What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Mr. Bug man,
Recently, I won a scholarship which enabled me to study abroad in the north of Spain during the past summer. Unfortunately, I would give anything if I hadn’t. The dormitory I stayed at had lots of bugs, no cockroaches but mosquitoes, termites, and one girl was bitten by a spider. I saw some that looked like beige or grey fleas in my bed one night, and I also began to feel something crawling, a ticklish sensation all over my body. I couldn’t see anything on me though.
Well they exterminated my room, with a spray called Bloom, and that evening it started again. I refused to sleep in that bed, so they finally gave me a key to another room. A few days later I returned home. I had cleaned everything in my new room before returning and hand washed my clothes (not the best way I now know). About two to three weeks after returning home, it seemed that these mysterious bugs hatched everywhere. They usually begin by crawling up my calves, then proceed to my scalp, they go in my ears and sting me, and even in my nose. I have some bite marks that look kind of like mosquito bites, others look like pin pricks. They are vicious little creatures. I’ve been to the doctor four times, first my primary doctor, then one dermatologist twice, and another once. None of them believe it is scabies. The dermatologist took a stool specimen, some of my blood, and a biopsy of one of the bites. Then he, like the primary doctor, gave me permethrin 5% although he, like the primary dr. couldn’t find anything. The second dr. asked what the first one did and gave me the
same thing. I went to the second dermatologist with my boyfriend who is starting to get the same symptoms. At first he only felt the stinging bites, but now that creepy crawling, tickling sensation too. Also my cats have been shaking their heads, scratching and biting. I took them to the vet. Neither dr. could find anything on them, but the second gave me some Revolution, which has something like ivermectin (probably not spelled right). One dose is supposed to protect them for 30 days. He gave me a three month supply. We have bombed the apartment about 10 times with pyrithium insecticides to no avail. All of our clothing and rugs, including our couch and mattress are wrapped in plastic, because I initially thought I had lice or scabies. Every day we’ve been going to the Laundromat with our bedding and clothing
washing in hot water and drying on hot for one hour. We are so exhausted and near homeless. It is unbearable to be in the apartment.
Many nights I have not slept. The only time I can sleep for a couple of hours, is fully emerged in a tub of water. At one time, I was taking 5 baths a day. Then someone said perhaps my skin was irritated and with the bombing, which does seem to help, I’ve been able to cut it down to one or two, on a bad day maybe three. I’ve done numerous other things too, put olive oil and garlic all over my body with plastic seran wrap on my head. I’ve put Vaseline on my face and in my long hair. Recently, I finally gave in and cut several inches of my hair which was starting to fall out anyway. And once I actually put hot sauce on my legs (big mistake). Obviously, I can’t keep this up, physically, psychologically, emotionally or economically. Why won’t they die!? When I take a really long bath, boiling out my ears with peroxide, and submerging myself, if we’ve recently dropped a bomb, I can get out of the apartment without any on me. I stayed a blissful two days at my boyfriend’s sisters without any sign of the little creatures. We are going to stay with her for about five days and put the cats in a boarding house. An exterminator is going to come and take a look on Thursday. We will try to bomb some more. I can’t take the cats to the sister’s apt. though, because her building doesn’t allow it. My mom lives all the way in TN. And I feel so stuck. I have never been more depressed. This is worse than when I had walking pneumonia about 3 or 4 years ago, especially since you can’t see them.
I have put some sticky things around, given to me by the extermination place. But honestly, I am at my wits end. I have canceled my classes for this semester, which they gladly did since I told them it was their program that this evolved from. My professor however, seemed indignant since she is from the town where we stayed and attended the same university. I’m sorry she took it personally, but I do believe the school failed to take precautions. They hadn’t any screens on the windows, and they did not cover the mattresses in plastic. Also, they let food rot in a fridge in the hall for about 3 out of the 4 weeks we were there. I would sue them if I had the energy, but I just want the whole thing to be over. Thank god for my boyfriend’s job, but the sleepless nights may eventually put him in a compromising situation at work. He has to be on his toes, because he works in a high pressured environment (an investment banking firm) trouble shooting computer problems. He doesn’t make a ton of money though and with all the recent layoffs we are really worried. We live in New York City, and
finding another apartment is soooooooooo difficult. Also, they may not resolve the problem because we may well end up taking them with us. I even went to a catholic church and put some holy water on myself (my mom’s suggestion), and confessed to the priest, although I’m not catholic He informed me he could not give me absolution, but I told him I just really needed to talk to somebody. He was very kind, and I felt better. But I still have the problem. Just when I think we’re winning, it seems a new batch hatches out. I returned from my trip on August 23rd I think it was, and this is November 6th. My patience is running out. We are all probably going to get cancer from so many pesticides, the ones I’ve sprayed, and put on myself. I’ve even boiled
water and mixed it with bleach to mop the hardwood floors. I’ve cleaned everything with Lysol. My cat threw up, although we do mop up
afterward. I hate putting them through this awful crap. They are spoiled and one of my greatest joys. I’ve used Off, including the
candle which made my nose blow black sot. I’m probably poisoning him too. Everything that lives must die. It has to be an insect, since the pesticides do seem to help. What am I doing wrong? I am losing my hope, sanity, and am afraid of ending up homeless in this city. I hope I haven’t sounded too much like the doom patrol, but if you have any clue I would be so grateful. If not, thanks for at least letting me vent. It is somewhat cathartic in itself. Maybe one day I will be able to look back and at least if not laugh heartily, smile nervously while sharing my experience with friends in my nice cozy apartment which I love and have worked so hard to make that way.
Yours truly,
Charley a.k.a. curvysmile

