The MITES are back!!!! (Warning BIG whiney RANT)

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Rafiki, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member



    All they needed was a little humidity. They have driven away my child who cannot go through this again - we had them from April to Dec. last year. They bite but far, far worse is the fact that they swarm ALL OVER you and must be brushed from your face! I'm not kidding, it's awful! The only saving grace is that's they are too small to see. One would run screaming otherwise.

    I have yet to come across a story of someone successfully getting rid of them! You can take them other places so I don't dare go to the dentist or doctor or... Good thing I didn't get out anyway. Apparently they are drawn to people with immune problems. The basic measures one takes to deal with them is sooooo far beyond what I am capable of that it's just laughable.

    from Birdmites dot org

    The mattress, box spring and pillows should be encased in zippered vinyl protectors, to prevent infestation. They can be wiped down NIGHTLY with a Swifter wet mop that is sprayed with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and 91% rubbing alcohol, orange oil, or with a diluted bleach solution. (I sleep on my couch, I can't afford to cover it in vinyl AAAAA!

    Alternately, you could use a good bug spray a few hours before bedtime. Other non-toxic alternatives include an enzyme cleaner, Boric Acid and water solution, Dawn soap solution, etc. This spraying and cleaning is a royal pain to do nightly but it can help significantly with getting a few hours sleep. (We sprayed everything, EVERYTHING, last year and nothing helped for more than a few hours.)

    FYI: When bird mites have infested a home, it is as important to clean the walls and ceiling, as well as flooring. A Swifter wet mop treated with a miticide chemical can be effective for walls and ceilings. (CLEAN THE WALLS AND CEILING! AND, THEY DON'T MEAN ONCE! THEY MEAN DAILY! NO CAN DO.)

    If possible, remove the headboard and footboard to minimize the places where the mites can hide. A metal bed frame is easier to clean than wood, as wooden ones are more easily infested. (I SLEEP ON AN UPHOLSTERED COUCH!)

    The bed linen should be used only once and then put in a sealed plastic bag with mothballs until washed. Clean linens should be applied right before bed. (THIS WOULD BE DIFFICULT IF I HAD A WASHER DRYER IN MY APT. BUT IS IMPOSSIBLE GIVEN IT'S IN THE BASEMENT OF MY APT. BUILDING!!!)

    Carpet, especially in the bedroom, makes it hard to eliminate a mite infestation. Wood and tile floors can more easily be cleaned. (MY APT. HAS WALL TO WALL CARPET - OYM!)

    They are crawling on me as I write and I have to keep stopping to wipe my face. They are not active just at night. They get more active as humidity rises and rain is coming. It is crazy making.

    How did I get in this sorry state you ask? Early last spring, I was outside my apt. building watching my wee dog do his weee dog thing. I noticed that the leaves had not been raked from the preceding winter and thought I should push them away from where my little dog wees so he wouldn't get fleas. Took about 15 seconds and I felt something like sand fleas on my feet. Didn't think much of it...


    To all who actually got all the way through this, my heartfelt gratitude!

    Peace (of a desperate nature :eek:)


    ETA Oh yeah, we had the pest guy - no help![This Message was Edited on 03/06/2009]
  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Are you serial? Never heard of such a thing.

    Is the only solution to move and leave all your belongings behind?
    This is terrible and then some!

    I hope you can find some help somewhere.


  3. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    It is terrible. When it was happening last year I tried to stay very mindful about the facts... not vectors for disease... no point in panicking... you'll find a solution...

    but after all those months of exhaustive yet futile measures and then finding they can go into some kind of statis for months and re-emerge just makes me crazy. It's like a whole, new highly contagious disease. One does not dare go into an environment where others will be.

    I suppose I could leave and abandon all my stuff but over the years I have lost nearly everything and what little is left is so precious - my books, for instance, my precious, precious books. I know I am too attached to my books and this may be the Universe's way of helping me to rid myself of the last vestiges of my attachment to stuff.

    Just as they re-emerged my kid heard something on NPR (from the Ethicist in the NYT) about a business owner who had an employee with bird mites who, they thought had brought them to work and others had taken them home - they wondered who was liable. I think the decided the original mitey person was.

