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 Post subject: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:34 am 
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Chard Martyr
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I am being exposed to a whole new world of infectious bugs, and they sure love to bite me. bisque, moan, and complain here.

After the spider bite on my asparagus healed, a black fly gnawed at my arm and now my entire tattoo (my whole left forearm) is burning and swollen.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:45 am 
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you should basically scratch at the sores until they bleed. it's a tried and true technique

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:48 am 
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and then re-scratch them once they start to scab. bleeding makes it better. (100% true fact™®©.)

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:59 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Oh that's absolutely what I do. I have a black fly bite on my knee that has been bleeding and scabbing for a month and half now because I refuse to leave it alone. But when my whole arm swells and burns, that's a different story. There isn't even a visible bite!


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:01 am 
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i would love to hear some real explanation behind tattoo irritation. I don't think i've ever had a bug bite set it off, but my one tattoo (that I had done ten years ago) has always been amazingly irritating (while the others have never ever so much as tingled) even though it healed up almost perfectly. It will be quiet for a while then one corner will hurt (always in the one spot that made a tiny keloid) and then the whole thing will itch like the dickens.

as for the rest, hang in there. the black flies, if they're like the mustards we have here, are HORRIBLE! they make some kind of homemade tincture with artemisia here to cut the itch but it's basically just ethanol with a few leaves thrown in- enough to drown out the itch with horrible burning.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Oh man, I never even thought about tattoo irritation. That could explain why my cat bite was so nasty.

Black flies are absolutely awful! I grew up in mosquito central but at least you could feel them biting you. The flies actually have a numbing venom so they can munch away at you for an hour if they want. Evil little creatures.

Those giant black ants are pretty bad too. I love ants but these East coast ones are awful.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:28 am 
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THE NUMBING! yes, these are the same mustards. you don't feel anything except, sometimes, a drop of blood rolling down your leg. Usually they get you on your ankles, but i had one bite me in the palm of my hand once, i think it did it on a dare.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:11 am 
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Chard Martyr
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They go at my wrists, forehead, ankles, and the back of my ears! They are little jerks, I tell you. I have a huge fly bite on my forehead and it looks like I have measles. My partner has to take antihistamines when he gets bit because he has a huge feverish reaction.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:22 am 
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Just mosquito bites everywhere. One night of hanging outside at a party trying to have fun and I came away with a dozen or so bug bites. mustards!

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:51 am 
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I didn't know tattoo irritation was a thing! I always just thought there was something wrong with me. Whenever I get a bug bite all the black gets raised and swollen.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:46 am 
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I just got back from a visit to Manitoba to visit family and I forgot how heinous the mosquitoes there are. I think they are big enough to carry away babies and small children.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:51 am 
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Chard Martyr
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My tattoo bite has gone down but it is sooooooooo itchy I want to cut my arm off. And I still can't find where the mustard bit me. At least it's not hot anymore.

My husband keeps making fun of me because when I say, get diagnosed with a serious illness, have a root canal, seriously injure myself, I never really care--but when it comes to weird bug bites I freak out and don't stop talking about it to everyone who will listen.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:31 am 
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I'm the same, a major moaner about the small stuff but quiet not he major stuff!

I have read that putting a hot spoon (or hairdryer if there are lots of bites in one area) on a bite helps break down the toxins and relieves the itch - only helpful if you can see the bite though. I've only tried it once (spoon dipped in boiling water) and I think it maybe did help. I'll try it again if I get more bites.

I've also heard they don't bite if you have lots of vitamin B so in the past before travelling I've tried to take supplements for a week or so beforehand. Hard to know if it helps or whether you just wouldn't have got bitten anyway.

And I read that eating bananas makes you more likely to be bitten.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:44 am 
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Chard Martyr
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rentaghost wrote:
I'm the same, a major moaner about the small stuff but quiet not he major stuff!

I have read that putting a hot spoon (or hairdryer if there are lots of bites in one area) on a bite helps break down the toxins and relieves the itch - only helpful if you can see the bite though. I've only tried it once (spoon dipped in boiling water) and I think it maybe did help. I'll try it again if I get more bites.

I've also heard they don't bite if you have lots of vitamin B so in the past before travelling I've tried to take supplements for a week or so beforehand. Hard to know if it helps or whether you just wouldn't have got bitten anyway.

And I read that eating bananas makes you more likely to be bitten.

Interesting! I will try the B vitamin thing. I've been super slacking on taking vitamins lately, but I like B complexes because I'm a weirdo and love the feeling of a "niacin flush."

I don't eat bananas very often, but that's also interesting!

The reason I moan is because I read the internet about bug bites. I was equally obsessive over my cat bite that I was convinced at the time would kill me. I spent the whole morning not getting ready for work because I was checking both my cats for ticks, haha!

eta: I had a tick last week too! This area is full of terrifying insects.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:07 am 
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Mosquitoes detect carbon dioxide and are attracted to certain skin odors.

