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Old 10-02-2015, 12:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 33
Strange Bug Bites

My wife and I were in Gilroy, CA at a nice campground and went to sleep. At about 1 AM, I awoke with my back itching FIERCELY! After my wife scratched it we both went back to sleep. Waking up at 7 AM with more itching, my wife said my back was covered with red welts. We had had our chairs under a tree frequented by birds, had bought some stuffed toys for our granddaughter at a tag sale, and have a dog (all relevent clues). My wife had a few bites, but I had the majority.
Looking on the internet, it appeared they were bed bug bites. We had not been in anybody's house (or a hotel) for weeks! Unfortunately, we were going to our daughter's house the next day. In a parking lot near her house we showered, put on clean clothes, and did our best to isolate her house from the bug problem.
The following day, I vacuumed the entire 24 ft. camper with a new wet-dry vac using a disposable bag, then I insect-bombed the camper. Unfortunately, my wife got new bites while staying at our daughter's house. I went to Burning Man in the camper while she stayed with our daughter. My wife went to a dermatologist to determine the cause, and the dermatologist said "bedbugs".
Telling our daughter the news, she suggested hiring a bedbug-sniffing dog to determine the cause. Sniffing both the house as well as the retained disposable bag, the dog found NOTHING.
The problem is now gone. Nothing at our daughter's, and nothing in the camper. My question is "what the hell was it?". The bites itched INTENSELY, and left scars without being scratched. We thought it could be:

1. Bedbugs from stuffed toys purchased at the tag sale.
2. Bird mite bites (since our seats were under a tree full of birds at night).

I had also (before the insect bomb) set up a bedbug "trap" using yeast and sugar water, which yielded nothing. Duct tape in the detritus from the bag revealed no bugs of any kind.

If anyone has any clue as to what actually caused this, I'd love to know.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-02-2015, 01:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had jitters

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Old 10-02-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
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Sorry jiggers
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
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Red bugs, chiggers, jiggers, same insect. Small almost microscopic, red, found in a wide range of environments

Chiggers: Bites Treatment and Chigger Bite Pictures
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:37 PM   #5
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I wouldn't guess chiggers. They are gotten outside especially in overgrown areas.

I would say bedbugs or perhaps no see-ums which can come through your screens.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:46 AM   #6
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not sure they are not bedbugs. Never had them - Thank Goodness, but that is one reason we never stay at cheap motels anymore. Sounds like you make have brought something in with the stuffed toys.
Do they have sand fleas on the west coast?
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:29 AM   #7
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There has been an outbreak of oak tree mites, and yes, they drop from trees and will bite leaving welts and itch like the devil.
Itch Mites Linked to Oak Trees Plaguing Midwesterners Again 10/18/05
it sources from the midwest, but I believe they are wherever it is warm enough for them... Yes, it's a 10 year old article, but we had them again bad this year, esp. on children who spend a lot of time outside. BTW... it's wrong time of year for chiggars, too cold here in our part of the country but maybe not down south yet.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:32 AM   #8
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Here's a recent article
Oak leaf itch mites could persist ‘for several more weeks’ (+video) | The Wichita Eagle

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