    Anyway, who has ever heard of this before?! It seems to be a new problem but my guess is it will only get worse. Why am I in the vanguard once again?

    Man! I feel so whiney! My kid is so unhappy, there are bugs on my face, I can't go get drunk...

    You know, there is a theory that it was mites that laid waste to the dinosaurs. I get that!

  4. 1sweetie

    1sweetie New Member

    Like Rock, I have never heard of such a thing. I can't imagine living with those "varmints" in my home. Are they similar to fleas? Do they bite?

    The only route I would take if it happened in my home would be to call a bug exterminator but you said that doesn't work.

    Please accept good thoughts going your way. I hope someone here will have a remedy for your situation.
  5. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Eek, holy merde, poor thing, you!
    My mother went through this some years ago...absolute insanity...they didn't bother my father but her and one bunny (that's how they discovered what the cause of her affliction was, from the poor bunny). I don't recall what ultimately worked but I will ask her.

    My parents lived in California then and had 40+ rabbits, one indoor pet that roamed the house and yard like a dog, doggy door and all, the rest outdoors...and their neighbor behind them had chickens, seperated by a fence.

    I know it was horrid for have my utmost sympathy...they had to send the bunnies off to a farm and the neighbor had to get rid of his one point they told my mother it was "mental" or "scabies" because it was so hard to detect. Didn't touch my father, go figure, but she was afflicted like you.

    Is this just your apartment/place or the whole building? Whine away, maybe someone can find something to mother is actually on her way to California so I'll be sure to ask her when she arrives and is settled. It took a while, I know that...and other than the precious animals, I don't think they had to get rid of anything or tear anything up. But she did vinyalize everything...not sure what concoctions. I don't know that the neighbors had the problem but their chickens sure did!!!
    Sending you many itchless thoughts...itchless hugs and hope you have another spell of cold weather. Can you get a dehumidifier?


  6. 4everkid

    4everkid New Member

    The only thing good about your story for me, is that you live in Canada - far far away! Not that I wouldn't love to hang out with you. I just thought as I read your story, oh no, this will be MY next problem. I have never heard of birdmites here in SW Missouri. (If anyone else has, DON'T TELL ME!)
    What a living nightmare Rafiki! I am so sorry you have to go through this.
    I know how annoying it is to be given suggestions for a problem in which you have already tried everything. But what about those indoor foggers? We used to use those for fleas back before they came out with an easier solution. They worked pretty good as long as you followed up with the second round a week or two later.
    Another thing... suffocation. This would be for if you decide to save your books and make a run for it. Back when the kids were little, and one of them got head lice from school, we would have to figure out how to kill them on their belongings. They had tons of stuffed animals that couldn't be disposed of, so we would seal them tightly in a garbage bag for a few weeks to suffocate the little buggers.

    I have heard for years that Avon's Skin So Soft lotion repels mosquitoes. I have never tried it though. I wonder if it would keep these guys from biting.

    I hope you find a quick easy solution to this! Good luck!
  7. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member


    Wish I could help you and make them go far far away!!! Sounds absolutely dreadful. In Texas sometimes we have an army of ginormous roaches that crawl anywhere and everywhere, including kitchen countertops.

    Your birdmite problem sounds far worse. You deserve to vent. I hope Elliespad's suggestions work. The dehumidifier sounds like an idea worth trying too. I'll be thinking about you and your daughter and hoping for a quick resolution. Good luck and keep us posted!


  8. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Yeah! Just like ME, some people are told they are imagining it! I kinda get it because, well, when you tell people you have invisible bugs crawling all over you for months... you know, it is bizarre. I was really sorry that my kid was involved - really sorry - but we had conversations, looking at each other with bites all over our faces, about how crazy it was that there were people who wouldn't believe it could happen.

    A friend is getting me a dehumidifier.

