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Old 02-17-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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parasitic insect infection

i am overrun with some sort of flying bloodsucking insects.i bought some brand new flanallete sheets,made in china.i should have hot washed these sheets,as per the instructions,but i didnt.i did soak them in cold water and dried them out.there were a few dark red 1" circular stains left,but i didnt think more about it.in retrospect,they looked like blood spots.when i lay on these sheets that night,it was like getting hit in the back with an axe.i was overrun the next few days with some sort of flying stinging insects.they go for my eyelids and scalp a lot,but the eggs can be layed anywhere on my skin.when fully grown,they sting.i keep them down by using an electric zapper at night{there is some attraction to light},and a 1% permethrin lotion,but i cant wipe them out.any help would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 07:24 AM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: parasitic insect infection

If you can get one under a magnifying glass you may be able to go to one of those places on line that play 20 questions with you about the bug and then tell you what it has to be. Various universities and cooperative extension services and what-have-you make them available.

Once you find out what it is then you will be in a better position to learn how to control it.

Keep in mind that the bug you think is troubling you may not actually be the one that is doing the biting. It's possible that the actual culprit is not so visible, and you may be seeing a visible predator that preys on the actual culprit.

In the meantime, wash and dry everything you've got as thoroughly as possible and all at once if possible ... may require a trip to the laundromat rather than relying on your washer and dryer. As nearly simultaneously as possible you may want to soak in water as hot as you can stand it, scrub as much as you can and use a shampoo meant for lice (not that you have lice, but it has an insecticide). Then as a final measure, take out any removable rugs you have and have them cleaned, also use a bug bomb if you can ... here in the states we have aerosol products that you set in the middle of your floor and activate, then leave for a few hours ... I'm not sure if those are available in OZ, but they work pretty well as long as you don't use too many of them at once and have a pilot light or a spark in the space where they're being used. The propellant is flammable and will flash over.

And I'm sure your customs or agricultural authorities would want to hear about your situation ... perhaps they can help, but also they need to watch the ports better for problems like this.

 
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: parasitic insect infection

If you can't get one I would suggest that they might not be flying ... they might be jumping ... fleas. A piece of sticky flypaper placed near a nightlight near the floor would tell the tale.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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Re: parasitic insect infection

I've found some rather alarming stuff that refers to a something mistakenly called a "cloth flea" ... if it's real, it's in the states ... don't know where else it might have reached. It's winged, not a jumper despite the name.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: parasitic insect infection

thanks for replying sisyphus3. <<<removed>>> i will try the sticky flypaper thing,but some nights i put the nightlight on a bench 3 ft high,and they still get zapped there.still,they might jump there.i have an extension service where i live and i will go this morning to see them with what i zapped last night.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-19-2008 at 06:30 PM. Reason: please do not ask members to post against the rules

 
Old 02-19-2008, 06:23 PM   #6
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Re: parasitic insect infection

I will say that they seem to have infested a clothing retailer somewhere here in the states.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-19-2008 at 06:30 PM.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 01:02 AM   #7
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Re: parasitic insect infection

extension at the local uni. identified 2 species that i brought in-vinegar flies and sandflies,the likely biter being the sandflies,but neither should be parasitic ie neither should lay eggs on my skin.i have started googling,and have found references to a few species of parasitic vinegar flies{out of thousands}.have not got to parasitic sandflies yet.because these insects originate in china,they may well be parasitic,but not in the australian or north american context.theres a fair bit of searching to be done,but i am on the way.i will keep this thread updated because other people might cop the same thing.

 
Old 02-20-2008, 11:53 PM   #8
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Re: parasitic insect infection

thanks for your advice sisyphus3. it is good to have a sounding board.more info-when this first happened,the insect bites were very painful,about the same as receiving a medical injection.i would get about 7 or 8 bites a night,every night,coming at any time.at some of bite sites,the stings would leave a green mark,maybe a 1cm in diameter.all painfully tangible.the nightlight put an end to the worst of it.i can still phsically pick eggs out of eyelashes and scalp on a daily basis.there probably is a psychological reaction,but it is secondary to the original unresolved problem.i have tried hot washing all the bedding,and the bug bombs,as you suggested,as well as other things but to no avail.we live in a global village,and medical problems that were once localised in the backblocks of china,and other places,will find there way into the west.

