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Avatar universal

Thug Bugs

I've recently contracted an infestation of bugs that look like flakes of salt or pepper. they are barely visable at first but bite right away.  They behave like fleas in the sense that they jump and pop between my finger nails when I kill them.  In their adult stage they look like a cross between friut flies and mosquitos.  I went to see several docors and dermatologists about this problem.  One doctor told me it was scabies, another told me it might be fleas, although they refused to actually look at the bugs to be sure of what they were.  One doctor told me to go home, take a bath, and hire someone to clean my house.  She reccomended a phsyciatrist and proceeded to ask me if I was on drugs.  None of the above are true in my case.  I have found that cold baths seem to either kill or paralyze them.  I clean the floors with a rag and cold water regularly.  I also clean the counter tops the same way.  air conditioning (the colder the better) seems to kill or paralyze them as well.  I wash my clothes and bedding in cold water every day.  The mattresses and furniture are wrapped in plastic and completely sealed in packing tape and I wipe them completely down with cold water everyday.  This has been a nightmare for me.  Its cost me a small fortune to buy natural and chemical remedies that don't work.  I hardly sleep.  I hardly eat and I spend the entirtey of my day hunting the bugs down.  I've read on the net that applecider vinager may help.  You mix 3/4 applecider vinigar with 1/4 water and spray everything down with it.  I take about three cold baths a day.  They only seem to like me.  They multiply rapidly.  On me they seem to prefer living under my fingernails, bottoms of my feet, in between my toes, in my genitals.  They don't bite me in those places though.  They like to bite me mostly on my arms and legs, cheeks and back.  Prior to the cold baths, I used to feel them crawling in my ears, on my head and on my eyelashes, feet and genitals.  Don't listen those negative responders.  I've seen them and I know they are real.

                                       good luck

This discussion is related to I definitely have some sort of bug/mite/flea infestation..
102 Responses
Avatar universal

It has been suggested to me by a psychiatrist that I have psychosis because I'm plagued by bugs crawling & biting me but when I brush them away, I don't see anything!

I have had this problem off & on for many years! However, after reading your post, I began checking my fingernails & hands when I scratch or brush the bugs away & discovered that there are actually bugs! They are very small--some are like flecks of black, brown & white pepper, some are reddish-orange and I've even seen some green ones! I've seen some with antennae.

I have carpets & I feel them jumping around my ankles and feet when I'm walking in my apartment. I don't think they 'live' under my fingernails but when I scratch, they get caught under my nails & get on my hands.

I thought maybe it was fleas but I don't have pets. Then I thought maybe it was bed bugs but when I checked the internet, I'm positive that I don't have those because I thoroughly checked my furniture & beds & saw no signs.

I'm so freaked out about these bugs. I'm very sensitive to chemicals, so I don't want my landlord to spray--the landlord has sprayed for ants before but the effect didn't last long.

I've tried all sorts of natural remedies. I've tried spraying tea because the tannin is supposed to break down the hard outer shells. I've also tried vinegar washes, salt, soaps, enzyme detergents, pepper, cinnamon, peppermint, bay leaves, hot water, various body & foot powders, scouring powder (the powder contains silica which is supposed to scratch the outer shells & dehydrate them), bleach powder, orange essential oil, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil & menthol gel--all to no avail!

I've washed myself down with rubbing alcohol but it didnt' do any good. I've even washed my hair & body with Denorex shampoo because I thought the smell might deter them but it didn't work. The menthol in the shampoo gave me some short relief from the itching but it didn't last long & the stuff stinks! I even used the shampoo to shampoo the carpets but all it did was make the apartment smell.

I bought some tea tree oil & beeswax cream & slathered myself with it because tea tree oil works for lice, so I thought it would deter these pests but they seem to like it & are attracted to it! They are driving me crazy! They crawl all over me & they bite! I feel them in my ears, in my nose, my eyelashes & all over my body.