    I'm not sure if it's just my apt. or the whole building because other people reported having bedbugs (another eek) last year and we wondered if they really had mites. Whatever, it was a big help to us because the apt. management had the exterminator come in. He said that we must have bedbugs,, too (we DID NOT) because mites cannot live with a bird - yes, yes... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA :eek:)

    I'm strangely happy to hear about your poor mother! It's not uncommon for them to leave men alone. They like estrogen.

    I'm sure it was a huge undertaking for your parents. How am I to do this when I must plan washing my hair for a day when I do not have to do anything else exhausting like wash a few dishes? AAAAAAAAAAAA And, the cost! How does one not have mites and still have internet?

    Holy merde, indeed! :eek:)

    I'm so glad you understand! Understanding is HUGE! HUGE!

    A good friend (the one who is getting me a dehumidifier) called today and was so surprised at how upsetting I find this. He calls me the Oracle sometimes and said: Poor Oracle, I've never seen anything bring you down before!


    major thanks for understanding, potential information gathering and a story with a happy ending!!!

  9. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    You are too funny! I laughed out loud and long and repeatedly!

    I'm going to talk to the pest guy again but will probably be told that I'm not a reliable witness - I think they go to medical school!

    Yes, thinking about fogging. They sell foggers to use with enzymatics but that way beyond my budget. Adding anything to the budget requires taking something out and the only luxury item I have is internet... well, and food.

    As to suffocation, for a long time we were tying our laundry in plastic bags and stuffing them in the freezer compartment of the fridge (taking turns) after laundry to suffocate and freeze them. As you say, only a useful strategy if I decide to abandon my few things. I have several hundred (maybe more :eek:( books. My library is/was my legacy. Ahwell.

    Haven't tried Skin So Soft but am drenched in Turkish lemon cologne which smells great is very cheap and keeps bugs off you in Turkey - not so much in Ontario! Kid picked up some Deep Woods Off when she found it on sale ($1 for a box of wipes) during winter - she isn't psychic, she just can't resist a bargain. She took most of them with her but left me 4 - I've used 1 and it might have helped, not sure as they are very active then calm down, then they're active again for a few hours, then calm down...

    Anywho, all the understanding is so good! SO GOOD!

  10. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Thanks for your interest and kind words. I guess if I had ginormous cockroaches crawling all over my face, that would be worse!

    I'm trying to keep a sense of proportion and humour.

    I'm also trying to get Zen again!

    peace out,
  11. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Some of my replies did not post! My reply to your lovely actions took so long to write I guess it didn't post but I didn't know until I was done replying to everyone! BUT, I paged back and found it - Whew!

    You are so kind! How sweet of you to go to all this trouble for me. I am really moved.

    Yes, there is another enzymatic product called Kleen Green and, last year, while we were talking online with others with infestations (what an ugly word, huh?) they reported that the enzymatic products hadn't worked. Texas Cedar oil, is supposed to be effective and is in Kleen Green, but it's very expensive.

    They are quite expensive so we hadn't tried them. I may ask my kids dad if he will order some - I'll check out the ones you have here. I was so stuck behind these stories of it not working that it didn't seem a viable option to try it BUT it is! Thank you so much for reminding me!

    We have done, and continue to do, diatomaceous earth. It works to some extent but activates my asthma in a big (life threatening) way which is a pretty big problem. We then resorted to covering everything with aluminum chlorylhydrate (?) which not only triggered asthma but also an allergic in nose and eyes.

    I have messed up their abilities to communicate with tons of eucalyptus - which was rather nice, actually, and other oils like Tea Tree and orange and on and on. We haven't done Neem because neem smells like rotting eggs wrapped in garlic inside dirty socks :eek:)

    I have used Windex with ammonia, ammonia with lemon, pyrethri... the chrysanthemum bug stuff in various strengths. Borax - lots of borax. A pest control company.

    They don't fly and do live in carpets, etc. It's really hard to find people who truly understand these guys. We have an entomologist in the family and he refuses to believe they can survive off their natural host. I can't imagine what he'll say when I tell him they not only can but they can survive in a dormant state for months off anything at all!

