Mesa no-see-ums

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Over the last few years I have been having episodic outbreaks of small, red, very itchy spots on my legs. They are not usually clustered and seem to be in areas of thin skin, like the ankles or behind the knees. At first I thought mosquitos, but they often occurred under clothing. Then I thought fleas, spiders, ants, bed bugs, locusts, or some other biblical plague isolated to just me. No one else in the household gets them. They usually appear in the morning as a tiny bump that is not itchy at first but by the next day has a welt around it and is very itchy. They often progress to develop a clear vesicle (like a small blister) and then the end will break down to a scab that lasts for a week or two.
I was recently looking into what could be doing this before I started bug-bombing the house or getting a new bed or living in DEET and I came across an article on Leptoconops torrens, a no-see-um found in the Central Valley of California. It can sneak under clothing, bites with a delayed-onset itchy spot that lasts for days or weeks. It typically comes out in the spring and often when clay soil cracks open as it drys. I walk my dogs in Elings Park and the Douglas Preserve on the Mesa and have seen these conditions and and clouds of little bugs.
I think I have found the culprit but my theory would be supported if other people have had similar experiences after walking in the Mesa parks. Or if there is an entymologist out there who knows if there are biting no-see-ums like Leptoconops torrens indigenous to Mesa.

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mtndriver Jun 21, 2018 01:03 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

I had these same symptoms a couple years ago--and it was definitely chiggers. They were in some reeds growing next to a fountain in a patio. When I did garden work in that area, thinning out those reeds, that's when it started. Ended up digging up all the plants and making sure the area stayed dry, and that took care of it, have not been bothered since then. But the itching was so intense! They like moisture, so any area in the garden that gets damp, stays damp, etc, that's a risk area. In the Southern US, they are often in grass, in lawns. (But who has lawns here? Maybe chigger bites are nature's revenge for watering a lawn in a drought.) They normally feed on lizards and birds, I understand. And they don't burrow into the skin, that is a myth. But it is kind of gross, the way they feed on you....Google it.

Roger Jun 21, 2018 01:44 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

I guess everyone deserves to eat.

wildturkeyway Jun 21, 2018 12:46 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Chiggers. I live on a farm in the Summerland area and have suffered increased occurrence of this problem over the past couple years. They frequently occur after I have been out and about in the weeds or flora and they are virtually impossible to avoid or treat in any short period of time. Many a sleepless night have I enjoyed from these buggers.

Roger Jun 21, 2018 11:44 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

I got the little S&it heads too UGH!!!!!!! And now shingles the medicine make me sick with loud audible farting that can be heard for miles....I live 200 South Milpas between the tracks and freeway I ordered Pine Tar soap waiting for it to get here...UGHUGHUGH! I thought it was jumper spiders or fleas I have no ideas...?

emenzies Jun 21, 2018 11:26 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

I live near State and Alamar. I have had these bites show after a few nights. Feeling no bite-terrible itchy mounds with blisters that annoy all day. Went to the Dr....no clue ...no cure. Chiggers! WTF. We had them ATL. I thought chiggers...no see ums...misquitos..were humid climate things? I reorted it to the landlord...she threatened me..to amke me pay to exterminate the building because no one else is suffering. WElsom to the NEW an improved post Thomas SB. Tried Lavender..Citrus..Windex..Incense....Voodoo...at my wits end..woke up with 40-50 bites Sunday 6/17...Does the foggy am rain have anything to do with it...that I live near Mission Creek??? HELP!!! I am dying here...thx Lizzy

emenzies Jun 21, 2018 11:29 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

sorry for the word burgers..I am itching!