I don't know why they are attracted to me...Nobody else can feel these bugs or is being bitten. I must give off something like a chemical in my sweat or something that attracts bugs because mosquitoes are also drawn to me. I've caught some of the bugs & I'm storing them in a pill container with rubbing alcohol so I can show my psychiatrist that I'm not hallucinating! The bugs are so small that it is difficult to get them into the container though & sometimes when I get some in my fingernails, they jump away before I can get them in the container. I want to show them to someone in pest control to find out what they are...

I think I will have to relent & get my landlord to spray & I hope I get some relief!

Bugged Out, I wish you luck & I hope you get some relief soon!
Avatar universal
I just ran across some info on the net about these bugs & the description fits what I've been experiencing with tiny black bugs that look like pepper specks but some look like tiny bits of hair & they have various colors! These bugs are called, "Black Pepper Mites" & can be mistaken by doctors for scabies or bed bugs.

I've tried some of the remedies suggested on the site, like sprinkling salt around, even bathing in a salt solution & dosing myself with rubbing alcohol but I'm going to try Borax next. I hope it works!

This link lists how to get rid of "Black Pepper Mites":

Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hi again, Buggedout,

Sorry, but the web address didn't post. The site suggested to spray everything down with Windex & then use something called, hi-yeild sulfer.

Anyway, try looking up "Black Pepper Mites" on the net for possible remedies that may work for you...

I think I'm going to shampoo the carpets with my enzyme cleaner called "Biomix 7 in 1". I tried sprinkling it around the windows and floors but I'll try washing the rugs with it. I bought some from the Salvation Army thrift store & it's powerful stuff. It can be used for anything like dishes & laundry.

Maybe the torture will end with enzymes!
Avatar universal
  It's good to know that some one believes me.  Thank you.  I've tried a lot of the things that you tried, including taking a boiling hot bath with bleach like a doctor suggested, but none of it worked for me either.  They do seem to like tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil doesn't really help either.  We've tried salt on the carpet but it didn't work.  It's been suggested to me that they might be midges (also known as no-see-ums).  From my understanding there are no known natural remedies but they also seem to be highly resistant to chemical agents.  I'll try borax and high yeild sulfer and biomix 7 in 1 if I can locate any.  One last note:  They really like moisture and humidity. They don't like circulating air ( i.e. from fans or breezes, etc).  

                        Thanks for tha advice and lots of luck to you as well.
Avatar universal
Hello again.  I wanted to let you know that my daughter gave me some kind of stress relief massage oil.  It's been keeping the bugs off of me pretty well (so far).  Its called    
    Organics by Noah's Naturals,  stress relief massage oil.  My daughter bought it at longs but i think you can go on to noahsnaturals.com to find it as well.