    It's all a lot like ME & FM. There are people with products and theories who swear they work but in the real world getting a good result is kinda rare. (Worth a shot, though!) And, there is the standard scientific line which simply is not true: they should all have died 10 months ago.

    I can't believe this all began with a few seconds, literally, of pushing leaves to prevent my dog from getting fleas!

    Again, Elliespad, I am most grateful for all your efforts and will follow up. You have given me hope because I had forgotten that there was something I had not done! Thanks so much for actually researching for me! I feel less helpless. Way less helpless. Thanks!

  12. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    my reply to you didn't post either!!! but, I was able to retrieve.

    I haven't seen you for ages! How are you???

    Yes, they bite. Last year we would wake up in the morning with a line of huge red bites along our faces which was not fun. The itchiest bites are the ones on your feet - toes or sole... sooooo itchy! But, one needs to take Benedryl to sleep while being swarmed anyway and it really helps with the reaction and itching.

    And, yeah, we called the exterminator, finally, not a big poison person for environmental reasons but, we caved.

    I will always accept good thoughts from 1Sweetie. I do hope things are going ok for you! Fingers crossed!

  13. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Only have a minute for now but wanted to ask if you know what type of mite? I remember the scandal of removing the chickens (they weren't sure at the time if it was the chickens or what but he didn't even have a permit to have them in town).

    I am slowly remembering some things...and most pesticides aren't affective w/ mites...I guess there are two or three types, one of which would be the type to want your books. I don't know the names but maybe your area vet or bird sanctuary might know.

    I do have thoughts or memories of my mother dousing everything (the yard, herself, etc) with garlic..teatree oil, probably things you've tried. I should be able to get ahold of her soon. I know they resorted to pesticides but it was specific.

    I understand what you that is all she talked about...and my dad, love the man, but low on the sympathetic gene I suppose.

    Have you talked to a local vet or aviary (sp?) or bird specialist...can't think of the word...

    And, ForeverKid, I hope you didn't read my post above because California is a mite (he he) closer to mom went through this in I'd say 1993 or so. It's been a problem in California, not sure of other places, but they like the humidity.

    Hang in there Rafiki!

  14. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Yep, that's it! As I have written these replies I have had to wipe my face (around my eyes, around my nose, around my mouth) over and over again. They have been very active. (OH! The light from the screen and the heat from the computer is probably attracting them!) You can't see them or feel them when you wipe them away but you can sure feel them on you. It's such a specific feeling. I know your mom would be saying: Yes! Yes!

    I think they are bird mites because they tend to show up in early spring.

    The vet said it wasn't happening. The vet said that the can of stuff he sold me would work right away because that's what they use on birds they treat (in a lower concentration) and it works. However, if one googles mites and chickens one finds all kinds of interesting stuff about how incredibly difficult it is to rid chickens of mites. The type of mite once confined to chickens seems to now be in the wild population. Sometimes they just remove the chickens, treat them, and burn down the coops.

    Springwater knew about it from knowing someone with a farm in Nepal. Maybe her dad... not sure. Anyway, the vet was no help at all.

    And, yes, what we were able to discover from online communities is that everyone who has had any real success has resorted to pretty toxic and very specific poison from a pest control co.

    While writing this I have wiped my face about 30 times.


    (they are getting shorter, my screams, that's due to all of you!)

  15. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    While waiting to hear from my mom, I decided to see what Ohio State had to say and found these two articles (one originally from Nebraska, another great state for this type of info) for your family member who's an entomologist...I did notice the Ohio State info has its skeptics.

    I'll post this and then tell you what she said.

    PS The second link is a PDF to the following paragraph, which I copied from page five. I think this article may have been written in 1968--check out the second paragraph I pasted here... (factsheet from OHSU)

    Bird Ectoparasites
    Both Eastern and Western Encephalitis have been isolated from bird mites in
    the wild including the chicken mite (Dermanyssus gallinae), Northern Fowl Mite
    (Ornithonyssus sylviarum), and Tropical Fowl Mite (O. Bursaj, and a bird louse
    (Eomenacanthus stramineus). All study into these arthropods as important vectors
    of encephalitis has been unrewarding, and it seems probable that infection of mites
    or biting lice means merely that these anthropoids have recently had a meal of
    infected blood and that virus is surviving in them.

