What's biting me?
September 16, 2009 8:49 AM   Subscribe

What's biting me, and how do I make it stop?

So I know this is going to be a vague, hard-to-answer question, but I'm mystified. I'm in the Los Angeles area (specifically, Burbank) on a summer internship and I keep getting bitten by something. I have a few dozen of these bites, which look and itch a lot like mosquito bites, except I haven't noticed anything that could be biting me - it's not like I'm being swarmed by flying insects or anything. And with a few dozen bites, you'd think I'd at least notice when they happen. But I don't: I only notice when they've begun to itch, and while they go away eventually, it seems like fresh ones are popping up all the time.

The bites are mostly on my arms (which are always exposed - I wear a short sleeve shirt for most of my waking hours) but some on my chest and side and legs, and a few on my back (all areas that are mostly covered). So, Los Angelites (or anyone, really): what kind of bitey critters are out here that can fly under the radar like this? And how do I encourage them to stop? 'cuz I'm puzzled.
posted by captainawesome to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Bedbugs?
posted by reptile at 8:51 AM on September 16, 2009

I swear to god there was a previous question like this. Oh here it is. Maybe email the poster and see if he/she figured it out?
posted by desjardins at 9:00 AM on September 16, 2009

Unfortunately, bedbugs was my first thought too.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:01 AM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: God, really? I thought bedbugs went out with the 19th century. Time to do some reading...
posted by captainawesome at 9:02 AM on September 16, 2009

Bedbugs have had a resurgence in the past few years in the US. They're notoriously hard to kill, but it's possible to beat 'em.
posted by zsazsa at 9:10 AM on September 16, 2009

What are the symptoms of bed bug bites?

Bed bugs bite and suck blood from humans. Bed bugs are most active at night and bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. The face, neck, hands, and arms are common sites for bed bug bites. The bite itself is painless and is not noticed. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign; redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur.

From: medicinenet.com/bed_bugs
posted by R. Mutt at 9:12 AM on September 16, 2009

nthing bedbugs. You can get rid of them, but it's difficult. Bedbugger is a good place to start.
posted by bedhead at 9:17 AM on September 16, 2009

You should take precautions to ensure that you don't bring them back home from L.A. with you.
posted by oaf at 9:23 AM on September 16, 2009

I said this in the other thread too, but it could just be hives. Especially if they go away quickly. Bedbugs bite you in straight lines - do you have straight lines of bites? Hives look like mosquito bites, but bedbugs do not.
posted by molecicco at 9:57 AM on September 16, 2009

oh, it wasn't that thread. it was this one.
posted by molecicco at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: Not straight lines, but they are clustered, yeah. So I guess it could be hives, but I've had hives before and they don't look like this. I'll try some Benadryl and see if that helps, and today I'll check for the bedbug thing. Shudder. If it turns out it is bedbugs, what can I do temporarily? Is it enough to sleep in a different bed or room, or do the little bastards seek you out?
posted by captainawesome at 12:22 PM on September 16, 2009

It could be bedbugs, but it could be other things too. Like mites or scabies or fleas (all more desirable than bedbugs, by the way). That bedbugger site has a lot of information, not all of it good for your sanity, though.
posted by Jess the Mess at 5:35 PM on September 16, 2009

How sure are you that they're bites? Did you start out with one itchy spot that was larger than the rest have been?
posted by lakeroon at 8:51 PM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: Yep, it's bedbugs. I did some reading, spent an hour looking in the likely spots, and just as I was ready to declare my bed bug-free, I found a couple. Both of them, when squished, had quite a bit of blood (mine, presumably). Presumably their friends are lurking around too. And tonight, at least, I still have to sleep in that bed. Ugh.

Tomorrow, though, the battle begins! Thanks for your comments, everyone.
posted by captainawesome at 12:28 AM on September 17, 2009

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