                                    Good luck
Avatar universal
I have seen the small town I live in become an itchy nightmare for the last two years. Besides the open scratching and wiping invisible cobwebs from the face and head, A red rash around the center of the face is the most obvious sign as well as a rash around the collar. Washing the face with fairly hot water relieves these symptoms but a slight rosieness remains at the lower edge of the nose.
I believe this is caused by a microscopic parasite which is highly contagious. Therefor, it would follow that ,unchecked, the parasite will inhabit the entire community. I believe this has already occurred and so your spouse has it (they aint talkin') as well as the doctor (he says it is psycological) and even Obama has it.
I recommend that you treat this problem rather than to simply endure it as you will be able to relax and also get a good nights sleep. A hot shower at night and straight to a clean bed (Hot clothes dryer sanitizes bedding).During the day, wash entire head in hot water when burning or itching occur there. You will have to do this a lot sometimes. Vaseline applied to the ankles and calves when you feel like something is crawling there.
Since everyone has it, you will never completely rid yourself of it but at least you can live more comfortably armed with these simple tools.
As another posted, they like heat and moisture. A little sweat on the back and instant itching. Moisture in the ears and it feels like crawling. Sometimes inside the nose itching can be relieved only by flushing with warm water.
When a cure for this finally arrives, it will not be due to any help from the family practitioner who calls it psycological even tho he has it. This site is the first place I have seen this malady discussed so any credit for unmasking this thugbug is due to this forum.
Avatar universal
I think you are absolutely right, the ruddiness is probably a demodex mite, they do live on us naturally but some people seem to attract them we would be called "host"  there are so many types of mites that if your are vulnerable to one ,probably many!  One thing I have found is of course what you already suggest,Also,  put tide original laundry soap into a  hose sprayer and spray everything outside the house, fence retaining walls plants, soil, driveways, outside furniture,and everything needs o be sudsy...don't rinse the plants love it and it takes mite #'s way down depending on how exteme infestation is determines how often needed, every season change at the very least.
Vacuum is your best defense indoors
Avatar universal
I think you are absolutely right, the ruddiness is probably a demodex mite, they do live on us naturally but some people seem to attract them we would be called "host"  there are so many types of mites that if your are vulnerable to one ,probably many!  One thing I have found is of course what you already suggest,Also,  put tide original laundry soap into a  hose sprayer and spray everything outside the house, fence retaining walls plants, soil, driveways, outside furniture,and everything needs o be sudsy...don't rinse the plants love it and it takes mite #'s way down depending on how exteme infestation is determines how often needed, every season change at the very least.
Vacuum is your best defense indoors
Avatar universal
It's me buggedout by thug bugs. I've found out that by reducing their numbers they actually die when the snow comes. I wont go into the nightmarish story I've been through. Enough to warn you not to take anything the doctor gives you to relax or sleep. I have a better solution. I will start by saying that I don't have a permanent solution for those of you who live in humid climates where it doesn't snow. I have suggestions to ease the misery and give you a good nights sleep and virtually bite free days. Better than enzymes or any of the other stuff thats posted out there, I will tell you that a mixture of Dr. Bronners peppermint soap, amonia and borax helps the best. I know. I've experimented with almost all of them. Use this in your sprayers and in your bath. First cover your matresses n pillows w/ a heavy plastic and seal with packing tape. Spray with the mixture everyday. If you're severely infested as I was then do it several times a day. Buy a 20 qt pot to boil your clothes, sheets and towels daily.I bought a canning pot with a rack for $25.00 from OSH. I let things boil for an hour. That means actual boiling time. You should not use comfortors or blankets. Use a space heater or or fan instead, as the temperature dictates. Take what I call bath/showers. I put a good squirt of Dr. Bronners, a cup of borax and a cup of amonia in my bath. I scrub myself thoroughly with sulfer soap and my washcloth. I shampoo my hair with Selsun Blue or an off name brand that contains the same ingredients. While draining my bath I bring in my flip flops and scrub them with my washcloth n leave in the tub. I next start my shower. I have the nozzle set to jet stream. Mine is removable so I aim it at all areas of particular problems, mostly my feet. after I shower off I allow the water to run at the nozzle in cold water and run it over my arms, legs and feet. When I'm done, I throw one towel on the floor (never let your feet touch the floor and have no rugs in your bathroom) and I dry myself with the other. I get my previosely boiled clothes out of the bag and dress over the towel. I then put the towels in bag. Before I get into bath I undress and put those