    However, bird mites, particularly Chicken mites (Dermanyssus gallinae), and
    less frequently, Northern (Omythonyssus sylviarum), and Tropical (0. bursa) Fowl
    mites, will feed readily on man. These mites may swarm from pigeon, starling,
    and English Sparrow nests in eaves or attics along the outside of buildings and
    crawl through doors or windows, or through openings in the upper portions of the
    building to feed on man. Normally, though not always, this occurs after the
    birds have left the premises because of control of the birds themselves, the
    destruction of the bird nests, or stopping-up building openings thus, preventing the
    birds from returning to their nests. The Pigeon Louse Fly (Pseudolynchia canariensis)
    will also bite man and may become a problem.

    Control of these ectoparasites can usually be accomplished by removal of the
    bird nests in attics and eaves and applying an acaricidal spray to walls of rooms already
    invaded. Good results have been obtained with a .5% Lindane spray applied
    to walls and floors.
  16. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Okay, I sure wish I could tell you everything she said, lol...she's still a bit PSTD about it even after all these years but did offer her sympathy to you for sure! She was healthy and can't imagine what you are going through...

    Keep in mind, this was before the internet, and it took MONTHS before they figured out what was up...she said they attacked her face and feet most. She received treatment for scabies from a dermatologist which didn't help (several treatments), some type of shots and get this...they put her on PAXIL (an AD) for about a month! I forgot about that!

    She knew it wasn't scabies and it wasn't mental so eventually when the rabbit got sick, the vet figured out it was mites...long story short, she had the house and yard treated with pesticides, but it was a company that knew about the chicken problem (that part of CA has a lot of poultry farms) but said they treated it like it was bedbugs...

    The natural things she used were the same as yours, adding calendula cream for your skin (it's German but you can get it anywhere I'm sure)--very healing...and some salve I'll have to ask about again that you make...she ate raw garlic, and sprayed it in the yard. Really, getting rid of the chickens and the spraying was what got rid of them. She drank peppermint tea (garlic and peppermint to change the body scent I suppose). OH, a lot of wet towels on the face (you figured that one out). She said as far as she knows, she never passed it on to anyone else.

    She said only the vet really figured it out...doctors, my dad, they were skeptical and thought it was stress or a tomato allergy. Maybe the vet there knew more because of the poultry, I don't know but I imagine it must be very frustrating to be told this is not possible...

    She said you definitely must cover your couch if possible and vaccuming and throwing out the bag (I know, I can you afford new bags daily, as well as the chore itself).

    Is your dog bothered at all?

    She said she used Sevin on the rabbits, which is the D. E. that you already know about. Have you put it on your dog at all? She said there is a safe one and you apply it just for a few minutes and then bathe him/her...she admitted that she even dusted it on her feet, but didn't want me to tell you that, lol!

    I bet the others in the apartment have the same thing...hopefully not bedbugs as well~yikes! Yes, holy merde, I have to say it again. I hope this helps, probably not too much. She was tired and didn't give me more specifics but perhaps if I get anything else I will tell you.

    Forgive if this makes little sense...I should've written down what she said!!

    Hang in there!


    PS Would a small fan directed towards your face help? Might be worth a try. Glad to hear you're getting a dehumidifier and yes, ask their dad to order the stuff for you...
  17. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    You are an angel, you really are!

    FACE & FEET! Yes! Other places too but primarily face and feet! Disbelief, Prozac, crazy making... it's just like ME and FM.

    What is the lesson? I'm paying attention, Universe, just tell me already! oym!

    Bummer about encephalitis! LOL! That's as much energy as I can work up about that now that my kid is out of the house. Also, they've been feeding on us for a year so are unlikely to have anything I don't have.

    There were bedbugs in the building -people saw them and, just remembered, the pest guy saw them, these you can't see- but I didn't have them (touch trees!) so we've been treated for bedbugs!!! NOOOOO!

