Parasitical/Insect Identification HELP!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by KBG, Jun 24, 2005.

  1. KBG

    KBG New Member

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    Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and have joined because we are in desperate need of help. California has gotten a lot of rainfall this year and in April/May it was significant it almost rained every day or was cloudy. After three days of heavy rainfall at the end of April a large section of my Jade Trees, 5 feet or so fell over like someone had trampled through that area. As I investigated it more closely the trees drooped over, had parts of them looked like they were sun scorched with what looked like red pepper flakes everywhere. The bottoms of the trees were moldy looking and started developing white powder mold. We took down the trees that were rotten and cleaned it up (3 day job). Than we got a huge rodent infestation as our neighbors tented their home and they came to our house across the street. We caught 8 on our own but probably 20 altogether, deer mice. Than came the insects it was like those old movies where they would show a family getting tormented by large grasshoppers or killer bees. Those movies were pretty funny though. Anyway, we started noticing our doberman's hair was looking matted down and found so the vet said he had mange and gave him ivermectin and deworm shots. Than that night we were getting eatin alive by something we could not see but we could feel. It came in to our home like a cloud of smoke and when it hit you it was like it formed a layer on you and it was difficult to get it off. This happened for several weeks we tried everything we could think of. Every insecticide, vacuuming (it helped) tearing our home apart. We called in pest control and they fumagated and sprayed. It did not help. We got rid of every other bug except for what looks like to me as a chigger and another type of insect/parasite that you can not see but can feel. Our dog went to the kennel for two weeks because we did not want him to get infected again and get sick from all the pesticides. When he came back from the kennel he had fleas, ticks and Lice? or something so it started all over again and the cycle continues. We are better or just coping better but the problem still remains.

    1. I see what I call as an arrow
    2. Size about pin point to .2cm
    3. They seem to have wings which makes them look like a fat arrow only large ones.
    4. They turn black when you spray them with bleach and water mixture and look like a flake of skin but they have an arrow shape if large enough or pin point black.
    5. I can feel them crawl or move on me but can't see them - possibly burrowing just under the skin.
    6. They sometimes look like a tiny tiny tear drop shape size of pin point (wings or in?) or differnt bug?
    7. They don't like cold water
    8. They like moisture (warm and damp)
    9. They have a type of electrostatic energy to them (clinging to any fiber or anything they can move to attach to you).
    10 Sometimes I feel like I am getting tiny jolts of electric shock as they bite me?
    11. They seem to die in anyform of fungicide or chlorax bleach w/antibacterial soap and water. Simple green full strenght kills them and hospital grade antibacterials ie; caviwipes/cavicide.
    12. WD-40 seems to kill them also or just make them incapable of moving for awhile?
    13. They seem to morph into whatever it is they are on and can change colors mostly blue or red or rust color but prefer white cottons. (lycra they can't seem to attach to it very well).
    14. They like metals and will look like rust but they are a buch of tiny ones
    15. They will start to feed on your food and you can see your food moving but can't see them.

    I thought I would put this out there i know it sounds wacked but does anyone have any ideas/thoughts on how to get rid of them, or identify them. I can submit pictures but everything looks like a piece of lint or a flake.

    Desperate Kathy & Jeff
     
  2. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    I would get that neighbor to pay your infestation bill! What did they send you across the street? If I had those bugs in my house I wouldn't be in the house with them.

    Also, since you 've been cooped up in the house so long for all the rain, go on a vacation because from all you've observed from those bugs seems you're conducting science experiments now, poor thing. 2 reasons to get out of the house!

    Take some bugs to the doctor they will find out what they are. If the bugs don't eat ya up those chemicals you're using to kill them surely will get you as well. Get garlic, it's less toxic. Put it everywhere in the house, fresh cloves daily. It will ward the bugs away.
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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  4. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    If you are in California, you need to visit with the University Extension folks in your area. They can help you and are familiar with insects/pests in your location.
    In California, find your local county office HERE:

    http://ucanr.org/ce.cfm
     
  5. HiouchiDump

    HiouchiDump Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I have studied California insects for quite some time, and although some portions of your description could fit certain insects, the description as a whole is unlike anything I've ever heard of. That is not unusual, given the vast number of insect species in California, but what you describe is pretty remarkable. Have you been able to get samples? If you can capture some in a jar, it should be a simple matter to take them to a university and have them identified.