clothes into bag. I place these into hamper for washing. I don't waste money on any special ingredients for washing as I will be boiling these items later. To ease yourself until you can get your pot, you can steam iron your clothes and towels. Don't travel all over your home with the exception of vacuuming and steam cleaning. I use the same paths everyday. I sit on one diningroom chair all of the time. I wash my arms, hands, legs and feet quite regularly. When I first startd this regimen I would also have to use packing tape in order to pull any left over bugs off of me. I only had to do this for about 2 weeks. I now sleep well and bite free. During the day, I am virtually bite free except for some occasional crawling sensation. For my car I spray the Dr. Bronners mixture all over my floor board, seats, etc. before getting into my car. I turn on the air conditioner on my feet full blast and that keeps them off of me. Lastly, do not use anything that seems to alleviate this initially but shortly thereafter you feel the insane biting. Things like raid, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, ointments like tiger balm or vicks etc. should be avoided. What I'm experiencing now is a reinfestation. The first time I made my situation far worse than it should have been by using so many of the products that are suggested on many of these postings. What I've found out is that when these things feel as if they're being killed off it triggers some sort of survival of the species mechanism. They bite insanely because they need the nourishment for the tons of eggs they are now laying. It got so bad in my house that when I steam cleaned, the canister looked like I had dumped cans of coffee grounds it. I kept steam cleaning until the 4th time the steam cleaner became so clogged that it stopped working. Don't waste your money on things like DE or fleabusters as these things require for the bug to be activly crawling around in your carpet. These things are sedentary and do not move except to jump on you when you pass by. These things jump. You can check for yourselves by disturbing anyone of those black specks. By the way, when we feel those crawling sensations, they aren't actually crawling. What is happening (from personal observation) is that it is the smalllest of the black bugs digging there way into our skin. The white ones give a sort of stinging or burning sensation. The black ones that can more readily be seen are the ones that give us those tremendous bites and the ones that feel like splinters or cactus needles are the ones that have unrolled themselves and are stuck into us standing on edge. If you find things that look like long skinny pieces of lint, I have found that those are what I believe to be antenae. I don't believe these things are mites of any type. Study of mites indicates that they are not. I believe that these things are some sort of mutated fleas. Fleas mutate easily, esp. after being bombarded by chemicals. Fleas jump like these things do n mites don't. Fleas can live for years in dormant state. Mites can't jump or live off of their natural hosts for too long and they crawl which would make them easier to kill w/ DE or fleabusters. Fleas adapt easily to different hosts. They are virtually blind so They are more apt to jump on paper because it's a different color than the table. There are too many things to list and I guess it's not really important. Once again I warn you, do not take any prescription medications to help you sleep, relax or whatever. These things are extremely addictive and after they have you on these they want to put you on antipsychotics for the delusional parasitosis they believe you have. Don't do it. It could drive you insane and even kill you. Take my word for it, I've been there and I've had to detox myself because the doctors refused to help me get off. My health has suffered so much that now I'm on permanent disability. My prayers are with all of you. God bless you all.
Avatar universal
As I've posted elsewhere, I'd like to suggest we start comparing notes as to our health, diet and whatever else types of issues we may have to try and figure out what we all have in common that makes these things so attracted to us. I no longer eat sugers or carbs and have started eliminating dairies from my diet. So far there's been no change. I wonder if it could be heavy metals in our system. I have started having a glass of red wine about an hour prior to my evening bath/shower. They don't seem to like it and leave me alone for several hours afterward. My bath/shower and boiling routine keeps them off of me for the rest of the night. I don't have any major health issues so I don't know what it could be. Please post things you've tried regarding your diet, health etc. so we might find some common ground and maybe figure out how to combat these things and win.
Please email me ***@**** I would really love to work on leaning more about these pesky bug that are making me feel crazy!
Avatar universal
i have recently been having the same problem and they are leaving white balls on my clothes looks like lint but when you remove them more show up, i have bites from head to toe they dont seem to bother my boyfriend as much as they do me, i am going insane i just want to sleep maybe i will try sleeping in a tub full of water see if i get releif enough to sleep
Avatar universal
I treated a client and she passed t hem on to me.  They do jump or fly and feels like getting stuck with a pin when they bite

