Pest Control/bird/rodent mites
QUESTION: Hello Jack,
I have been experiencing bites all over my upper body for over 2 months now, this only happens when I'm at work. At first I thought it was food allergies, but after speaking with my co workers I realized they've been experiencing the same bites. My boss called in an exterminator after we found these tiny bugs crawling around, about the size of a period. The exterminator said those were too small to bite us, tried to convince us that it was bed bugs. After his useless visit, I decided to do my own research. I dug out my baby brother's microscope skit, and examined one of the tiny bugs I found on my body after work. It looks very much like a rodent/bird mite, but not 100% sure. I work at a sports bar, we don't serve food but we were surrounded by restaurants. I've included pictures of the bites and a bug I killed on my finger.
Please give any advice you may have on how to deal with these tiny bugs, or even what they may be. I get anywhere from 3-15 bites everytime I go to work. I have been spraying OFF deep woods repellent on myself, it haven't made any difference. Also, there seems to be a delay period before the bites show up or start itching.
The pictures did not get posted. Take a look at http://www.livingwithbugs.com/bird_mites.html
for a picture of a bird mite for comparison. I think it is unlikely that you would encounter bird mites in a bar but I've learned to "never say never" when talking about insects and mites. If you can post a picture I'd be glad to take a look.
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QUESTION: Thanks for getting back to me. Sorry the pictures didn't upload the first time. As for what I saw under the microscope,this is the closest thing. http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/images/g07396art02.jpg
Unfortunately bites alone are not diagnostic for what caused them. In other words different causes can produce very similar lesions (bites). The image you linked to is a drawing of one of the ectoparasitic mites on birds and rodents but I can't confirm that this is what you actually found.
If you find any more of the mites you could collect them into alcohol using a damp Q-tip then have them identified through your local Extension office (www.extension.org).