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Help! Bitten to buggery

(23 Posts)
Drmum83 Sun 02-Aug-15 15:44:23

Just after any wise words on a little recurring problem we have...
We've lived in our property (old cottage, semi rural) for 3 years. We keep the place clean, it has been painted throughout and we wash our bedding on a hot wash weekly. Our mattress and wooden bed frame is less than 3 years old.
Each year, between July and September, my DH and I are covered in bites. I am pretty sure that this issue is arising from our bedroom as the bites are fresh in the morning. My DH has spent more time in the spare room this year (we now have a LO who is waking in the night and he works long hours) and he has significantly less bites than me.
We have stripped the bed, bleached the whole room, sponged the mattress down, removed the rug, bought a UV bug catcher thing etc but this problem persists. Come September, things will improve and we'll be ok til next year. Two years ago, we brought in an 'infestation man' who couldn't find an issue and thought it may be a stray mosquito but surely something more must be going on for the problem to keep recurring?! We have also gone down the route of treating ourselves for scabies in the past but that didn't help. We open the window for half an hour every morning to aerate the room but that's it. We do have wisteria growing around the window but I've not seen insects getting in nor heard any buzzing...
Has anyone experienced similar? Any advice? I may sound like a dirty mare but we do keep things very clean. If it's not our daughter waking me it's the bloody itching!!
Please help!!

tvlover1234 Sun 02-Aug-15 15:46:26

Bed bugs??

Drmum83 Sun 02-Aug-15 15:51:01

That's what we thought but we've boiled the bedding, washed the mattress down and the infestation guy couldn't detect any. It's also weird that we're only bitten during summer months (wouldn't the bugs be there all the time?!) The mattress is less than 3 years old.
Do you think its worth chucking the mattress, pillows and quilt and hope that solves the problem?

tvlover1234 Sun 02-Aug-15 15:54:53

Hmmm so strange! Bed bugs to bury deep so could berightimside the nature's if thick Anscombe out when you're in bed and your body heat draws them out?! Possibly. I would maybe get a second opinion before chucking the whole mattress out. Or going to gp and asking if they know what bites it is! X

Drmum83 Sun 02-Aug-15 15:58:31

Thanks, embarrassingly we're both bloody GPs! They just look like run of the mill insect bites - theres no tell tale signs of scabies! I might get some sort of insect spray...

TheMagicToyshop Sun 02-Aug-15 16:11:37

Are the bites in clusters or rows? A tell tale sign of bed bugs. Bed bugs hate the cold too. A good trick to detect them is to strip the mattress and spray diluted lavender essential oil, they hate it and jump a mile high. We never saw them before we did this despite being bitten all over. We got rid of bed bugs using diatomaceous (sp?!) earth, Google for instructions.

BeaufortBelle Sun 02-Aug-15 16:21:14

Rentokill. Far better than local council. We used to live near a river - rats. We once had biscuit beetle - council were hopeless - Rentokil had it diagnosed and sorted in an instant.

Was the bed new? Bed bugs can get into the fabric of a building I believe.

Wisteria, window, sounds like mozzies to me. Is there any water nearby - waterbutt, pond, marshy meadow?

Gunpowder Sun 02-Aug-15 16:25:59

Hmmm I don't think bedbugs. Those buggers don't stop biting in the winter. Have you got any birds nests near the window? Could be bird mites.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 02-Aug-15 16:46:56

My DD suffers in exactly the same way. They also seem to like her more than they do us so more bites on one compares to other is often how tasty one is! We found it was a rather awkward combination of fleas (we have cats) who had become immune to the flea treatment we gave them that seemed to work in cool weather but when it warmed up just couldn't control them. We changed flea treatment after a consultation with a vet who said it wasn't uncommon. We then found that we had Mosquitos in the water butt - getting in via a hole in the top and also some plastic recycling that had blown round the back of the shed and was creating tiny little pools of water ideal for breeding. Now both cats are treated and all upturned recepticles in garden have been got rid of DD is bite free.

Drmum83 Sun 02-Aug-15 17:50:31

Thanks all, bites aren't linear, just dotted randomly... More so on the legs.
No water nearby, bed was new.
Think we'll go down the rentokil route and ill get on Amazon in the meantime for lavender oil!

