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Finally something that isn't TMS!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by njoy, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    It had to happen. For months now I've had really creepy crawling sensations on my skin and pinpricks of pain throughout the night so bad that sometimes I don't sleep at all. Anxiety, right? TMS, obviously!

    Well, no. Wish it were.

    In fact, I seem to have an infestation of bird mites. People usually get them because they pick up a wild bird but I haven't done that. Occasionally, they come from a nest in a tree outside a window after the birds have left. No such thing. They can even migrate in on someone else's clothes but that's very rare. My chickens don't have them, thank goodness, but I'll have to treat them to avoid passing on my bugs. Good grief.

    Yup, it's just me. Even my husband hasn't felt them. Apparently, they often prefer only one person in a household. I even caught one of the little illegitimi yesterday. It was really, really tiny, barely visible and an almost transparent white (or reddish if already full of blood which mine wasn't). I felt it bite me, felt it under my finger (quite hard) and since I happened to have my glasses on, with a good light handy, there it was. I wrapped it up in tinfoil (couldn't find sticky tape) and will take it to vet in on Wednesday (assuming it didn't fall out or escape).

    Bird mites turn out to be horrifyingly difficult to eradicate so the next months or years are going to be a pitched battle that I will probably lose. Many people end up moving out of their houses. Bed bugs and scabies mites are a piece of cake by comparison. Fumigation works, apparently, but costs many thousands of dollars to encase the entire house in a plastic bubble and fill it full of poison. So that's not happening. Also they will starve to death in 9 months without a bloody meal but a mouse family will do.

    Ain't life grand?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Oh no!!!:eek: Just reading your posts makes me a little itchy!

    I hope you can find an effective and low cost way to rid yourself of your new, little, and
    unwelcomed friends.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  3. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Do they make ADVAN TAGE for humans?
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  4. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Or maybe you can smuggle in some DDT from Mexico.
  5. nowtimecoach

    nowtimecoach Well known member

    Oh lord! Not Fun! I hope some unpublished or un-advertised solution pops up and surprises you with a recovery from this!
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    From the internet:

    "Bird Mites

    The panic that can ensue from a suspected bird mite infestation can be overwhelming and intense. I found this to be true when a site that I take care of called me for a bird problem they were having in the ceiling. It was reported that the room the birds were found in had people reporting getting bitten and itching. When my pest control person went in there and took down the drop ceiling tile there was a giant nest and he pulled 4 birds out of there. The nest fell in and the room was full of bird mites. They were able to be seen best on the black phone as they scurried. The room and nest was treated with Talstar, a miticide, and sterifab, and the room shut down for a few days. A few days later the housekeeper went in and threw away the nesting, bleached the entire room, and all was fine.
    I decided to investigate bird mites further on the Internet that night and found a site that gives some alarmist information and frankly the info was not true. My fear was these mites could infest peoples homes and, like fleas, take a blood meal from their human hosts, reproducing and becoming a major problem. The website I found that is in question would have folks fumigate their homes and go through crazy measures to get rid of a problem that is not a human problem but bird problem. The facts are as follow:
    Bird mites need a bird blood meal to reproduce, not a human blood meal.
    Bird mites can bite and be a problem for people, but if you find the bird nest they are coming from, get rid of it, and treat your home as normal, you can get rid of them. They will not multiply into million of mites taking over your entire home.
    The fact of the matter is there is no need to panic. Identify the problem and treat. Simple.

    For more info that is factual look at this site from Penn State.

    Posted by William McCaffrey at 6/14/2008"
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  7. jlm

    jlm Peer Supporter

    Check out the Cedarcide website. Their products were a Godsend when my dogs had fleas a few years ago. Supposed to be non toxic, though I'm not positive I believe that.

