What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mouse Mite Hell!
This is my candidate for the Worst Bug Stories page.

Last winter I went through Mouse Mite Hell. Picture a rural street with a few landed houses on one side and nothing but wild land, covered with blackberry bushes, on the other. I lived in a 150 yr-old farmhouse, the pride of my life.

In late summer and early autumn a developer started clearing the property across our small, rural street. Bushes were cut and land bulldozed flat, preparatory to building “upscale” housing.

The local field mice, having no where else to go, decided to become house mice and my 3 neighbors and I were overrun. My house, being old, had numerous “settling” places large enough for a mouse to enter and they overran everything! They even scratched and chewed the headboard of my waterbed, eating the books and chewing the wood. They destroyed my piano. My life became a nightmare of mouse hunting and hole-stopping, day and night. I spent tons of money on steel wool and wood putty and paint to cover it all up. One day my electronic trap killed 6 while my cat did away with 7. In one day!

The result of all of this mouse genocide was that the mites they carried turned to my dogs, my cat and myself for their daily bread. The bites tormented me day and night, first with a fiery burning sensation, immediately followed by intense itching. They woke me up all night long. My pets would jump and cry out and scratch themselves to death.

Despite my dislike of chemicals, I gave in and bombed…nothing changed. A day or two of rest and the mites were back in force. Then, I read on the Net that a strong bleach-and-water solution (1 cup bleach to a gallon of water) would kill the mites. IT WORKED! I’d put the pets out, open the windows and bleach the heck out of every surface that wouldn’t be damaged. I sprayed the cloth furniture with bug spray. Every day. Even dry, the bleach seemed to kill or deter the mites. Even before I plugged the last hole and killed the last mouse, the biting stopped.

I never want to go through anything like that again and I always make sure I have a gallon of bleach in the house…just in case.

I love this site and have recommended it to a lot of people. The work you do is superior and I agree with your liking for insects (except Mouse Mites). Please keep up the good work. (And thank you for the Net’s only intelligent CAPTCHA.)


Dear Sandy,
We arent’ sure what a CAPTCHA is, but we thank you for the compliment.  We will be posting your letter and tagging it with the Worst Bug Stories Ever.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

3 Responses to Worst Bug Story Candidate

  1. aussietrev says:

    Hi guys,
    CAPTCHA is the ‘prove you’re human’ bit. Most sites use distorted letters that are often undecipherable even to a real human and you end up trying over and over to figure out what it is supposed to be. Your use of a simple question is the best and easiest one on the net as far as I have seen.

  2. bassjen says:

    OMG OMG! I can’t believe I am reading a story I nearly could have written myself!
    In September I started getting bitten and after 2 days I discovered a couple of mites on my midsection. Took pics and sample to the vet. They identified them as a northern fowl mite-very rare in San Jose, Ca! Talked to pest control and they said look for abandoned bird or rats nest. Figured out the reason I was the only one getting bit was because they were coming up in kitchen under sink. I crawled under house and found a lot of rat nests, urine, and poops! Cleaned up what I could and sprayed Home Defense all along border of kitchen and rat nests. Under the sink I sprayed flea spray. Within 24 hours they were all gone and have not returned. I registered specifically to comment on this so I will see if there is a place to post pics of this. Amazing this happened to someone else. My vet said they would not bother my dogs but possibly my bird and guinea pigs! I got lucky though. I knew flea spray would kill them and that was my safest option. No need for bleach. Try it if they come back.

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