I have not been successful either - I think they spread to everyone who comes to house now.  and they just keep bringing them back.  
I used diesel fuel  it does kill them on body and in spray bottle on floors that is what works for me.  they will not survive in diesel but, there is every opportunity for them to continue to return.
Avatar universal
there are several stages to this bug. They generally look like little black specks. They hp when you disturb them. When they unroll, they can look like tiny hair specks or they may look like longer strings of lint. They can also appear to be white. I used to believe that they fly but in reality I have found that they do not fly but rather, they are so small that they can easily be carried about by the slightest movement of air. I use a mixture of Dr. Bronners peppermint soap with amonia and borax. I use it to spray things down, including myself. I use it to bath in and I put it in my steam cleaner. I boil my clothes, sheets, and towels everyday. I don't use covers of any sort. I use a smal space heater instead. They do die down during snow season. I was so severely infested that it took me 2 snow seasons to completely get rid of them. Unfortunately, I started unpacking some boxes that were still infested and these things go dormant for several years so I reinfested myself. Of all the suggestions that are out there by well meaning people, including myself, I have found that the only thing that kills these things permanently is the extreme cold weather that comes with the snow. I have found that chemicals may kill the adults but some chemicals cause them to lay a ton of eggs before they die. That's not a good thing because it makes the infestation so much worse. I no longer use any chemicals. I just steam clean regularly, bathe and shower of w/ my mixture of Dr. Bronners, amonia, and borax and I boil and wipe down the plastic covering on my matress with the same mixture. If you continue to do this, you could probably get rid of most things and move without taking them with you.
Avatar universal
I do not believe these micro mites are attracted to certain individuals but are bothering the whole human race. I see people on the news worldwide with the rosy areas on their (white) faces. Politicians caught by the camera touching their heads. So, why is it none will reveal they have cooties? Because, if they do, they must explain their prior silence.
It is a universal taboo to speak of such things.
Sure these are classic symptoms of a very real disorder and the two should not be confused.
I have been around the world and had crabs, and Scabies. I have been attacked by Gnats, Biting flys, chiggars, Ticks, and Sierra No Seeums, but have never seen anything like this. It is as if a new, more aggressive Mite has arrived. I would like to see a scientific study done to identify it.
If my hypothesis is correct,   Doctors all have the mitymite so will be unable to help due to their own  phobias.                                                                                                                                                      
Avatar universal
I am 62 years old and I have been suffering from this for about two months.  These things really hurt.  Doctor says it sounds like an infestation but could not offer any clues.  She thought that since it began in November it might be the result of dry skin.  I know the CDC studied this and concluded that it is all in the person's mind.  Don't believe it.
Let's see what we have in common:
I live in San Diego, CA
I had a cat who had fleas (before he passed on in November).
Maybe some bug came along on the fleas?????
Avatar universal
H E L P!!!!!!!!! I have attracted some tpye of bug that is driving me nuts. I have sprayed,fogged,cleaned,scrubbed everything so many times I'm fed-up. These bugs are in my carpet, clothes, bed, material seats every where. I have noticed them to be the most evident and pestering at midnight till dawn. then they taper off at daybreak. Is there anything that will get rid of these varmits. They jump on bite and jump off, while others crawl around, you can't see these things, whatever they are. When I treat these areas they subside a little but return it seems multiplied in force.   Somebody help with the right answer. P L E A S E!!!!!
Avatar universal
I have come across these biting jumping dots after my dog dug up the lawn in the back yard, the lawn he dug up was under a lemon tree. This is where they originated from for me and were brought in by my dog as they had made themselves at home on the dog. Whereever the dog slept was where i had an infestation at first but they made their way onto my carpet, clothes bed and myself. My constant looking for them nearly had my kids ready to have me commited as they were not getting bites or seeing anything except little dots. I had a blanket outside that had been in the rain after a few days I went to pick it up and found a major infestation of them so i threw the blanket into the bath and caught 7 of them before flushing the rest down the drain of the bath. I found water and flyspray seem to kill them flea powder does not. on inspecting them through a magnifier they have little stripes on them looking very close to a bee with a stinger at the back and antennas at the front. they act like a flea but dont seem to have the hard exterior of one as they can be squashed easier.I have been spraying everything with flyspray but be aware they will be in your laundry, bathroom and bedroom in towels clothes etc so spray in drawers cupboards etc but they can be buried in the clothing pile and miss the elimination.
