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Painless bug bites that draws blood, Very strange.

 
 
gwana
 
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 07:43 am
We live in south eastern Pennsylvania and I have a playset and a crab sandbox for my daughter. Last week, something strange happened. My neice and daughter we're playing in the sand box and on the swing set. They came in for lunch and we noticed there was blood dripping down the back of the neck of my neice. We asked her what happened and she did not know and did not feel anything. With closer inspection, we noticed that it looked like an insect bite and discovered 3 more bites on the back of her head and neck. They were wounds that were dripping blood and she never felt the bite or any irrataion afterwards. Well, both girls ate lunch, then we noticed dried blood on my daughters ear. We inspected her head and found 9 bites. We asked both girls what happened and again they said they never felt anything. We took my daughter to the doctors and he had no idea of what could have caused the bites. I inspected the sand box and swing set and only found your typical spiders,ladybugs and a tick. Now, I have been around for awhile and have never seen anything like it, where your bit and it draws blood and you don't even know you are bit. 2 days later, the wound is healing and still no irratation. Then last night, I was talking with a friend, and his daughter got the exact same bites on the back of her head. She was also playing in sandbox and swingset and the same exact symptoms (no pain or irratation but bleeding). This is very unusual considering that the bites are painless and yet numerous and extreme. Have you ever heard of something like this and if so, what could it be?

I posted 2 pictures of the wounds at http://www.gwana.net/bugbite.htm

We are concerned and would like to know what it is and what we can do to erradicate it.

Thank you for your help.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 25,726 • Replies: 56
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 07:58 am
The only thing it sounds remotely like is leeches. But the description you give is of a dry environment, where a leech is likely to be rare.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:01 am
Where abouts are you?
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:07 am
Leeches came to my mind too, but at least some of them would have remained attached.
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:10 am
If they've eaten their fill they'll fall off.
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:15 am
Those could be spider bites, very dangerous, flea bites with an attendant allergy or tick bites. Any one of which can lead to very serious conditions. Your doctor should test for Lyme Disease and the marks ought to be checked daily for changes.

Tick bites are not painful.

Treat the sandbox with a bug killer, the garden kind that you spray on tomatos before harvest. Safe to put the kids in after a week or so.


Joe
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 08:16 am
Quote:
Kissing Bug/bedbug
The kissing bug (Triatoma) has a large body, measuring one-half to one inch in length. It has a cone-shaped head and is dark brown with yellow or red markings on the abdomen. Kissing bugs have six legs. The kissing bug also has a pair of wings that are normally folded across its back while resting or crawling. The wings are generally not noticed unless you are specifically looking for them.

Outdoors, they live in mice and rat nests as well as bird nests. They are most visible in the spring and early summer. Kissing bugs are attracted indoors by porch lights. Once indoors, they hide in and under furniture or closets during the days. A favorite hiding spot of the kissing bug is between mattresses.

Kissing bugs feed on blood. At night, the kissing bug goes out in search of a blood meal, which in the home, usually means a sleeping pet or a sleeping human. It takes about 10 minutes for the bedbug to obtain a full meal. If disturbed, the kissing bug may have to bite several times to get the full meal.

The bite is painless and generally occurs on the uncovered parts of the body. Victims usually wake up with itching, swelling and they can have a rapid heart beat. Depending on the victim's sensitivity, reactions to kissing bugs vary from mild to life threatening. A typical reaction is generally an intensely itchy, red-raised area that is more severe than a typical insect bite. It lasts about 1 to 2 days but may last as long as a week. Other reactions can include groups of small blister-like bites with moderate swelling and little redness; very large reddened areas like hives that can be two to six inches across; chills, fever, and nausea. Severe reactions include swelling of the tongue and throat; swollen lymph nodes; small blood-filled blisters; anaphylactic reactions that cause breathing problems, a drop in blood pressure, and shock that can be lethal.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 09:15 am
kissing bugs or "assasin beetles" as we know them around here are kinda big and stompy, youd feel them on you . you said the kids were in a SANDBOX. In our area (Lancaster/Chester Counties Pa) we have a bug that lives in mulch, sand, and in wood scraps , its an earwig. These bugs , when disturbed, like to trip around you and, when they find a spot, they nail you and they draw blood. thyre kind of creepy looking with big pincer tails
http://www.terminix.com/graphics/pest/full/earwig.jpg

