View Full Version : parasitic insect infection

02-17-2008, 11:49 PM
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.

02-19-2008, 08:24 AM
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.

02-19-2008, 11:31 AM
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.

02-19-2008, 11:40 AM
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.

02-19-2008, 06:11 PM
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.

02-19-2008, 07:23 PM
I will say that they seem to have infested a clothing retailer somewhere here in the states.

02-20-2008, 02:02 AM
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.

02-21-2008, 12:53 AM
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.

02-21-2008, 05:47 AM
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? :confused: Do you live so far from anyone else that they don't think it can spread?

02-21-2008, 03:16 PM
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.


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?

02-22-2008, 06:58 PM
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.

02-23-2008, 04:25 PM
If you have a frost-free refrigerator don't forget to check the condensation pan underneath. Those can be pretty damp and pretty filthy.

02-25-2008, 11:59 PM
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

02-26-2008, 05:15 AM
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.

02-27-2008, 10:17 PM
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.

02-28-2008, 07:37 PM
What about houseplants or vases with flowers or something? Is there water standing anywhere besides the toilet and the drains (I have had plants like bromeliads that hold their own water supply ... and bugs will breed in there)? You might consider putting one of those big chlorine tablets in the toilet tank to make the water inhospitable as a breeding site.

And maybe those sheets were not the cause of the problem ... the problem might be shared with neighbors, or one of your neighbors might even be harboring the source. Perhaps you should discuss the situation with managment. Sheets from China travel a long way, and they're dry ... and whatever pests are on them usually eat ... cotton ... not blood. What's bugging you seems to have different characteristics and a life cycle too short for them to hitch a ride on the sheets.

Here in the states rentals are often obligated to provide pest control. If they fail badly enough ... it's called "constructive eviction" ... as in, you got evicted by the rats or roaches or whatever was outnumbering you in the apartment.

03-01-2008, 10:26 PM
thanks sisyphus3.a different viewpoint is greatly appreciated.
i have no houseplants and there is nothing organic inside.i was fairly rigorous in looking for moisture sources-things like leaky plumbing but the only moisture was in things like kitchen sinks,which are getting boiling water.
regarding the survival time of the eggs-internet research shows that many species of biting midges have seasonal life cycles where they lay the eggs at the end of summer.they then survive the winter in mud at the bottom of ponds and then reappear in large numbers when the weather heats up again.
the question of some other type of insect being involved is a valid one.i have done other things like bug bombing but nothing else has turned up.i keep coming back to biting midges because of the severity of the bites-they are really painful.
i am 100% sure the sheets are the cause.the first night i lay on them,it was like getting hit in the back with an axe.
i talked with the neighbours and they are ok.
i dont think they are strong fliers
you are right about the sheets coming a long way.i think that what happened was that some insects lay their eggs on some bloodspots.this was enough to sustain them till i soaked the sheets and lay on them.i dont think that humans are their natural host,but in an un usual set of circumstances they have adapted to a new host.

03-02-2008, 12:13 PM
Try taping flypaper over every drain ... with the sticky side down. Wait and check it in the morning .. if bugs are stuck to it, there's your source.

Otherwise check the ticking that edges your mattress and box spring extremely carefully. Here in the states we have had a resurgence of bedbugs in the last few years. They're very small, very flat, and they are not apparent unless you either do an incredibly thorough visual search ... or (believe it or not) hire someone to bring around a trained bedbug-sniffing dog.

Folks who attend our church actually make a living with the trained dogs. I'm not kidding.

There are folks who have sued hotels and motels here because they've awakened after one night with 500+ bites.