    You have my sympathy. Anything itchy or creepy crawly feeling is terrible. I thought you were going say you had developed parathesias, but they are TMS, at least in my case.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thanks for the T (for Tom) and sympathy from all who responded I hope you are right, TT. My problem with the Penn State web site (and others) is that it states bird mites CANNOT reproduce on humans. So why are they reproducing, answer me that? There's nothing here to eat but me! The dogs rarely come inside and they aren't scratching. Even the chickens aren't itchy perhaps because they constantly dust bath in wood ashes which keeps the mites down but doesn't eliminate them. I have had these bites (increasing exponentially) for months and now I am crawling with them. Tonight, I was being eaten alive just sitting watching tv so I had a bath with borax in the water, changed into clean clothes (for about the 4th time today) and ran for the rv. My bed last night was bad, too, so I took a Gravol to knock myself out so I could get some sleep. I've been madly washing everything in the house but some of the mites have still managed to hitch a ride to the rv. This may be because I had the dryer on a setting lower than the hottest and perhaps they survived. I don't know. Here I am itching and scratching although maybe 10% of what was going on before I bugged out.

    The thing is that some people who have a terrible time with bird mites seem to live with people they don't bother. Other times the whole family and most of the pets get it. Do they all have TMS? No, of course not. Mass hysteria? That seems unlikely. I know some people don't like birdmites.org but do you really think there's an international scam set up to get money out of itchy people using thousands of complicit local contractors? Well, I guess the medical folks do basically the same thing with their drugs and surgical procedures for "disease" that we know is usually TMS.

    I will be delighted to learn this is TMS, if it is, because these mites are very hard to eliminate, especially in an old house like ours with many cracks and crannies for them to hide.

    Okay, I have been very anxious lately and this bird mite thing has definitely been a distraction. I now have a reason to be unable to sleep that doesn't include some of the weirdness I've had on my mind. Well, I don't think it's weirdness, actually.


    I am SO sick of TMS I could just scream but I can't find a scream emoticon so bangheada will have to do. I'll report on whether or not the vet sees my mite, the sprays work, and/or the problem goes away. That would be nice.

    I'm not a big fan of the scientific and/or medical establishment because they are SO wrong about so many things. It will be wonderful if this isn't one of them.

    PS: http://birdmites.org/research.html cites some interesting exceptions to the rule that bird mites can't reproduce on human (and other mammalian) hosts. Maybe some of us are just luckier than others.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  10. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy, have you tried a professional pest-control company?
  11. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy, Do you have chickens? Maybe they are feeding off the chicken's blood but also biting you.
  12. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Njoy, hello. I do not think this is TMS, but I do think it is a good idea to try and understand how our TMS personalities and propensities interact with and potentially aggravate an extremely uncomfortable, stressful, and unfortunate situation. I have had a few experiences in the past with bed bugs and a science fiction like ant problem, and both of them left me wanting to run for the hills. Literally I wanted to give up my home and move somewhere else with a huge financial loss. With the bed bugs I had what seemed very reliable information from people who had experienced a bad bed bug infestation that made me feel very hopeless and left me to believe we would need to take an enormous financial loss and perhaps be followed to future homes forever by the little buggers. My husband refused to believe the information I had gathered and in the end it was only a few weeks and several thousand dollars of frustration and itching. What I put myself through in the process I won't easily forget though. The ants are a long story but we have been invaded by crazy ants. They do not bite but they multiply by such an enormous number so quickly that it is just mind boggling. They like to get into electrical systems and they cover our five acre property. We will never be able to get rid of them, the best we can achieve is a barrier around our home. Even NASA can't figure out how to get rid of them(they are invading NASA as well). Pest control treats them monthly for us at a hefty cost and they still manage to break in until we can successfully knock them down again. We can't just let them live because they do get into the electrical systems and they breed so rapidly that you end up sweeping inches of them away. When we were first invaded several years ago I could think of little else. I researched the problem endlessly and felt our home and all we had worked so hard to build was being destroyed. I have successfully managed to accept and come to peace with our ant situation over time. I don't think this is anything like what you are going through Njoy. I certainly could not come to peace with bird mites. Having little mites attacking you physically and making you itch is just terrible. Its not TMS and I can imagine it feels hopeless. I do believe though that you are going to find a solution that works for you and get past this. So many of the lessons we have learned in dealing with our TMS can help you in the process. Our bed bugs were in a 200 year old house and all logic and evidence seemed to indicate to me they were going to extremely difficult to eradicate. That did not end up being the case. How many times have we worried that our pain was never going to go away? And how did this kind of thinking serve us in the end? Its not easy to think positively when you are itching and not sure of the outcome. But you will not be conquered by bird mites! There is a solution and you will find it, I am sure of it. And I sincerely hope these little mites are history soon.
    North Star, Ellen and nowtimecoach like this.
  13. jlm

