that is some sort of terrier, but this dog nevers enters into my room.


thanks.
 

Answer

"Paper Mites"

Pin prick-like biting sensations, usually on exposed skin and often producing inflammations that resemble insect bites, can be a persistent problem in some offices. Occupants tend to blame these "bites" on some sort of pest infestation, typically fleas (which are extremely rare in office buildings) or "paper mites" (which do not exist).  Affected spaces are often sprayed with a pesticide in the absence of any evidence that insects are responsible. "Paper mites" are generally a cleaning or indoor air pollution problem rather than a pest problem. Only rarely are the specific culprits in "paper mite" cases positively determined, although there are often strong suspects. Shards of fiber glass insulation (such as from batting above drop ceilings), particles from both newly installed as well as worn carpet and carpet pads, and paper dust from separating forms and computer printouts along tear-lines are some of the most common proven causes of pin prick-like irritations. The dry air of many workplaces not only makes skin more sensitive to these tiny splinters, it increases the static electricity that is responsible for the particles "jumping" onto exposed skin (sometimes the static-charged bits are mistaken for living bugs). Any activity that stirs up accumulated dust, such as office renovation or the purging of old files, often leads to a "paper mite" outbreak. In cases where there is no obvious explanation, or multiple factors are suspected, an industrial hygienist may be called in to investigate.

The Role of Management. The most common mistake of management in "paper mite" situations is to automatically request a pesticide treatment and thereby become liable in the event occupants experience adverse reactions to the chemical. The second most common mistake is for supervisors to dismiss the complaints of biting as total fabrications. Although there are cases where people imagine they are being attacked by unseen parasites, most bite-like sensations in offices involve a genuine source of skin irritation. The circumstances can be further complicated, since health care professionals unfamiliar with the "paper mite syndrome" frequently misdiagnose the resulting welts as insect bites. Others may believe that microscopic dust mites are involved. These are real organisms but cause respiratory distress rather than bites. Finally, it is normal for the coworkers of a person complaining about "paper mites" to develop a heightened sensitivity to their own skin irritations, often simply through the power of suggestion. Management must treat all concerned with sympathy and respect, but emphasize that pesticide treatment cannot be undertaken without positive confirmation that a pest problem exists.

Inspection. An inspection of the affected area should be carried out by a pest control professional who understands that pests may not be involved. Usually when real parasites are present, they are abundant and readily seen. The most common types in office buildings are mites coming from bird nests or from concealed infestations of rodents. Occasionally fleas living on guard or working dogs will bite people who work in the vicinity. If a thorough investigation fails to produce any specimens, a non-pest cause is probably responsible. Nevertheless, it is standard procedure to monitor the area with sticky traps. In addition, occupants should be instructed to capture anything they suspect is biting them on a piece of clear adhesive tape. The PMC will identify all such samples submitted from installations. Even a single parasite specimen is justification for pesticide treatment. However, the captured items are typically bits of debris or tiny, harmless insects that are commonly present in buildings.

Inspection for Airborne Particles. When it is reasonably certain that there are no biting insects in the affected space, the pest control program is no longer involved.

Remedial Action. It is not unusual for a pesticide application to bring temporary relief to occupants with a "paper mite" problem. Part of the relief may be psychological, though sprays do settle irritating particles and decrease static electricity. Although it is unethical and sometimes illegal for pesticides to be used in this fashion, the same results can be obtained by legitimate means. A program of frequent damp cleaning, including carpet washing with water only, is often an effective short-term response while efforts are made to identify and eliminate the source of the irritation. Cleaning by vacuuming rather than wiping is not recommended; unless the vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter, more dust may become airborne. Use of humidifiers or air purifiers can be of tremendous benefit if the affected space is not too extensive. It may be worthwhile for some employees to seek the advice of a dermatologist or other medical specialist, since techniques such as the use of moisturizers and the avoidance of harsh soaps are frequently prescribed to minimize irritation problems.

This review is from a non-recorded document in my files.  It is not authored by me, nor can I locate its author.

Let me add that there are often medical subtleties that do not get diagnosed.  Not being a physician, and being an entomologist, does not give me license to practice medical advice.  I can talk from past experience when I suggest that thyroid imbalance can sometimes mimic bites as well as side effects from drug therapy.

I hope that I've been helpful.  If you wish, follow up with me so that I can know of your progress.

Best wishes,


George Manning


Consulting Entomologist


george@pestproblemssolved.com

www.pestproblemssolved.com

Chicago Pest Control


Chicago Exterminator

 

I Have Mice!

I Have Bed Bugs!

I Have Rats!