You can't really control the fact that you emit carbon dioxide, but once mosquitoes are drawn to an area by carbon dioxide they will favour certain people over others. Movement, sweat, and stuff like that will attract them (but maybe that's because you breathe heavier and expel more carbon dioxide when you move? I don't know). Some NCBI studies found other things that will attract them, such as drinking beer (increases the ethanol content in your sweat), type O blood, and sweaty/dirty feet. I did read that the banana thing isn't true and your diet doesn't have much to do with it, but who knows.

I don't know if any of this generalizes to other insects, probably not.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:01 pm 
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Um... I came for pics, y'all.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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I do have pics from the black fly bite on my asparagus but I am not brave enough to post them on the internet.

A mosquito sucked my blood for probably a good two minutes today--the swelling is huge! It's not as bad as the black flies/ticks/spiders, and I grew up on the prairies and know mosquitos, but what a jerk. I knew the thing was on my leg but I was (trying to) carry a 70 pound keg for work and I couldn't brush the thing off for a couple of minutes.

I also found another tick on me. It's my fault for playing around near our pond, but come on, who doesn't wan't to play around near a pond?!


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:30 am 
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Chard Martyr
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So last night I went to a coworker's house and sat outside for hours cuddling her dogs, and today I have thirteen mosquito bites in the worst places (my belly, my face, the soles of my feet, etc...). At least they aren't even nearly as bad as black fly bites, but still, those mustards itch! Like, more than I remember them itching anywhere else I've lived!

I now have a bottle of witch hazel on my desk at work that everyone jokes about being my stash of booze.

I adore the maritimes but those damn bugs are trying to kill me.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:56 am 
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Oh man, bites on the feet are awful!!

I'm going backpacking in Algonquin (Canadian shield, so foresty and lots of bugs) and I bought one of these bug jackets - it covers my torso AND my head!
http://www.mec.ca/product/4013-766/coghlans-bug-jacket/

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:59 am 
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When I went to Girl Guide camp I had one of those spiffy hats with the mesh to cover your face. I actually was the coolest kid at camp.

I agree that bites on the feet are the absolute worst. Ugh.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:34 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Moon wrote:
When I went to Girl Guide camp I had one of those spiffy hats with the mesh to cover your face. I actually was the coolest kid at camp.

I agree that bites on the feet are the absolute worst. Ugh.

I am dying from itchiness at work right now! The soles of my feet---gah!


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:59 am 
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the tattoo thing is fascinating! do antihistamines help? (also, did you know that pepcid is an antihistamine? i read all about it when i was looking up mast cell tumors when my dog was getting one removed. everyone knows about benadryl, but there are 2 types of histamines, and pepcid blocks the other! i thought it was fascinating.)

as for keeping them away (at least mosquitoes and ticks), get a bottle of geranium essential oil and put some on yourself. it smells so much better than citronella, and does just as good of a job.

if you're out and about and nowhere near antihistamines, and you get a bite, take your fingernail and press an X over the bite as deep as you can handle. your body will dispatch antihistamines to the spot faster than waiting would.

i found a major mosquito breeding ground at my neighbor's downspouts. they have those flexible accordion things to divert the water away from their foundation, only the grass slopes toward their house. that means the accordions were trying to go uphill and wouldn't empty completely. once i helped them get them on a downslope, it's been so much more enjoyable around my house. (although it is also possibly just a coincidence, since i've been seeing sooooooo many dragonflies and damselflies this year.)

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:40 pm 
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+1 yummy to the geranium suggestion. It's one of my favorite scents anyway. I spray some of this on whenever I'm going somewhere I suspect will be buggy: http://www.wayoutwax.com/products/bug_out/geranium.html#178. I'm waiting for someone to ask what fabulous scent I'm wearing so I can say it's bug spray.

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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:21 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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supercarrot wrote:
if you're out and about and nowhere near antihistamines, and you get a bite, take your fingernail and press an X over the bite as deep as you can handle. your body will dispatch antihistamines to the spot faster than waiting would.

Wow, I had NO idea that that "x" thing was anything more than what my sisters and I did as kids. That's amazing that we came up with it intuitively!

One of the bites on my right tricep has grown sooo large that it makes me look super buff (but only on the right arm!), but it is so forking itchy I am going crazy. Actually I think it's a black fly rather than a mosquito because those little shiitakes are so much more evil.


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 Post subject: Re: Bug bites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:31 pm 
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oh man the x thing! that one always backfired because I would accidentally make myself bleed and at that point I may as well scratch anyway, y'know?
I have no solutions, only sympathy. I have some sort of mosquito heroin in my blood because those forkers love me like crazy. when I was biking cross-country I had so many that I looked like I had a pox, on my face, hands, legs, arms, everywhere. every time I go camping it's like they all go directly after me, I can spend 24 hours in the woods and return to the city with literally hundreds of bites.

I had lyme disease twice and never noticed the tick bites because there were SO MANY OTHERS.

so, I feel you, that sucks, I hope the itching ends soon.

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