Dear Bug Man:
After reading "The worst bug story ever" I nearly fainted because everything that was written in her story is our story also. If possible, we would like to have contact with her as we have been experiencing this problem for about one year with no relief! We’ve tried everything and the symptoms are identical. Crawling sensations, very small bites, and these things seem to get more vivacious in the early morning hours. This all started with a bird mite infestation. We had pigeon and sparrow nests in the eves of our condo. After the erradication, the mites dropped down into our unit and have been wreaking havoc ever since. We’ve had exterminators over here with no relief. They suggested we tent, however we have yet to convinced our association to take the expense. We are rentersand our neighbors had the problem, but now say they don’t for fear of us suing, (long story) and have been told to keep silent. We have been to doctors and dermotologists. We are not suffering from scabies, and have had all the creams with only minor relief. We are not suffering from delusional parisitosis, because when we leave this pla
ce for a few days they are gone. I am a businessman and my wife is in the movie industry. We take no drugs. Can you please E-MAIL us, and/or give us the writer’s e-mail address so we can contact her to see if she has had any success.
Thank You,
Candy & Ronnie in North Hollywood, Ca.

Dear Candy and Ronnie,
So sorry to hear about your terrible bug saga! Sounds awful! I have sent your letter on to the lady who wrote in about the worst bug incident ever, and, unless she has been completely destroyed by the bugs, I’m sure she’ll get back to you!

Sweet kitty cat
Hi Lisa,
I am glad to say that we finally got rid of the little "buggers". But I am truly very sorry to hear that someone else is going through the same hellacious dilemma with these vicious little creatures. Thanks for the privacy consideration, but I don’t mind if you give these unfortunate folks my email. If my experience could in any way contribute to the early eradication of the mysterious and tortuous bug experience for any one else, I would feel somewhat vindicated. To be quite frank however, we still don’t know for sure what the heck they were and which of the many things we tried finally did the trick in getting rid of the little beasts. And for the first few months afterward, I actually had nightmares that they were back! The good thing is that it did end, eventually. I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that we don’t turn green in 10 years from toxic pesticide poison, my worst fear about the whole mess. Anyway, now I can actually laugh about it, a little bit, somewhat nervously, while slightly trembling. On a lighter note, I’ve attached a photo of Java. He is our other kitty cat. The photo doesn’t do him justice, but its the only one I had scanned in the puter. It will give you an idea of what he looks like. He and Gato are best buddies and I was most sorry for the misery they went through during the bug crisis. Also, a brief update. George and I were married last December. With the mites that bite and 9-11 (we live in nyc), we decided not to waste any more time. It is nice to hear from you again Lisa. You guys keep up the good work. I really enjoy your site.