    jlm Peer Supporter

    Oh, my! Nothing is allowed to disturb my sleep. Cedarcide sells a spray repellant for humans along with the critter killing spray for bedding and carpets, plus another one for outside. I didn't use the outside one when Lily and Moira had fleas. Their website indicates the products work on bedbugs, but, thank goodness, I have no knowledge of those nasties.

    I still use the bug repellant before I take the dogs to the woods. I nearly lost my leg to a Brown Recluse spider so I have no desire to add a tick bite to my list.
  14. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I agree with Anne. This is probably not TMS, but our TMS personalities can turn things into huge distractions. I had a similar experience recently. I came into contact with poison ivy, and had the usual contact dermatitis from it. But then it started spreading like crazy, oozing up a storm, and then became infected. I ended up having to take steroids and antibiotics. It was a huge distraction, not only from the oozy, itchy rash, but the side effects of steroids and antibiotics were epic. Poison ivy is common where I live and most of friends have had run-ins with it, but no one else had the extreme reaction I had, nor did it take over their life for several weeks. My immune system has a history of over reacting to things. I have massive symptoms from pollen, but I've been tested and am not allergic to anything.

    Perhaps these situations are similar to when one has a physical injury, but pain persists long after it has actually healed. Our unconscious brains take the experience and run with it.
    tarala likes this.
  15. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMS is the volume control for the pain.
    North Star and nowtimecoach like this.
  16. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thanks for all the support:

    TT: No professionals nearby so we are going to fumigate with sulfur as soon as we find it in the quantities required.

    The chickens are, fine. They dust bath in wood ash which apparently controls the mites. Yesterday we had a sudden goose invasion--a dozen young geese came pelting through our yard with something in hot pursuit ( likely a fox). Most escaped to our lake but three got tangled in electric fencing (not live) and had to be rescued, then released. In the process, my husband picked them up, of course. I never, ever thought I'd see that many geese running, not flying from a predator. Must be too young to fly. Anyway, we do interact with birds sometimes.:)

    Jim: I'll look for Cedarcide but very little works on bird mites. Still, sounds great for fleas and other buggies so I'll get some.

    Anne: Wow, I think your experience is much worse than mine has been so far. Apparently sulfur fumigation will work and we can do that ourselves. Good advice!

    Ellen: again, wow! Thanks for sharing.
  17. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    They can't reproduce on human blood but they can still bite you. Have you checked for abandoned birds nest around your house, in the attic if you have one or under the eaves? If you haven't had a competent pest control expert come by I would do that.
  18. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I really wish I could suggest a proven way to get rid of bird mites, but maybe try this...

    Spray or sprinkle any hot sauce where they are. Lots of bugs hate hot sauce and leave.
  19. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like you already have a solution Njoy! And so its just a matter of time. And Ellen that is a funny coincidence about the poison ivey. The first semester when I moved into the dorms at the University of Santa Cruz, I woke up one morning and my eyes and the bridge of my nose were all swollen. I hardly recognized myself and it turned out to be a bad case of poison ivey that lasted for three weeks. Not only did I have it all over my face, but all down my trunk and stomach. Apparently I had sat in it at night in the woods and then rubbed it all over myself! It looked like a horrendous case of acne and you can imagine how horrifying that is for an 18 year old at a new school. In any case, I certainly sympathize with what you just went through.
  20. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    TT, they are either reproducing or else they live for months/years. I really don't care which at this point. We don't have bird nests close by, either.

    Walt, if I see one I will definitely pour hot sauce on it :)

    I have a friend coming back from China soon who will bring me some Liu Huang (Sulphur) 硫磺 (topical application for itch and to kill parasites). Today we also bought powdered sulfur and diatomaceous earth to sprinkle in cracks and crevices. That should nuke 'em. You probably remember people using sulfur to fumigate in the old days. Apparently it works as well as anything on mites.

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