MountainMan4865 Jun 12, 2017 07:48 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Chiggers are super annoying, but seasonal. I truly don't think there's any wonder cure (dermatologist/drug) to lessen the annoyance. They are opportunistic, and I don't think there's much you can do once they've... souped and sucked up your skin. It will itch. I've had two bites this month so far. I knew them in Texas, surprised to see them here, so wrote it off to something else for a few years, but there's really no doubt. Chiggers. ARGH!

swan Jun 12, 2017 03:37 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Hi from Summerland read the article with great interest about the dreaded mystery bites.Hi, read the article with great interest about the mystery bug bites which come around now for a few months. I live in the Summerland hills , they do not bite everyone but they do me . Have never found out what they are , finally after several years of the awful bites went out & bought these pants 2 years ago (not cheap ) they have been wonderful & worth every penny.http://circaterratravel.com/womens/pants-skirts/womens-bugsaway-ampario-convertible-pants/ on state street

comment349 Jun 12, 2017 10:01 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

A-14. I know someone with similar issues, which dermatologist did you see?

Channelfog Jun 12, 2017 02:10 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Thank you, Thank you! We had not considered Chiggers, and we think that is what is going on. Edhat comes through once again.

Bug Girl Jun 12, 2017 07:28 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

There are a few spots in California with chiggers, which up until sometime in the last decade or so had been mostly found East of the Rockies, but are spreading to other dry areas in CA like the central valley. It could be chiggers. I walk around the Wilcox often, and have yet to find a no-see-um there, and I'm usually VERY susceptible to them. I live nearby in that neighborhood too, and I think the little clouds of flies that you're talking about are gnats (of a non-biting variety). Wear long pants and don't give the chiggers a chance to climb up your legs and bite you, just like you would prevent tick bites.

Flicka Jun 11, 2017 02:07 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Thank you, A-14. For some reason I pictured them bigger, no idea why.

a-1532262556 Jun 11, 2017 12:22 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

Chiggers are the larval form of a type of mite that feeds on skin. Super tiny, almost impossible to see. Think of them as a tiny, tiny red tick. http://extentopubs.tamu.edu/e-365.html

Flicka Jun 11, 2017 09:04 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

My experience with no-see-ums was in the Bahamas and my husband was a yacht captain. I spent 2 months on the boat in summer and the little buggers chewed me up (not my husband). I don't remember the results being what you describe, not quite such a big deal, just itchy for awhile. Luckily the boat had air conditioning so we closed all the windows. Seems I recall afternoons and night when they were a problem. What are chiggers?

a-1532262556 Jun 11, 2017 05:10 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

Wow! I thought I was alone in this predicament. I, too, thought flea bites, bed bugs, and, or spider bites on my feet and legs. My dermatologist said chiggers too, and prescribed a special cream and treatment, but it usually takes about two weeks to see them subside. It happens once a year over the space of four years now.

a-1532262556 Jun 10, 2017 07:15 PM
Mesa no-see-ums

No, you're not delusional. It's chiggers, and they're not just on the Mesa. And, so far, it's just a few of us. If you're going to walk on soil or "grass," insert the legs of your pants into your socks and look like a geek, or apply a bug repellent around your ankles and expose yourself to other toxins. Take off and wash your clothes after your walk. And/or take a shower. For the itching, Caledryl Clear seems to work the best.

MountainMan4865 Jun 10, 2017 11:57 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

Here's a two page thread that started the same time of year, 5 years ago about chiggers in Orange County. Lots of bite descriptions.... https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?1669740-Chiggers-in-orange-county-area%21%21

MountainMan4865 Jun 10, 2017 11:37 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

It sounds like chiggers.... I know they're more prevalent to our east, but I think we definitely have them too.

Channelfog Jun 10, 2017 11:29 AM
Mesa no-see-ums

My spouse has precisely the same symptoms, all of them exactly as you describe, but I have zero problem. We suspect fleas as we too have dogs, but are not yet convinced. There are zero signs of bed bugs which we have checked very carefully for. We have found that daily vacuuming lessens the problem as does flea combing the dogs. We live organically as much as possible and so bug bombs and flea dips for the dogs are not options for us. Please keep us informed as to what you come up with...you are not alone!

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