Dear Charley,
Thanks so much for the update! I’m glad to hear the good news that the bugs have found another home! I’m a little sorry that their new home appears to be on the West Coast… (see What’s That Bug….)

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

24 Responses to THE WORST BUG STORY EVER!!!

  1. kathy says:

    Dear Bug Man,

    We are just like all these other poor souls struggling with mites. I am a cancer survivor and have an auto-immune like Lupus so I am looking for any natural solutions. Can you help us at all? I heard there are things like dryer sheets helping…cedarwood bombs and essential oils. Are these helpful. Any help at all would be MUCH appreciated.


  2. Marion McCormick says:

    I fully sympathise with your situation. I have several auto immune diseases as well as lupus and am also subject to endless infestations and bites over the past two and a half years. It started with a practically ineradicable body louse infestation of me and my husband, ivermectin finally worked. 6 months later huge fleas of several varieties. Now other insects ( mites) bugs, entailing sleepless nights. Incessant bites, endless cleaning, bathing, laundry, exterminating with no success. Dermatologist calls it parasitises now, although there are specimens which have been identified and more awaiting identification from our latest batch! At wits end and exhausted. We live in British isles.

    • RM says:

      I have been dealing with these horrid mites..I have brought down the slaughter to about 10 percent..It started Jun 2. I did try cedarcide and many other things..The one thing that is working is Kleen Green.. and getting the wood furniture out of my house. As they breed in wood.. I know spray the Kleen Green enzymes twice a day floor ,ceiling and walls ..This enzymes are natural and have no smell..But , they dissolve protein and the mites are protein..Also, they are in all three of my cars..I put moth balls and Epson salts in my car and left it there for five day;s ..I can say the clean up took about a hour..However, they were dead..I shampooed my car and saw all the dead ones in the fine screen of the shampoo machine..Its been the hardest to get them out of my clothes .However, I have found that rubbing alcohol put in the first soap cycle and borax put in the second does kill them..This is still on going ..however, I can say that the Kleen Green enzymes are working ..As they cannot build an resistance to being dissolved ..It just is taking time as we have to kill all of the stages..adults down to eggs..I will give updates..Oh..I put all my books .. clothes and famliy pictures etc in a storage with contractor bags and with moth ball inside the bags..I will not open the bags for two years ..Hopefully by then I will have them gone..

      • RM says:

        I forgot to add that I take showers twice a day and the enzymes to shower with and after I dry off another spray down of the enzymes.. also carry a small spray bottle with me everywhere I go of a mixture of 1 to 7…It does work ..Just is not instant..Take care ..

  3. Kara Lee says:

    Please call, my Mother has been infested with mites for some time, we bought a new house. My disabled son can’t describe what he feels or pain. I care for them 24/7 and we can’t become homeless. We’ve stayed in motels for months at a time etc. Please advise. 970-210-7999.

  4. laura gosnell says:

    My sisters and I gave been battling what I believe to be birdmites. All familiar stiries. Please share anything to help ys. We are desperately trying to get rid of these and get our lives back. Please help.

  5. Charles says:

    I have been infested with bird mites since the beginning of June. Every evening, I take a shower, and once I’m all sudsy, I take a loofa brush and brush my whole body. After I’ve rinsed and dried, I apply Gold Bond Cream almost all over my body… arms, legs, front and back. It brings a lot of relief… and about half an hour before I go to bed, I take one Benadryl. It makes me drowsy and I am able to have a good restful sleep.