    What did the pest control agent think of them? Do they leave marks when they bite?

    If you have not been able to capture any, I have a suggestion, although you make not like it. Nevertheless, I am very serious about this suggestion. You have recently been exposed to a large number of unusual things - fungi from the trees, mold, chemicals from your neighbor's fumigation, chemicals from your own, the various things you have sprayed around the house to control the insects. A common reaction to some chemical exposure is "the itches"; that is, feeling that things are crawling on you, seeing things at the edges of your vision, etc. Is it possible that you have been exposed to some chemical, natural or man-made, that is giving you a case of the creepy crawlies?

    Your bugs may be very real, but the description is remarkable enough that it would be worth considering alternatives.

    Now, if the bugs are real and you have a sample, I would recommend that you start by taking the sample to a university and spending a couple days away from home, if that is possible. The general characteristics of the bugs you describe make them probable blood-suckers of some sort. If you take the food supply away, they should move on pretty quickly.

    Bill
     
  6. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    HiouchiDump is right - good idea to check out all the possibilities..

    I'd certainly wouldn't spray any insecticides or treat anything in the house or put anything on your bodies until you find out what is causing the problem.

    An article "Bites Not Always from Bugs"

    http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline/2005/jan05/page07.pdf

    Info on illusory - delusory parasitosis...

    http://lancaster.unl.edu/enviro/pest/factsheets/009-95.htm
     
  7. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    I'll third on that. That's why I suggested "taking the bugs to the doctor" and using garlic as a safe alternative to those chemicals.

    I really think an MD will be able to cover all those bases so I'll suggest again just to go to the Doctor and they will help you. Print out this page and hand it over to them so none of the nicely documented information is lost.

    I wish you the best.
     
  8. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    My brother-in-law is a physician and he'll tell you NOT to bring any bugs in to him for identification. He is not an entomologist - that's a whole different skill specialty. Let the University folks do the identification and then you can bring the results of the identification to the doctor for treatment.

    Our University Extension office looks at and identifies pests at no charge so you don't have to worry about a lot of expense - just a little time but best to be accurate.
     
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    KBG,
    You give a lot of superflous information about what chemical you put on them and so forth, but not enough morphological detail for any entymologist to identify. I suggest as others here that you capture these in a natural state and have your local extension agricultural or horticultural or univeristy extions office give you a fix about them.

    In my part of the world I would think you'de be talking about 'no see ems' from the way they 'bite' and 'burrow' and 'sting' and so on. They take chunks out of earlobes, but there is no possible way on earth to control them here short of destroying all the natural fauna and flora. It seems your ecological balance is out of whack down there for starters and these insects are just fitting into their preferred niche.

    other uneducated guesses from me are chinch bugs, chiggers, black flies, a flea species??????
     
  10. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to nicely tell the person to seek medical attention. To me the human interface with an MD is very important. They will figure out what to do, they are locals and uphold an oath.

    So fine, take the bug in for i.d. as well to a bug expert and not to the doctor, but by all means seek medical attention for yourself that is and will remain my primary concern, now not later after you have a bug identified.

    Print out this sheet and bring it in you have nicely documented everything.
     
  11. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

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  12. BaronsMom

    BaronsMom Well-Known Member

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    Have the "bug" identified and going to the doctor go hand-in-hand in some cases. There are plenty of times when people should immediately go to the doctor.

    However, when people are spraying and fumigating without having the pest identified they risk their own health. The first and most important step in any pest control strategy is identifying the pest before attempting any controls.

    Your university extension specialists are also locals who serve the people without a vested interest or bias - using research-based resources. Your tax $ are paying for them...be sure to take advantage of their resources.