    And, yes, a fan does keep the action down and is helpful for sleeping but blows the diama?aceous earth around which is bad for breathing - didn't think, did I? No.

    The wee dog is beginning to be bothered but, so far (touch trees), flea drop stuff has worked for him but I hate to treat him for so much of the year, poor wee fella. I've been very tempted to put a drop on my own neck, though.

    Your mother need not worry about telling me or not telling me about the strange things she put on her body. One of the reasons we look like such total lunatics is that we end up spraying or powdering ourselves with such odd stuff. The single most effective thing we discovered was Arrid Xra dry with aluminum chloryldementia sprayed liberally alll over self, dog and apt. When discussing the mite problem with the vet, who told me they couldn't possibly still be alive, I mentioned that the most effective thing had been Arrid Xtra Dry -- up eyebrows!

    I'm so happy that your mother is now free. I wish it was something other than bedbug treatment that did it. I wish there were chickens somewhere which could be removed but it's just us. In fact, my sweet child, who would not hurt a fly, said she found herself contemplating bringing birds into the apt.!

    And, just like ME, I remember the few seconds that started it all. It was my left foot - a little sprinkling kinda sensation. Didn't push more than four of five sq ft of dead leaves down a little hill... such a small act... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Thank your mother for me, please. Would you mind asking her if she tried Cedarcide or any product with Texas Cedar Oil as its primary ingredient? She is quite right that it is horrible to be sick and covered in mites!

    Ah well, I know what to try first based on experience, Elliespad's great suggestions, your wonderful input...

    Bless your little cotton socks, Miss Cindy!


  18. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    when one is being assessed for ME or FM they take a long hard look at one's affect - do you seem sad, anxious, too concerned, not concerned enough and make assumptions based on this.

    As everyone can see from the sudden shift in the tone of this Buddhist's posts, my affect has changed completely! It is very hard, and almost inappropriate really, to be Zen when you are being swarmed by bugs. The most chill of the chill gets ramped up as we are meant to do. Creatures are not supposed to feel crawling all over and not experience increased arousal.

    So, if I overcome my instincts, and discuss this in a really chill fashion that seems weird: Oh hello, there are untold numbers of invisible bugs crawling all over my face and feet - Om! And, if I just let the sensation propel me forward: HOLY MERDE, I'M CRAWLING WITH INVISIBLE BUGS!, well, I seem a mite anxious.

    Oddly like you-know-what, don't you think. Strange.


  19. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    I'd question your mental state if this DIDN'T bother you! My mother is by nature very high strung, glass half empty, and controlling (german, hmm) so this was not in her plan, lol. She's also very strong and productive, and practical and complains at the drop of a to hear how that affected her was a most helpless feeling because after awhile she stopped complaining and was just sad. She went through detergents, and foods and kept going to the doctor. And I had guilt because she'd been told it was because I moved away w/ her grandson...stressful, but not the cause.

    I don't get that from you...that personality I are very Zen but this is give yourself a I said, there's a lot my mom had to say that I could not repeat here...but would tell you if I could, lol! No, you are not programmed to deal with invisible bugs crawling on you...who is???
    I'll talk to her tomorrow and ask her some more questions. She was tired and will probably remember more tomorrow if there is more to tell.
    I forgot to mention she said the chicken neighbors were forced to move, but they never really had proof it was them, except it did get better so this was a bit of validation for her as well! And then they moved to AZ soon enough. I didn't ask her how long it lasted and that I can't remember. In that part of CA if it gets to freezing, it makes the paper "it got to 32 degrees for four hours last night" so she had no break w/ the weather.
    When you were treated for the bedbugs, was there any relief for any period of time?

    Time to go get my son from work!

    May you have an itchless night...


    PS My dad always used that sort of ant. deo. spray (black can I think) and would spray it over his torso...wonder if that saved him any!?
  20. Granniluvsu

    Granniluvsu Well-Known Member

    How strange is that? I had never heard about that before. I have no ideas of what might help but I hope that someone here can help you. Thata surely must be terribly frustrating !! Thinking of you !

    Good luck !!