    I also bought a zippered vinyl mattress cover from Amazon… They sell for about 30 bucks, well worth the investment. Also, I wash my bedsheets every morning (never slee in the sMe bedsheets two nights in a row

    • Charles says:


      Never sleep in the same bedsheets two nights in a row I also wash all the clothes I’ve worn on a particular day. I vacuum the whole apartment every day… and I dust all the surfaces (I use Mr. Clean and Pine Sol) I also vacuum my leather living room set, as well as a la-z-boy … and the leather chair in my office.

      By doing al of this, I am able to live a quasi-normal life… without much itching and scratching. One thing I have noticed with the arrival of cold weather, instead of the itch, I experience more of a burning sensation.

      I hope that this will help others…

  6. Norma says:

    I am experiencing the same symptoms.
    I was told by Orkin that we had bird mites . They have bomb my house 2 times already.
    I fell like they are all over me , my house and car impossible to get rid of . Please let me know if anyone has gotten rid of these little creatures. 661-878-2614 Please help! I would like my life back!

  7. Robert Levesque says:

    I have only found relief from these pest’s Bye using Dawn dish soap, I have bathed in it and I use a anti bacterial soap, I found Dial pump is best I take my bath in the dawn and while in the tub I will use the Dial right when I am ready to get out I will cover my self in the liquid soap and then rinse, I also have been only eating Salty and sour snacks at night and it has helped. But they do continue to re-occur no matter how clean I am and the bombing has been hopeless. Got rid of my bed and now sleep on an air mattress. I had to wait a month and a half to visit my new born grandson. It is sad no one has real concrete resolute to this issue, I have been loaded with such anxiety. Can put a real damper on the spirit. HELP-

  8. Patty says:

    Its a nightmare you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. An over whelming feeling of total helplessness. I DO NOT RECOMMEND that any one go to the extreme we went to but we really felt it was our last and only hope. We wrapped our mattresses with vinyl covers, ripped up the carpet, continuously sprayed everything with SteriFab ( walls and ceiling too), laundry washed in borax every night, vacuumed everyday… We took Invermectin in horse paste form for 10 days and then followed with the Tapeworm protocol to get them out of our sinuses and ears. This worked! We were in good health before we undertook this insane path and know that even so it was a very dark drastic act but we really thought we would die if we didn’t. We are fine now. Sane again. We aren’t afraid of our own house anymore. Going to bed is no longer a personal hell. I’m so sorry for everyone suffering. My heart goes out to all of you! No one understands how bad it can really get. So if anyone has a healthier way of dealing with these things PLEASE post it here and on topix.com, birdmites.org and curezone.org… I always fear a reinfestation!

  9. Missy says:

    Hello. I went thru this as well and battled it for months. I am in Mexico. I spent months researching what did & did not work. Just wanted life to end at one point. Nearly took out my eye (& didn’t care) getting 14 mites out of 1 eyelash pore! Then what was on my scalp ended up being different. Just awful!! Washed & cleaned everyday as well. Sent in specimens, the whole kit & kaboodle. It took over my whole life.
    The 5% Permethrin Cream & Ivermectin worked for me, along with healthy smoothies daily to boost my immune system. & other consistent routines.
    To help others, I can get the Permethrin ( Scabisan ) & Stromectol ( Ivermectin ) here in Mexico. & also send more info as to what worked. Just email me at parasitesinfo@gmail.com

  10. JeanR says:

    I have just started fighting this ..the bird mite problem..Going to take everything that I have except what I’m going to wear to my storage..everything in plastic bags .I’m wondering if anyone has ever used white sage in there bed sheets..around the house..Would it work? thank you …rm

  11. Ana says:

    Hi everyone,
    English is not my first language but I’m going to try to explain how I got a solution:

    It’s morgellous disease, it’s hard to ride off because they make your immune system go off, literally, it’s a biological cycle running in your body and they evolve, yes, like I said they evolve when you try a solution… First of all I investigate them to know with what I was dealing… they have 4 forms… larva, egg, female and male and believe female and male are completely diferent… male can fly, female doesn’t.

