Ask the Bugman: Treating the mighty mites

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Twenty years ago I would get a call a month about someone with “imaginary” bugs crawling on them. Most pest control people would get these occasional calls as well.

We called it Delusional Parasitosis (DP) and recommended a psychologist.

About 10 years ago, the calls increased to one a week or so and now I am getting them almost on a daily basis. This is no longer a psychological problem, but a real physical problem and it is reaching epidemic proportions in this country.

I coined the term Invisible Biting Bug Syndrome (IBBS) for this condition. It is also known as Morgellon’s Disease. They may be separate disorders, but we aren’t sure yet.

There are several possible causes of this condition and one of them may be mites. Occasionally, people have pigeons or starlings or other birds nesting on their homes. If the birds leave and don’t return, the mites that may be in their nest will find their way into your home and will bite the inhabitants.

If you have rodents in your house, the same thing will happen if the rodent dies from poisoning or just doesn’t come back to their nesting area. The rodent mites will migrate into your living area.

The one bug that doesn’t affect humans although it is said to do so by some companies is the springtail (Collembola). Springtails feed on decaying vegetation and do not bite or infest humans.

To treat for the mites, you should fog your bedroom and any other room you suspect they may be. To fog, utilize 1 quart Greenbug for People for up to 1,200 square feet. Starting at the far side of a room, aim the fogger directly at all potential hiding spots making sure the mist penetrates thoroughly. Pry fabric apart, point into electrical outlets, blast up under heavy furniture, fog all nooks and crannies as you move your way out of the room. Continue to direct at hiding spaces until there is a dense fog in the room. All mites will quickly die from exposure. Allow the fog to penetrate four hours to overnight.

Never use synthetic pesticides as they can make matters worse if you react badly to the chemicals. Greenbug is made from cedar and is available online at www.greenbugallnatural.com.

There are other possible causes of Morgellons. Pollutants in the air can be reacting with skin and flesh cells in some way. Pesticides may be a factor.

I asked a group of folks who have Morgellons about this and if they are exposed to pesticides. Many said they were and the few that said they weren’t did admit they go into public buildings such as restaurants. Anyone who goes into any public building that uses pesticides will be exposed. While the active ingredient in the pesticide may break down, there are a number of inert ingredients (usually comprising 98 percent or more of the pesticide) that may be more resilient in the atmosphere.

Pesticides have been linked to Parkinson’s disease as well as some genital abnormalities in babies. It is perfectly logical to come to the conclusion that exposure to pesticides can cause many of the symptoms people who suffer from Morgellons are complaining about.

There is evidence coming out now that Morgellons might be caused from eating genetically-modified foods. This is going to require a lot more study, but the implication is that the chemicals in the genetically-modified foods can cause your nervous system to send messages to your brain that something is biting you or crawling on your skin.

This is certainly not a psychological disorder, but a physical disorder caused by the chemicals. You may want to start eating organic foods and stay away from any genetically-modified foods if possible.

Realistically, it may not be possible to avoid them all as the food makers aren’t required to label their foods as genetically modified at the present time. Shop at health food stores whenever possible and avoid any meat that comes from factory farms as it is loaded with chemicals. Never let pest control person spray pesticides in your home. Around the outside is fine, but not indoors where you will be exposed to it.

Reach Richard Fagerlund with your bug questions at richardfagerlund@yahoo.com.

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