Jellytussle Sun 02-Aug-15 21:50:53

Harvest mites?

Parietal Sun 02-Aug-15 21:58:51

I don't know, but I've also had mysterious bites only in the summer, and I can't trace the cause. I also boiled the sheets & did a big de-bed-bug clean but that had no effect. every summer, I get bitten as I sleep in odd places that would normally be under clothes (e.g. under side bra strap). DH doesn't get bitten even though he is in the same bed & has more exposed skin.

Tell us if you find out what it is.

thornrose Sun 02-Aug-15 22:02:31

My lower legs are covered in bites right now. I go through phases of being bitten and they never touch my dd!

I always assume a rogue mossie/midge.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 02-Aug-15 22:08:57

Flea bites? They can lay dormant for months at a time and can survive on barely anything.

They bury themselves everywhere. Treatment is easy and quick.

PrimalLass Sun 02-Aug-15 22:17:15

Try ditching the mattress.

PrimalLass Sun 02-Aug-15 22:19:12

Do you keep anything under the bed? We had bed bugs, and kept our suitcases under the bed - after DP's site visits to Africa. It was a nightmare. We moved house (400 miles!) and threw the mattress out.

ExtremelyStubbornAndSuspicious Sun 02-Aug-15 22:24:20

Bed bugs bite all year round. If you have a serious infestation (and it would be massive after 3 years) I think you would know by now so it doesn't sound like that.

However if you want to know what to look for:

They leave tiny blood spots on your sheets (they often look black rather than red).

Also they don't tend to hide in your mattress, they're most likely to be found in gaps in your bed frame - get a torch and look in the gaps between the wooden slats at the head end of your bed. If you have bugs you'll definitely see black markings (their poo) or the bugs themselves.

Washing your sheets on a hot wash won't prevent or get rid of bed bugs because they live on your bed frame or in areas around your bed (curtains, bedside tables etc). The only way to get rid is chemicals, dictomous earth, heat treatment - often a combination of all of these as they're hardy little buggers and can hide in the tiniest of crevices.

OnePlanOnHouzz Mon 03-Aug-15 13:02:06

Oh I'm itchy now !! Hope you get to the bottom of this !!! wink

Mosling Mon 03-Aug-15 20:04:44

Ooh, think I know this one! same happens to us, late July to Sept. First year I was convinced it was fleas or bedbugs and nearly died from stress and effort trying to find some bug, any bug the council would identify and nuke. Sprayed and hoovered like a loon, blamed b&b and accused them of bedbugsshock, eventually it stopped.

The next year, same months, it happened again plus the cat was scratching and biting her paws.

Turned out to be harvest mites, also known as berry bugs. They don't infest the house but live in the grass, and the bites take a while to start itching so it appears that you've been bitten overnight. Solution is to not sit directly on the grass but use a rug.

We also get mosquitoes at that time of the year and they were a secondary cause I somehow hadn't even considered.

Is this a possibility? Don't think they're in all parts of the country.

Drmum83 Mon 03-Aug-15 21:21:58

Thanks for all the advice!
Mosling, we do sit out at night on the patio next to the grass and I sit out more in the day as on mat leave (which explains why DH has fewer bites maybe)... We have a drain next to us (covered obviously) but the waste does run quite superficially, ie lift the cover and see the sewage sad . We had no end of issues with this overflowing when we first moved in before finally getting a new valve fixed higher up our property on the driveway (the land slopes down towards the house) which stopped the issue. Anyhow, I digress. I wonder if it could be related to this?!
We have literally just dragged the table and chairs to another area and will trial avoiding sitting anywhere near it for a few weeks... Fx'd!

Hellionandfriends Mon 03-Aug-15 21:28:58

Sounds like flea bites to me. They don't go for DH but adore me

Hellionandfriends Mon 03-Aug-15 21:29:30

Or maybe it's grass insects.

bowsaw Tue 04-Aug-15 07:10:19

sleeping with the window open? gnats etc coming in during the night or when outside, they come out from dusk

for bed bug killing you need to sealup and raise the temperature of the dwelling, pest controller will be able to do so, but you will ahve to vacate for the time as its far to warm to stay in

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