    Ivermectin has nothing to do with them, you need to know the cycle to combat them… they live for about 2 or 3 weeks… they are tropical insects… eggs hatch every 2 or 3 days, depends how fiercely you are fight, in me they evolved to hatch every single day… cause I was fighting hard.

    The solution is expensive, but you will have peace of mind and sleep like a baby again

    I did a Tour for 3 weeks at Equator mountains, it’s cold up there… I was in a hotel for 2 days and leave to another city or another hotel for another 2 days and so on… I changed every single piece of clothes and put in a bag and never open again… sent to a laundry outside the building… buying clothes as I need it… they are not give up easily… I saw them even the last day… but I decide to go further… I rent a room in Chimborazo refugee, I plan to stay there for 2 days but I felt the presure and I get sick up there… throw up, diahrrea, headache and pain in all my body… next day I decide to go down for medical treatment… they gave me some medicine for the vomiting and after that I went back to my city… that was the very first night after all this fight that I slept like a baby again… I have this disease for about 3 months.

    The last tip, every 6 months take some pills to ride parasites inside you, ask to your doctor to know which is the best in your country.

    This start in Florida, I left everything there, not even bring clothes or toothbrush.

    Good luck everyone

  12. Valorie says:

    Hello everyone i come to you all tonight miserable and dont think i can go on what started as lice i thought but 8 treatments and 4 months later i am thinking yalls stories are the same as mine. Please help ive spent over 1200.00 and nothing. Thank u all very much now at least we know what it is.

  13. Rachel says:

    Im pretty sure we have bird mites in our house. I’m the only one getting bit. Since winter months are coming I’ve been cleaning our chicken coop more often by using a dustpan and scraping out the old hay, throwing it aside. Usually causing dust particles in the air.
    This all started a few weeks ago with a bite here and there. Thought maybe it was fleas from our cats and dog. Treated them with Revolution and Bravecto. Now this is going on week two and the bites are worse, especially at night. During the day I feel a pinprick pain on my body but don’t see any bite marks. With all the internet searching I’m narrowing it down to bird mites or bed bugs (haven’t seen any bed bugs at all).
    The horrible part about al this is I have a 3mth old son and don’t want to use anything harmful to him or my other two children. My husband and I usually take turns sleeping in the living room to take care of our newborn and not wake each other up. The last week I’ve been staying out of our bed so I won’t spread anymore or anything in there. So far I’ve placed baking soda and salt on our carpets- done a lot of vacuuming, sprayed tea tree oil and washed linens in hot water. I’ve tore the couch apart and sprayed it down and washed the cushion covers in hot water. We bought a bug bomb thinking this would possible do the trick, knowing we would have to leave he house for the weekend. But then again I worry about bombing with a new baby.. Anyone have any info on treating the house with a new baby? I have such anxiety he’s getting bit but not experiencing any symptoms. I feel like I have to feed, burp, change him and hurry and get him away from my body bc I don’t want these bugs to get on him anymore. Please help!!!

  14. Peter says:

    I don’t know what I have – but after reading all of this I think it may be birdmites!

    Did you see white dandruff-like bugs leaving your head, and in your ears, and nose????

    Please help

  15. N John says:

    If you have bird mites you’re in hell and probably are wondering what you did to deserve this. Black dots or opaque dots that come off your scalp or out of your skin with an oil massage. Depending on the specific species biting and crawling can go on during the day as well as the nighttime. No sleep, no appetite except for the late night snack the buggers want, endless laundry, bug bombing, we resorted to CimeXa dusting and it worked for 6 days-they came back in my room and attacked me-they usually favor a specific host. I can’t afford hotels,my water and detergent bills not to mention the costs for Ivermectin, Permethin and everything else that does absolutely nothing to these demons. I seriously want to die. God help us all!!