i got this picture from the terminix page
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 10:11 am
Yes, we have earwigs here in Michigan too; they hide in crevices of just about anything outdoors. They do bite and draw blood. We also have an over abundance of ladybugs here. There are a lot of people in our area, claiming that they bite.
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Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 10:56 am
double post
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 10:57 am
I know what those are, we called them sand fleas. They live in sand and bite you. It means you're not taking proper care of your sand - empty out the sandbox (and if you'd like, get a sample bug in a jar to show the doc.)

I vaguely remember something about having to keep the sand completely dry.

You might want to try dousing them in skin so soft before they play in the box.
earwigs do not bite and neither do ladybugs - earwigs are (I think) cotton eaters and ladybugs kill & eat other bugs.

Is this it?
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 12:00 pm
I've been bitten by an earwig, believe me, you can feel the bite. Nasty little creatures.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 12:23 pm
Asian ladybugs can bite and it is definitely a nip you can feel.

from: Michigan State University Extension
http://www.msue.msu.edu/msue/iac/ladybugs2001.htm
Quote:
The Asian ladybug might take a nip out of your finger if handled. If you get nipped, clean and treat bite with an antibiotic as a precaution against a secondary infection.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 01:12 pm
They look like flea bites to me. I've got two cats, and I get quite a few bites on my legs when the eggs hatch in the rugs in the spring. They leave little red spots like in the pictures. The bites are completely painless, but I don't remember if they bled much.

I wouldn't worry about the health risks, as far as I know there's no disease associated with fleas.

You might try dusting the sandbox with diatomaceous earth that you can get from a garden center that sells organic stuff. Make sure you don't use the calcined diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool filters, which is dangerous to breathe. I wouldn't use insecticides since they might be more dangerous to the kids than the flea bites.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 03:07 pm
where did that diatomaceous earth story come from? was it Organic Gardening? Im afraid that its a myth. Just cause the shapes of diatoms are all full of spiney spicules? Ive never seen any evidence that it actually works. Ive known people whove dusted for insects using diatoms and , they still had bugs after the treatment.
0 Replies
 
Portal Star
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 04:21 pm
Ceili wrote:
I've been bitten by an earwig, believe me, you can feel the bite. Nasty little creatures.


Maybe there are multiple things with the common name "earwig."

I was talking about this one. Earwig

According to the information in the article, they can pinch a little with their forceps.
Remind me not to pick up any orange ladybugs. The thought of a biting ladybug takes a little nip at my childhood innocence.

Farmerman - yeah, but diatoms and radiolarians are great for brushing your teeth. Their little spiny bodies get them real clean.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 04:40 pm
Portal, thats the same earwig I posted. that little pinch can be very painful and draw blood. The males pinch is worse, and they can be persistent if youre in their area.


If you brush your teeth with diatoms , remember they are silica shelled . radiolareans are mostly calcareous and therefore not as abrasive. THE DIATOMS can be like sandpaper unless theyre powdery like the "natural" toothpastes that have ground , milled pumice.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 06:35 pm
Portal, those are exactly the horrid little pests I mean. Might I add they are a bastard to kill. Evil or Very Mad


gwana, are there black flies in the area? They love children. They look like baby houseflies, but are silent, no buzz. Bites are often found behind the ears and near pulse points. The bites are painless when inflicted but are quite large considering the size of the flies. <<<BLACK FLIES>>>>
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 06:51 pm
Actually, coluber, I can think of at least one disease using fleas as vectors, but I doubt bubonic plague is much of an issue in PA.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Apr, 2004 10:32 pm
Here's a link about using diatomaceous earth as an insecticide. The only caution is that heavy applications getting in the air and breathed can cause lung problems, so you might not want to put a lot in a sand box with children playing in it. Some kind of orange oil mixture might work. Check with an organic garden center. Whatever you use, it has to kill the insects without hurting the kids.
http://ighawaii.com/naturally/naturalanimal/de.html

An easy way to find out the offending insect would be to stand in the sandbox bare footed. If there are fleas, you'll see them in a hurry on your legs.
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