Avatar universal
I believe these bugs are Dark Winged Gnats". In their early life cycle (5 days) they swarm and are barely visible.  As they grow they look like black specks.  The females bite often on the arms and also get in your hair.  Air cleaners help.  When you clean the filters you see small white glue-like residue.  Foggers help for a day or two.  Since they are drain flies I am beginning a 5 day treatment plan that includes pouring a half gallon of bleach down all drains at bedtime.  If successful I will post more details next week
Avatar universal
I too have had these mysterious symptoms and have been blown off by7 doctors.I wonder if any of u have cats or been round cats or their feces. The reason I ask is because I helped someone clean their home that was full of ferall cats and thei ppoo. Got this rash, they thoughyt it was scabies, possibly some of it was, butgvery small thin black insect, that looks like it has wings are in my ears, noasterails and inside mouth,Once in a while I swear these things fly out alive, but most times they r dead.Ivermection x3 as well as cream x3 and these monsters r still here. Bottom of feet as well as sides of legs have yellow discharge. Bugs in feet legs torso arms scalp as well as face, some have come our with treatment byt hands fingers wrists as well as genetilia still affected as well as all mucus membranes. Please help me tackle this problem that may have been goin on for over 3 years.Thesre docs think im nuts or simply dont want to deal with infestations, i cannot stand this anymore,,,,,
Avatar universal
I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond. I take baths in ammonia, borax and Dr. Bronners peppermint soap in my bath water. This has helped the most. I either steam iron or boil my clothes, towels and sheets. I drink a glass of red wine every night before going to bed. Theses are the things that have helped me get them down to almost nothing. I hope this helps. I've just opened a facebook page just for discussion on these bugs, life,  support, etc. My name there is bugedout thugbugs. All please friend request me there. You can open a new facebook account with the name you use online in order to keep your annonimity.
Avatar universal
has anyone tried Tumeric? It is no cure but it helps.
Avatar universal
wow,  your cas sounds awful, only consolation is you have bugs you can see, so you don't think you've lost your mind!   Ours are still invisible, aside from black specks and blue lint biting my daughters and myself for 3 weeks now, (that we are aware of, though think I've had them for a while)  Went to derm finally and of course says "no bumps, can't treat".  What about the red dots?, well those are from old age, but my 14 yr old has them too, that's old age, hello?  My 5 yr old is tanner so we can't see them on her.  DH has them but isn't bothered by them.  I started taking testosterone supplements from health food store, just to change my female makeup and may be coincidence, but doing better than my girls right now.  Also started taking mild silver protein (colloidal silver) also just started giving to my girls, though we will all probably turn blue if we take it too long.  Ihave used it for 15 yrs successfuly for many minor ailments. Will keep everyne posted.  Also doing salt baths and experimenting with different anti pararasite supplements now, will probably end up in ER from mixing too much, lol.  Not giving as much to girls, I have to be the guinea pig.  Have to get these things under control before school starts!    Enrolling in a microbiology class this fall, I think, so I can at least get access to higher powered microscope and maybe an intringued professor!    I haven't had any mysterious parallel scratches so far this week, knock on wood.  That's been the freakiest symptom for me, feel like I'm possessed!  May get lyme test scheduled with lyme specialist today, just for the hell of it.  
Avatar universal
My physician also thinks I'm mentally ill. He cannot see anything. I live with my son who also thought I was losing it as nobody can see anything. WELL..I came up with cellophane tape (i.e. scotch clear tape), applied anywhere on my body.  The bugs stick to the tape and can't get off. My son looked through the tapes and said "Holy Cow". I'm going to my doctor next week with pieces of these tapes and can't wait to say "Look at my aniexty and imagination." All this infestation only started 3 weeks ago. I really believe I walked through a store with imported goods and they jumped on me. I have lived too long and never heard of anything like this before. These bugs have to be from another country or planet.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply, just saw it!!!! Ill try to friend u, so much has happened!!!! waiting on results of a test that may intrest you, but it also may be nothing.....again... we will talk soon!!!!
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