  16. marc Darois says:

    Readin all this makes it worst

  17. Ginger says:

    I AGREE Marc.. reading the info on bird mites makes me feel like there is no hope at all. I bought ten chicks from Tractor Supply and have been brooding them in the garage the last 3 weeks. 3 days ago I started itching and have a horrible rash on my inner arms and thighs and feel ‘crawly’ . I never see anything though so I have no clue what’s going on. NO red little dots on anything and no dandruff like stuff. I am going to deep clean the house and wash everything in Borax soap. Clean the brooder and dust the chicks with DE but not sure after reading all this if that will even matter. This is horrible!

  18. MJ says:

    SOLUTIONS… but first a few notes…

    I Get hit by waves of mites here in Texas and have spent more than $7000 with experts and house sealings and pest control people who can not determine the source my dermanyssus mites. vetdna.com confirmed my sample is a type of bird mite that is atypical but they can not identify the precise species. My mites only bite me. There are quite a few species of bird mites out there and just a few normally bite humans. I finally got a microscope and eventually strained up a mite from my bath water to provide the dna material. I could write a short book on my experiences and the lack of resources. When you are the only one getting bit then everyone is skeptical and trying to look at other possibilities. There is a thing called grovers disease (more of a disorder I think) which you will induce as you destroy your skin with all the crazy things you will do to yourself… grovers just looks like a bunch of mite bites. And that is when the dermatologist says “ah ha” you have grovers disease! Duh – I gave to myself!

    In my case I believe this mite that only bites me is just in the environment around the house. I have trees nearby and a vacant house next door. Who knows the exact source… they recently surged when the humidity went up. By the way I believe the bacterial infection that shows up in my blood tests that appears to almost be Lyme disease (cdc says you have to have 5 positives on the test and I come up with 4) is a coming from these mites. Dr. had me on doxycycline for 6 months. Finally I am certain that certain Dermanyssus mites can complete their life cycles on humans. Pompous “experts” will tell you otherwise…

    SOLUTION (first three steps are about creating a very mite unfriendly environment)

    Please try the following
    A) dehumidifier – keep at or below 45%
    B) ozone blaster – do your research before you buy and use – dangerous but safe if used correctly – maybe once weekly – you have to get the hell out of your house (pun intended) for many hours after treatment as this stuff is hard on your lungs. It DOES NOT dissipate in 30 minutes… it takes many hours…
    C) burn sage burn sage burn sage burn sage – after the ozone treatment… Native Americans know a thing or two. Imagine trying to get your vision quest on with a herd of bugs crawling up your backside…
    D) gold bond – slather it on everywhere especially armpits, scalp, groin, undercarriage and wherever they seem to bite – I believe that the high dimethicone content is the key here so make sure you get the Gold Bond with dimethicone listed as the 3rd ingredient.
    E) vacuum at least once a day and best done at night
    F) shower with brush – brushing downward – sulfur soap is cheap at Walmart – I get these brushes at Autozone for like $8 each that are gray and have a long handle (yes they are for cars but it has just the right balance of soft and stiff for me)
    G) sanitize clothes and sheets Of course everyday – change clothes frequently maybe three times a day and bag up contaminated clothes until you wash them.
    H) Spray And soak 91% alcohol on your flip flops, on your Crocks, on your brushes, on your baseball cap, on your nylon belt,
    I) don’t wear cotton anymore – don’t wear underwear – Walmart has Cheap shirts and shorts made from synthetics
    J) I put plastic sheets on chairs and car seat and dispose of daily. Very polluting and expensive – I am sorry – just trying to stay sane. I get these at home depot – 6 rolls to a package.
    K) I also buy 55 gallon plastic bags for other chairs and dispose of frequently. Again sorry Mr environment. I will make it up elsewhere some how some day. Right now gotta take care of me.

    Good luck

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