If you can see them, they are not spider mites. Spider mites are almost
microscopic and generally only viewable if shaken onto a white piece of paper.
You may want to dust all the carpet with diatomaceous earth, wear a mask and
don't inhale it, but it is non-toxic otherwise. You may have a wicked
infestation of dust mites in the bed, aka bedbugs. They too are microscopic and
live on the flaked off skin of our bodies. One gram of that dead skin we shed
can feed an army of them for 30 years.
You can solve that problem by buying impermeable mattress and pillow covers at
any shop which sells linens.
"Red bugs" or chiggers are too small to see without magnification.
They are related to spiders and require a host (squirrels, birds,
deer, reptiles, or humans). You can get chiggers by sitting on the
grass or walking through tall grass. The larva can crawl from your
foot to your underpants in 15 minutes and they look for a place to
burrow in, usually a crease or under an elastic band. After burrowing
in they spit their saliva which dissolves flesh, then they drink it.
One chigger only has one bite site. After several days of feasting,
they fall off the host, find a mate, and lay eggs on the ground where
the larva emerge and the cycle starts again. They are more of a
problem during warm days (>70 degrees). Often chiggers will
congregate on one blade of grass, waiting for a passerby. The site
of the bite turns red with a white center, much like a mosquito bite,
and the itching lasts for a week or two. Use 91% alcohol (or I use
"Absorbing Jr.") applied to the site for several minutes should kill
the chigger. Scratching can infect the bite--don't do it.
On Tue, 07 Oct 2003 20:04:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@Underworld.com wrote:
I lived in Ohio, California, and Tennessee. There are chiggers in
Ohio and Tennessee, but I never heard mention of chiggers in Los
Angeles. In Ohio, I got them by sitting in the grass while polishing
my car wheel rims. I imagine many gardeners get chiggers, and don't
realize it. There are some graphic images on the web, showing the
chigger in a skin pore or hair follicle. Yeah, it's a little creepy.
:) Oh, god, I never read anything to terrifying in my life!!!
:) Are there chiggers in So. Calif, or is it a Southern U.S.
:) speciality? That's where I've mostly heard about them.
Chiggers or redbugs are the larval form of the harvester
mite. The adult feed off of decaying plant material
while the chigger feeds off animal. They can be found in
Southern California, but I don't think as prevalent as
the Southern states.
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