 
Old 02-21-2008, 04:47 AM   #9
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Re: parasitic insect infection

It is my belief that if an exotic species had come in on something that I picked up at, say a roadside stand and it were giving me as much trouble as you say ... I could expect cavalry to come over the hill in the form of public officialdom. Once the extension office ID'd the culprit as something we don't have here and we don't want getting established here, they would at the very least liaison closely with my exterminator of choice to make sure I got total relief.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking. But here in the states I see frequent press reports of aerial spraying, etc. to control some beetle or moth or what-have-you that has come in on a load of this or that from here or there and is a threat to citrus or even some shade tree of minor importance in some ciity. It seems our vigilance is pretty good. I wonder if the same sitaution does not obtain in OZ. Now that they'e ID'd the culprit(s) for you, what are they doing about it? Do you live so far from anyone else that they don't think it can spread?

 
Old 02-21-2008, 02:16 PM   #10
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Question Re: parasitic insect infection

I did a little looking around on the sandfly question ... here in the states we have a lot of different names for them. No-see-ums is one. Midges is another... Frankly, they are the reason I don't go to beaches in the panhandle of Florida (other than distance ... I'm closer to say, Caladesi). But there's a definite decrease of them to near zero from zone 9a to zones 9b and 10 ... which makes me think climate or differences in coastal foliage account for their absence farther toward the equator (didn't say south because I wanted to make sure there was no confusion).

DEET will keep 'em off you ... but it's not exactly the healthiest stuff for long-term use.

Meanwhile....

They need wamth and moisture to breed. Which is probably why they're going for you (warmth and moisture perhaps being in short supply elsewhere in the home).

My guess would be that once their life cycle is disrupted, you'll have no more trouble. I doubt you will let any eggs laid on you hatch or otherwise survive.

Which leaves the question: is there anyplace else around your home that they could be breeding? Any pile of wet leaves, compost heap, trash can or dumpster that hasn't been cleaned in a while and has a damp accumulation of gunk at the bottom? Breaks in the caulk around a plumbing line that lead to a crawlspace where dampness might have accumulated one way or another?

Last edited by Sisyphus3; 02-21-2008 at 02:18 PM.

 
Old 02-22-2008, 05:58 PM   #11
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Re: parasitic insect infection

thanks again sisyphus3.the problem with offialdom helping is that the 2 species identified are not exotic but worldwide,including australia and north america.there are hundreds of sub-species with different attributes in different countries,so what is benign in one country may be parasitic elsewhere.i think you are right about disrupting the life cycle.the nightlight is killing them as fully mature adults because the really painful bites have stopped.however i still get the less painful bites,and i cant wipe them out completely.the suggestion about looking for obscure breeding sites is a good one.i'll do that this weekend.

 
Old 02-23-2008, 03:25 PM   #12
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Exclamation Re: parasitic insect infection

If you have a frost-free refrigerator don't forget to check the condensation pan underneath. Those can be pretty damp and pretty filthy.

 
Old 02-25-2008, 10:59 PM   #13
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Re: parasitic insect infection

i did a rigorous search of likely breeding sites but there was nothing obvious.the only thing maybe was the drains.if these insects need moisture,then they would be the only places.i have started pouring boiling water down every drain{ie kitchen sink,shower etc},which i will have to do on a daily basis.i am fairly sure that these insects are some species of biting midge.what does concern me is that some days the eggs are layed in my eyelashes and scalp,and maybe there is no external breeding site as such.i will plug away on the internet and do more research on these biting midges

 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:15 AM   #14
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Re: parasitic insect infection

It's a blast from the past, but have you considered mosquito netting?

Also, is there any mosquito control in your area?

Where I live there are trucks that drive along every street during the night and fog the area ... do they do that down there?

There are also propane-powered devices meant to protect a yard ... if it's safe for indoor use (carbon monoxide would be a concern) you migth consider one.

I don't need to tell you to keep at it. It's an intolerable situation.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:17 PM   #15
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Re: parasitic insect infection

thanks sisyphus3.the mosquito net is impractical because they sometimes start biting about dusk when i have chores to do.the other thing about fogging wont help me because these biting midges have set up a breeding cycle within my apartment.i have a fallback position of letting these things go wild and then seeing a medico with the green bite marks.i would ask for these to be scraped and analysed,and then get a referral to a tropical diseases specialist.this is a painful option-these stings really hurt.i am making some headway and would like to see if i can make it on my own.i am getting some mileage up on the internet so i"ll plug away at that.

 
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