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biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 11:55 AM   #1
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biting bugs

I am in Florida right now enjoying myself immensely except for one problem. Something is causing all sorts of welts like mosquito bites. It started with the ankles and now I have them on the arms too. Greg has a number on his ankles too. My are welting up big and we are itching itching itching. I never see anything bite.

The usual remedy of calamine lotion doesn't seem to help. Going into the salt water Gulf is pleasant though.

Are these probably biting midges or no-see-ums? Any good anti-itch remedies? Prevention?



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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: bitting bugs

chiggers (sp ?)
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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Re: bitting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Are these probably biting midges or no-see-ums? Any good anti-itch remedies? Prevention?
Chiggers are a good possibility. It's been so long since I tramped around in the South that I am not sure what the best prevention might be.

Ha
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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: bitting bugs

benedryl if it doesn't make you too sleepy (try a half dose).

If you are at the coast, but generally wearing pants and sleeved shirts, they are likely no see ums. They could also be fleas if you are walking/sitting in grassy areas. If you are in the woods they could be chiggers, but they tend to get contact with you from trees and so your upper body gets the worst of it.

For no-see ums, bug spray is only marginally effective (8 hour deep woods spary is good for about 30-60 minutes), try adding drier sheets in your pockets (from another thread). Also, citronella candles and regular fires dissuade them, but you need to be close to the flame/scent to benefit. No-see-ums are worst in late afternoon/early evening (5-7) so plan accordingly. Also, they are not as bad when there is a wind, so at the shoreline is better than even 10 or 25 feet inland.

For fleas, deep woods bug spray should help.

For chiggers, wear long sleeves and pants, plus deep woods bug spray.
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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 01:15 PM   #5
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Re: bitting bugs

Avon Skin So Soft bath oil can be helpful.

Mosquitoes, no-see-ums and sand fleas eat me alive. I use all deterrents, even purchased a hat with a net when in Australia.
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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: bitting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
Avon Skin So Soft bath oil can be helpful.
Back in the Louisiana swamp days - our Avon 'lady' was a guy - had Skin So Soft by the case in his old Chevy sedan trunk - mainly for the shrimp and crab fishermen - some for the sport fishermen who were hard core - not the occasional Deep Wood's Off user.

I did learn that it stings if you sweat and get some in your eyes.

heh heh heh
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Re: bitting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 05:52 PM   #7
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Re: bitting bugs

Could they be fire ants ? They are all around Florida .
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 06:42 PM   #8
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Re: biting bugs

I am concluding that they are no-see-ums (midges). We are in the right kind of area, lots of mangrove swamps, and they are biting mostly in the evening. We never see them.

Because we are not adapted to the heat and sun, I prefer doing my walking in the early morning or at dusk. Bummer.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: biting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I am concluding that they are no-see-ums (midges). We are in the right kind of area, lots of mangrove swamps, and they are biting mostly in the evening. We never see them.

Because we are not adapted to the heat and sun, I prefer doing my walking in the early morning or at dusk. Bummer.
Yes, you caught the high season. But don't despair.

We found that "tech" type pants - the kind you use for hiking, dry fast, wicking, etc. baggy but tied at the bottom with a rubber band seem to protect well. Some believe in Avon Skin-so-soft. Also, by 9 am or so they seem to let up but it's still cool out. Midges don't do well in breezy weather, so if you walk a bit before dusk when the sea breeze is up a bit, that's better.

And sweat's good. Walk when it's a little warmer, loose long pants (and sleeves) - again in the tech type stuff - and plenty of water, wide brim hat - soon you'll look like a regular Sun City dweller.

We're heading up to camp at PAYNES PRAIRIE PRESERVE near Gainesville this weekend. It's a little cooler up there but I'll bring my bug defense clothes along just in case. BTW, you might enjoy that little city on your journey north, esp the Kanapaha botanical gardens.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 06:59 PM   #10
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Re: biting bugs

I wouldnt use benadryl
You could try the non sedationg antihistimines and see if they give enough relief. When I worked retail there was some company that had Hydroxyzine over the counter. I think it was in the dramamine section. If they dont have that then chlortrimeton. Or if you can get an rx zyrtec.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #11
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Re: biting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by spideyrdpd
I wouldnt use benadryl
You could try the non sedationg antihistimines and see if they give enough relief. When I worked retail there was some company that had Hydroxyzine over the counter. I think it was in the dramamine section. If they dont have that then chlortrimeton. Or if you can get an rx zyrtec.
Rob
Generic zyrtec is available from CanadaPharmacy.com with no prescription and cheap. Apparently they don't honor the patent up there.......
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 07:25 PM   #12
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Re: biting bugs

Could be bugs in your bed.

