Possible mite bites - next steps?

Hi there,

Has anyone dealt with this problem recently? My 4 year old is getting eaten alive by some bug, and from the descriptions from past BPN posts I am thinking it is mites. We haven't seen rats but they could be here, but there are a ton of birds living around our home and it sounds like they could be the source too. I put in a request with the county to do an inspection, but I have two questions. 1) If it is birds, what can I possibly do? 2) Until the source is eradicated, is there anything I can do to prevent the biting of my little guy? He is being tortured by the itching and is keeping us all up all hours of the night! Luckily the baby has been spared, so far... 

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Have you taken your son to his pediatrician? The most common mite bites kids get is scabies, which I know sounds gross, but it's super common and easily treatable. That's where I would start. I *highly* doubt it's bird mites - bird mites are species-specific; while they might bite people to kind of "test" if they're a suitable host, they won't hang around long because they cannot survive on humans. The only conditions under which bird mites are likely to invade your home is if you had many birds nesting in your home (like in your attic), and they all left abruptly, and left behind hungry, desperate mites that could then enter your home readily. Birds in trees or shrubs surrounding your home won't transmit mites into your home - the mites want to stay where the birds are. Also, you should know that it is against the law to disturb nesting birds, so don't do that.

Anyway, for sure bring your son to his pediatrician. If it's scabies, a prescription of permethrin will have him feeling better in no time flat, not to mention some anti-itch meds! And if it's something else (since other skin conditions can mimic bug bites), then that can be worked out too.

I had this issue myself a few years ago and I suspected mites.  I tried so many things but what ultimately worked was cedarwood essential oil.  I put it in my body wash, my conditioner, my body lotion and sprayed it on carpets and sheets and washed bedding frequently and clothes.  It can have a drying effect on skin but ultimately worked and was all natural.  Good luck!  It does take awhile to get rid of mites so be diligent for a few weeks at least. 

Have you considered bed bugs? Bed bugs come out at night and when they bite there are usually multiple bites and they would be close together. 

My 13 year old was getting lots of bites (not sure from what) until I started giving him Vit B12 gummy supplements, and the bites totally stopped.  No one else in the family was getting bitten.

Check with your child's doctor about which of these suggestions are appropriate.  I was positively tormented by what was probably rat mites for weeks and here's how I coped. I did have the health department and the pest company come out and try to identify them, and try to occlude the rats and trap them and empty the traps quickly, etc. but it was hard to tell if all that helped.

In the meantime, the things I did that helped me avoid going completely crazy (thank goodness for my doctor recommending some of these):

- Cut my fingernails very short so I wouldn't scratch the bites as much

- Took a generic (for Claritin) antihistamine daily  - I could feel it wear off at the 24 hour mark, that's how night and day the anti-itching effect was

- Used cortisone cream on the bites

- Took baths in baking soda and warm (not hot) water

- Applied baking soda paste like a poultice, held in place by a damp cloth

- Washed my sheets, blankets, and mattress cover on hot almost daily

- Wore long sleeve and long leg PJs and socks to bed. They could bite through the cloth but seemed deterred by it some.

I hope it passes more quickly at your house! Oddly my kids weren't bitten at all, but they totally ate me alive.

Here's some info from the county. https://www.contracostamosquito.com/mites.htm  Are you sure it's not bed bugs?  All it takes is one bed bug and you have millions.