Mite suspected in a rash of bites

Full story: Chicago Tribune

Itchy red bites have sent about 100 people to Chicago-area emergency rooms in the last week, state Health Department officials said Monday.
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1 - 20 of 849 Comments Last updated Aug 7, 2008
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Since: Feb 07

Chicago, IL

#1 Aug 14, 2007
Do you -- or does someone you know -- seem to have an itch mite bite? Where do you think you might have gotten it?
Jennie

Irving, TX

#2 Aug 14, 2007
I am not sure which is more misleading or lacks information. Go and google "itch-mite" and you will find each time you do so, Scabbies comes up. This article reads it's something simple and itch cream can take care of but when you read about Scabbies it takes more than that. I am truly confused now.
Chris

Buffalo Grove, IL

#3 Aug 14, 2007
Please keep this story updated. I returned from spending the weekend downtown and had a few suspicious bites on my ankles. In the last 24 hours this has spread significantly. I have also noticed that my wife's cats have been scratching their ears since I have been home. This outbreak seems to be serious and will continue to be a problem until a solution is found. I will be checking your site religiously until I find out exactly what these "mites" are.
Bri

Palatine, IL

#5 Aug 14, 2007
My husband and I were on Wonder Lake this Sunday and yesterday I started noticing small bites appearing on my neck arms and legs. My husband has them all over his feet and legs. They are very itchy and quickly become irritated, turning darker in color. The funny thing is that the majority of the bites appeared the next day- although I did notice one or two on Sunday.
Meg Kreikemeier

Springfield, WI

#4 Aug 14, 2007
We have the bites. We've had them for a week, and I think the mites are feeding on the cicada eggs or larvae and falling from the trees.

A similar incident happened in 2004 in Kansas with mites feeding off of a midge population:

http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/entomology/extension...
Ann

United States

#6 Aug 14, 2007
My son and I were attacked in Park Ridge over the weekend. He was on a field, I was walking the dog for less 15 minutes. We're still scratching.
Randy

Harlan, IA

#7 Aug 14, 2007
I was at Twin Lakes, Iowa. Sitting on our deck. By bedtime my lower legs and feet were covered with itchy bites that drove me crazy!
Kim

Ann Arbor, MI

#8 Aug 14, 2007
My husband and I were being bitten at night and the itchy bites lasted for weeks. We were astounded to find small redish brown ants were to blame. They were coming in through the window frame next to the bed and nibbling on us while we slept. These are just the ordinary food loving ants that frequent picnics and food sources. Ant poison resolved the problem.
Warren Stewart

Hinsdale, IL

#9 Aug 14, 2007
I haven't been near any wooded areas. My bites occured after simply removing some tall weeds in the backyard of my west suburban home. The itching is more intense than 10 mosquito bites. Do anything you can to avoid it.
Vernam Cipher

United States

#11 Aug 14, 2007
My son and I got bitten on Saturday, probably while riding our bikes around Downers Grove and Westmont. Three days later, the splotches on our torsos and arms are still bright red and very itchy. None on our legs, though we were wearing shorts.
Sue

United States

#12 Aug 14, 2007
My daughters girlfriend has been staying with us the last week, she has wels all over her torso, legs and arms, bright red and itchy, my daughter is getting them now also as am I, we live near the zoo maybe this has something to do with the heat spell, I just want to know how to stop the itch and the swelling
Westmont infested

United States

#13 Aug 14, 2007
Several of the ball players in a tournament this weekend in Westmont had rashes and were bitten by something, 50 people reported it.
Sue

United States

#14 Aug 14, 2007
last post I live in a western suburb of Chicago not WV
Westmont infested

United States

#15 Aug 14, 2007
Several of the ball players in a tournament this weekend in Westmont had rashes and were bitten by something, 50 people reported it.
Chris

Buffalo Grove, IL

#16 Aug 14, 2007
It is tough for me to say where we were when I contracted these "mites". I work in DuPage (Naperville) and I live in the Northwest Burbs (Rolling Meadows). I spent the weekend in the city (Wrigleyville/Humboldt Park/Lincoln Park). After this has been going on for a couple of days now, I really don't think they are as harmless as the Trib/Illinois Health have made them out to be. I am ready to bomb the house/wash the sheets/burn my weekend clothes/and dip the cats. Only because I have been forced to quarantine myself from my newborn until I know what these are.
Paul

Schaumburg, IL

#17 Aug 14, 2007
I'm just getting over a bunch of bites. Two weeks, 15-20+ bites all over my upper trunk and arms. They itch like crazy. My wife calls me into her office this morning and says, "look at the Trib! You're not going to believe this!"

I had just made a doctor's appointment yesterday. Lots of cicadas in our back yard, and I just spread a whole bunch of "seasoned" straw around in our backyard. That's what initally led me to believe that I had been bitten by a bunch of straw itch mites.

And Debbie, "Scabbies" is spelled "Scabies", and they're different mites.
Lex

Chicago, IL

#18 Aug 14, 2007
Yes - I was bitten on my balcony downtown - Division and Wells.
Fran

Berwyn, IL

#19 Aug 14, 2007
I was at a concert in the park in Park Ridge on Friday night, and Saturday morning I noticed a red, itchy bump. It's still red and itchy!

Since: Apr 07

Chicago, IL

#20 Aug 14, 2007
This article is very misleading, and the picture of the Scabies mite does NOT help. Scabies do NOT live in the woods on trees, leaves or plants. Scabies are transmitted from person to person contact and need a human host to live in. The mite that is causing the problem is probably the Harvest Mite, also known as "chiggers." They are nasty but harmless. They do not feed on blood; rather, they "chew" a microscopic area of skin and feed off the dead skin. The liquid they add while eating (think of our saliva) causes ugly, tiny reddish-purple welts that last for a while.
Dave- Shorewood

Gardner, IL

#21 Aug 14, 2007
I was boating in the Wilmington area on Sunday and noticed a bump on my stomach on Monday. It developed redness, was swollen and weeped.

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