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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/OK, so It's NOT Chiggers...


Jack, thanks for your time.
OK, I have read your answer concerning the fact that Chigger mites absolutely never infest a home or bedding. I understand and accept your answer based on your expertise.
So, that leads me to the following question:
I have personal experience with, and have done some layman's research on, chiggers following a recently started problem I am experiencing with what APPEARS to be chigger bites I am receiving while in bed. Since, as you say, I simply can't be getting bitten by chiggers in my bed, I have to ask you, what other insects could possibly be the problem?
I am certain these bites are occurring while in bed and I have thoroughly inspected my mattresses, bedding, and the area around my bed for evidence of ANY kind of insect or insect activity and I can find absolutely none.
The bites I'm experiencing are EXACTLY like chigger bites (same type of welt, same extended period of itching that seems to be unaffected by scratching, etc) that I have experienced outdoors on prior occasions. These bites even seem to follow the chiggers natural activity of attempting to reach the highest point they can climb to before feeding on skin at the first obstacle in their climb (accounting for the fact that I am in a prone position as opposed to standing upright). For example, I sleep on my right side and experience the bites on the underside of my entire left arm, the left side of my face, my left leg and ankle, etc.
So, taking these factors in to account, what are some other possible insect based causes for these kinds of bites?
I have slept in other locations and other beds where this simply does not happen so I can safely conclude that, whatever is responsible is not systemic to my own body nor is caused by some general pest that I carry with me in my clothing or property. I have changed laundry products, even temporarily abstained from laundry products, etc. in an attempt to identify any chemical cause as well.
In my own bed, I receive an average of 6 to 10 bites each night, all following the characteristics described above. I have no pets nor animal activity in or near my home.
My home is located in a suburban area of south central Texas with unremarkable weather.
I am at my wits end trying to find and resolve the problem.
Can you give me some idea of how to identify and eradicate whatever pest is slowly driving me insane?



Since chigger mites (see for a drawing of the mites and pictures of the bites) do not infest homes the only way these could be bites from this mite would be if they were regularly re-introduced in the home. This is possible but I don't think you would always get bites in the same places. I think it is more likely that this is a rash caused by something touching your skin while you sleep such as a blanket or sheet. Skin lesions caused by insect and mite bites are very similar to those caused by allergies and physical irritants. Since this only occurs in the one bed I'd suspect the bedding (sheets, blankets, and so forth) and perhaps replace it. Hope this helps.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


Ph.D. in Entomology

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