2014-06-06 - 11:22 a.m.
The exterminator came and treated my house yesterday for carpenter ants. Problem is that the wood UNDER the siding on one part of my house seems to be where they were residing. That is not a good thing as that indicates wet wood which is a problem of course.
I have done my research and figured out the source of my itching.
It is indeed mites. They definitely came from the attic when I took down the clothes from storage. This actually happens EVERY year that when taking clothing out of storage I get a few bites from mites DURING the project itself (and only during that project). Typically I wash the clothes right away- they go from the attic to basement washing machines and I quickly swap out bins with clothing to be stored put away promptly.
One year one of the girls took her clothes out of a plastic bin that LOOKED CLEAN and put her clothes right in her closet and drawers and then she got bites and scabies from mites which made me feel terrible as hers SHOULD have been washed and she had just hung them.
I don't have scabies, but the bites on my arms are definitely from mites. There are a few kind of mites that can get in clothes- simple dust mites, but also possibly rat mites if there are any rodents that have gotten into the attic. Rat mites do live on mice as well as rats!
The way to tell the difference between bed bugs, fleas and mites is to actually CATCH a sample of the critter. Some use glue traps which may work. There are also flea traps (not sure what they look like but I read of those). A person can look in between and under a matress and bedding to find droppings left and figure out what the critter is from those. Bed bugs are brown or reddish brown and fleas and mites are often black which is one indicator. The appearance of the bites are also different depending on whether bitten by a bed bug, flea or mites. Mites can burrow under the skin and leave rashes in lines- which is called scabies.
The bites look the same as the ones I have now.
So sure enough when I looked in my attic I did find some mice droppings so need to clean up there and put down some bait and traps to get rid of any mice living in the attic. Vacumuing and cleaning up dust will also help up there. Then after I clean it out I will be sure the clothes are all in tightly closed plastic containers to hope for the best seal.
Then the next time it is seasonal change of clothing time, clothes will come right out of the attic ONE BIN AT A TIME and IMMEDIATELY into the washer.
This year I did a major clean out going through ALL THE CLOTHES to get the girls to tell me what they wanted and what should be tossed.
I made a huge donation to the thrift store. The girls however did not go through the bins I took out when I first asked. I had to NAG THEM and then have some incentive to get them to finally do it. So the clothes were here in my room and in the hall FOR WEEKS.
Not only that, I had these stupid bins with WHEELS that were given to me that I hated so last year I gave all the donated clothes away packed in those. I donated ten whole bins of clothing last year (some beautiful hand me downs from a friend in Middleburg who's in laws just spoil her girls! I mean those were REALLY BEAUTIFUL clothes that my girls outgrew or couldn't use. When she moved and downsized after her divorce into a town house she dropped off tons of things!)
So after getting rid of those annoying bins I made the mistake of using some CARDBOARD BOXES which is NOT A GOOD IDEA for clothing storage. Dust mites abound- and if there could be mice at all, then those too may bring mites.
So this year I went and bought NEW BINS that can actually stack. I finally got the girls to sort the big clothing mess- and we organizd the clothes in piles of what to keep , what to get rid of and what to save which was placed in the new storage bins.
I mean it was both funny and sad to have made that mistake! The lids were obviously larger than the bins so that was definitely the ADD MOMENT Of this month! I mean how does one do that; leave a store with a bin but the wrong size lid that is obviously larger?
So I asked my beau to do me a favor and take the lids back to swap them. He did so for me, so as of yesterday I have the CORRECT size lids to put on the bins to get them up to the attic.
However in the meantime, I have had VISITORS in my bedroom who were not happy hanging out there in the bins when I am such a wonderful food source!
So today I found a product I am going to try.
It is a natural enzyme which I think looks to be effective and safer than toxic chemical pesticides!
I had my sample of critters as last night I sprayed MYSELF with bug spray BEFORE BED.
I noticed just now the instructions say "Do Not spray under clothes"
I am SURE that is because , if you do so (like I did before reading that), you just might find UNDER your clothes samples of critters that the bug spray killed!
(WHO would WANT THAT except one trying to identify a pest?) It was kind of a fortunate mistake that I happened to spray that all over me last night and THEN put on My PJS or the buig identification would have been MUCH HARDER. I have been reading on line of people who have pests like this for months before they figure out what it is and how to get rid of the problem.
I am just so relieved as I was worried about what the heck this was and worried about whether I could bring them to someone else! I do have some of that RID lice shampoo, and another natural mint shampoo to remove lice- so before I go spend time in anyone else's home I will wash my hair with that and get dressed out of clothes JUST WASHED and JUST DRIED directly from my dryer as a precaution!
I also read BORAX is good for cleaning carpets. Just sprinkle on and let it sit a few minutes and then vacuum.