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White Flies, Lawn Moths or Scabies

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
by Dee Schmidt on January 29, 2005 02:20 AM
My husband and I recently moved to a country home in Arkansas. We both have been bitten by something which we cannot determine. When we moved into the house, we smelled mothballs inside. Outside, the air is filled with a cloud of white, minute flying "critters." We are unable to catch one, but I have picked open many bites with a straight pin and an insect with ragged wings appears. Sometimes the bite has a black spot inside the skin. Twice I have seen what I think is larvae when I look at it under a magnifying glass. When my husband feels something crawling on his skin, he shakes his shirt, and usually a small white particle is released into the air. Our medical doctor looks at us as if we were lunatics. After 6 months of showing him the bites, he prescribed a scabies cream. Both of us are reluctant to try it because it is poisonous and expensive, and we don't know if the "critters" will hatch eggs and numerous treatments will be required. A pest exterminator is unable to make a diagnosis. A professor in etymology (?) at Arkansas State University has been unable to help us. My husband seems to get relief from using Skin-So-Soft bath oil, tea tree oil, and lye soap. If I don't pick at the bites, they recede. Neither of us has really itchy skin problems. Both of us bathe daily -- my husband, 2 or 3 times daily, just to help the problem. We live very close to the White River, we have lots of wildlife around us -- eagles, black bears, trout, lots of birds, eagles, cardinals, etc. Does anyone know what we can do to solve this dilemma?
by catlover on January 29, 2005 03:48 AM
I live in California but visit Iowa pretty frequently...the only thing I can think of is Chiggers....they lay their eggs just under the skin and boy do they itch....they like under tighter areas like under the top part of socks or around the elastic in your underwear. I never did find out what they look like but if you have a lawn chair sitting in the grass or actually like a kid roll around in the grass ....oh my you will get them and itch.

The white cloud....white flies do fly when they get older ...they are hard to catch. Do you have any plants that have a white web on the backside?

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by 4Ruddy on January 29, 2005 05:21 PM
Dee, I also live in Arkansas...my husband is getting a map to pin point where you are located...not familiar with Gassville.
Don't know that I can "help" you but can share some info. Moths and white flies are almost unbearable here. When we first moved into our house we lost hundreds of $$$ worth of food before we could get the moth crisis under control...it took about a year or so. There would be visable larva, worms crawling on the ceiling (I wanted to move)it was just horrible. Last year was our first year to have such devistating trouble from the white flies...they devoured everything in our garden and then went on to the crepe myrtle bushes and on and on. We called the home extension office and his advise was to yake a jar of the critters to the garden nursery and let them tell us what to do. However, we have never been "bit" by either of these critters. I would tend to maybe go along with the chigger idea. But, you might go to your garden nursery and show them the bite and they might be able to help. We were hoping to have a really hard winter that would kill out the white flie population but that has not happened...we are already seeing them in large amounts. So we are not going to plant much this year, I am afraid it is going to be a BIG battle.

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by Jiffymouse on January 29, 2005 05:27 PM
you might also want to get weezie to contact "the bug lady" as she might have some helpful insight on natural ways to eridicate them...
by Buglady on February 08, 2005 03:36 AM
ok...

1. chiggers do not burrow into your skin, nor lay eggs in your skin. They pierce the skin and inject salivary containing powerful, digestive enzymes that break down skin cells that are ingested. The chigger will feed for a few days and drop off. The skin can harden and become very itchy.

2. whiteflies do not have mouth parts that can bite humans. they are associated with feeding on plants NOT on mammals

3. If you did have parasites that had laid eggs under your skin, when you picked them open you would find the larval stage ( no wings) Flies can be skin parasites but they are not common in this country.

4. Have you thought that it may be an allergy to something else? I have allergies to soap, like Tide, and it gives me really itchy hives that could be mistaken for insect bites.

5. I would try yellow sticky cards to trap adults if you think they are really there. I will tell you honestly, in these cases I keep asking people to send me insect samples, but people never come up with them.

good luck!

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, www.bugladyconsulting.com
Educating the world... one bug at a time
by 4Ruddy on February 08, 2005 08:14 AM
Okay...what can we do about the whiteflies??????(that are eating all the plants?)

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by Buglady on February 08, 2005 08:18 AM
when you say eating... are the adults just drinking plant fluids? or are the immature (scale stage) feeding on your plants? what kind of plants are you talking about? inddor ? outdoor?

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, www.bugladyconsulting.com
Educating the world... one bug at a time
by 4Ruddy on February 08, 2005 10:17 PM
out door plants. They infestation here is enormous...we lost everything last year. They are so bad it looks like a cloud of pollen floating through the air.
They started on our garden last year, on the undersides of the leaves of the pumpkin, pepper, tomatoes and squash. I literally "washed" all of the leaves with a solution of mild soapy water...took me forever! Then they attacked the trees....crepe myrtles, bar berry bushes and then on to the flowers. I repeated the "washing a few more times and called the home extension office and they told me to get some 80% sevin dust (which I am not comfortable with) We are considering not planting this year. We had hoped that winter would kill them off but it hasn't been cold enough here to do that.
They even get on & in the cars! The ones that rae in the air are very tiny and you have to catch them to realize that they are a bug, as I said they look like pollen floating in the air. I also had it recomended to suck them up with the vaccum cleaner [dunno] I can't imagine how that would help unless everyone on the block did the same! Are we doomed?

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
***  - ***
by catlover on February 09, 2005 01:10 AM
Thank you Buglady for the info on the chiggers.....I learned that as a child and I guess I need to do some reading.
We are never to old to learn something new.
Thanks again, Catlover

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by Snowlady on February 25, 2005 11:00 PM
Hello, I'm new here. I have no answers for the couple who have white parasites living and growing in their skin, but I did want to say that I too have some kind of white bug in my skin and I too have been called crazy. They do bite, but I suspect only the larvae does. the adult seems to have a hump on the back and I have seen twice this tiny bug go into the pores on my hand. I guess they then lay their eggs. I get a funny feeling and out comes all these tiny sugar like things. I don't know if what I have is the same thing, but it's really annoying and Elimite does not get rid of them, I am trying a sulfur cream now. Just wanted to add my 2 cents. Marilyn
by Buglady on February 27, 2005 07:20 PM
sorry but without ever seeving them i can't tell you anything. I would get in touch with a entomologist that deals with human parasites.

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The Buglady
Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, www.bugladyconsulting.com
Educating the world... one bug at a time

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