Watch out for the kissing bug. It stays tucked in your bed until nighttime when you are sleeping and crawls to your lips (thus the name kissing bug). It then pokes a hole in your lips and draws blood.

If it ended there it would not be too bad.

The problem is when it's near your mouth it defecates and you could spread that into your open lip wound if you scratch your mouth area during the night when it gets itchy from the bite. The bug poop could contain the Chagas parasite that attacks your heart.

If you don't realize the problem early enough and it becomes chronic, the only remedy would be a heart transplant.

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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-27-2007, 07:50 PM   #13
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Re: biting bugs

Speaking of bugs is there nothing more repulsive than Florida's love bugs !!
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-28-2007, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: biting bugs

hi martha and welcome to florida. if you are in your camper be aware that noseeums can get through most standard mesh screening. there are finer screens available which provide an effective barrier.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-28-2007, 02:19 PM   #15
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Re: biting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
BTW, you might enjoy that little city on your journey north, esp the Kanapaha botanical gardens.
I was at Kanapha Botanical Gardens last week. I used to live about 1/2 mile from there. The grounds are beautiful and there are many different gardens - herb, water, cactus/rock, bamboo, etc. If you like gardens, I highly recommend this place.

Also, if you are in Gainesville, go to Lake Alice on the UF campus just before sun down. there is a bat house with approx 100,000 bats that emerge each evening in waves of black clouds. It is very cool.

BTW Rich: the bugs are out in the praire
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-30-2007, 08:27 AM   #16
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Re: biting bugs

Note to self: Do not let DW see this thread ... FL will be off the travel list.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 03-30-2007, 08:49 AM   #17
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Re: biting bugs

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Originally Posted by tryan
Note to self: Do not let DW see this thread ... FL will be off the travel list.
Well, you'd better start crossing off a lot of places. Worst insect wars I ever fought were in Minnesota and Ontario, with black flies as thick as rain, biting and swarming for weeks. Mosquitos the size of sparrows in deep-woods Wisconsin were a close second. Both basically took owned the outdoors the whole trip. Oh yeah - ticks, too.

I think its about seasonal timing - hard to avoid bugs altogether.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 04-02-2007, 07:32 PM   #18
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Re: biting bugs



Now this is getting really entertaining. I want to visit FL but I hate big bugs, high humidity, and people that drive funny



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Re: biting bugs
Old 04-02-2007, 08:12 PM   #19
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Re: biting bugs

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Originally Posted by BUM

Now this is getting really entertaining. I want to visit FL but I hate big bugs, high humidity, and people that drive funny
This is interesting. Just got back from a great getaway camping in Payne's Praire near Gainesville, FL. A few mosquitoes, nothing bad. Hiked all day. Water all around, warm weather. Bugs: a nonissue.

One of our conversations was about our motorcycle trip through Duluth and around Lake Superior (the "circle tour"). It was black fly season: biting flies that love to get you behind your ears, inject an anticoagulant, and leave you with blood dripping down your neck.

Choose your seasons if you don't like bugs. Dress and enclose for the occasion wherever you are. If you are outdoors there may be bugs. As for Florida, it has been one of our favorite outdoor states, having lived in Wi, Az, and Fl over the years.
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Re: biting bugs
Old 04-03-2007, 06:11 AM   #20
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Re: biting bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
This is interesting. Just got back from a great getaway camping in Payne's Praire near Gainesville, FL. A few mosquitoes, nothing bad. Hiked all day. Water all around, warm weather. Bugs: a nonissue.

One of our conversations was about our motorcycle trip through Duluth and around Lake Superior (the "circle tour"). It was black fly season: biting flies that love to get you behind your ears, inject an anticoagulant, and leave you with blood dripping down your neck.

Choose your seasons if you don't like bugs. Dress and enclose for the occasion wherever you are. If you are outdoors there may be bugs. As for Florida, it has been one of our favorite outdoor states, having lived in Wi, Az, and Fl over the years.

What about people that drive funny? Well I guess 2 out of 3 isn't bad.




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