03-03-2008, 01:10 AM
more good suggestions,thanks sisyphus3.
i will tape the flypaper over the drains.
i am fairly sure bed bugs are not involved here,but i will take a look at the mattress.
i am making some progress and it might be a case of just continuing what i am doing.
i see where you are helping other people on the infectious diseases board so i thought i make a contribution.i have an obligation to help, as i am being helped.
this concerns the chronic nature of q-fever,e-b virus,mono and other similar conditions.
during the early acute stages of these infections,little can be done because of the severity of the infecting pathogen.however,if some people are getting over these conditions,and others are not,then it is because they are not ridding the body of the infecting pathogen ie they are not being expelled in the faeces.this is how the body removes viruses,bacteria and toxins.this is why we have to wash our hands after going to the toilet-because this is where the nasties are.
the reason some people are not expelling these pathogens is because of the dramatic changes in diet over the last 50 years,where we have shifted to the high fat diets so easily available in our supermarkets.
for the last several thousand years,we have eaten a predominantly grain diet,which greatly helped in expelling nasties.however for the last 50 years,we have turned to high fat diets which jam the system up.
the way to tackle chronic q-fever,e-b virus and mono is to change the diet to a high residue diet with the express intention of expelling the infecting pathogen thru the faeces.
specifically,the predominant foods to be eaten are the high residue grains-unprocessed wheat bran,oats{with soluble fibre},wheatgerm,quality bread etc.the only animal protein to be eaten is fish.
this is the natural way to remove pathogens from the body.
this should assist with a wide variety of infections.
the source of infection for e-b virus and mono is most likely dairy foods.when dairy foods are pasteurised,they are not boiled,but only heated to 72 degrees,which is not enough to kill all viral material.
sisyphus3- the above info would be of interest to some people with intractable infections so i"ll leave it with you to pass on as you see fit.

03-03-2008, 04:47 AM
Yes, a great many problems can be traced to the gut. There are epsom salt and olive oil cleanses out there that can quickly erase some of the misery ... and I can personally attest to their value.

Chronic Q fever, however, grows on heart valves; particularly those that were not original equipment.

As for the potential bed bug problem ... be sure to check along baseboards as well.

From what I've been reading, those red spots on the sheets you bought were a dead giveaway for 'em. But now you should be looking for black spots, as well as for the bugs themselves.

Control is very difficult.

03-25-2008, 01:04 PM
Any news? Bugs gone?

03-25-2008, 08:11 PM
This is really interesting information. I just finished reading the post regarding the ability or inability of our bodies to rid themselves of pathogens.

I hate to hijack this post but I have a question related to the removal of "the nasties."

I have had troubles with staph infections in the past - both cellulitis and osteomyelitis. I understand the staph bug can be carried by people and some folks are more susceptible to staph infections. If this is true, what steps can I take to ensure the staph won't return again. My latest infection followed a bunionectomy and involved the first metatarsal in my foot. I was off antibiotics for about two weeks when it returned. I am currently 3 1/2 weeks off the antibiotics. I am concerned it will return and take over my life again. Any advice similar to what you have written about diet???


03-26-2008, 12:19 AM
hello sisyphus3.
still plugging away.the bugs are down to the level of minor nuisance.
there are a pile of strategies [as well as a lot of horror stories] <removed> which is a roughly related condition.
i am working my way thru the more plausible remedies to see if there is something effective.
i still have the fallback situation of letting these things go wild again,then seeing a medico with the green bite marks.this involves a lot of pain and i am trying to avoid going thru that again.

03-26-2008, 01:18 AM
hello stepbystep89.
i will try and keep it practical.
in your situation,you have to do one of the hardest things in the world.you have to change your diet-not think about it,not talk about it,but do it.
i dont think you are ready yet,but when the staph infection reoccurs,and reoccurs badly,you should be ready.
then,go into your kitchen and fridge and throw everything out-donate it,put it in the rubbish bin-whatever-just get rid of it.this is the only way to stop going back to a diet that perpetuates your staph infection.
you then load up on the following items-these are the only items in your larder-wheatgerm,oats[get the quick cooking type],wheat bran,psyillium husks-get all of these,and nothing else.
the only animal protein to be eaten is fish-preferably tinned tuna in springwater.
orange juice.
to "lash" out on something,go for a quality bread-kibbled grain,wholemeal etc.
and thats it.
if the above diet sounds extreme,it shouldnt be.this has been the basic human diet for the last several thousand years.
the amount of unmitigated rubbish in our supermarkets is the exception,causing untold misery,premature death,and in your case, and in many others,perpetuation of infections that should have been expelled out of your body long ago.
in plain simple language,you have to sh.. the staph infection out of your system.
you do this thru your diet.