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Tiny Biting Bugs in House and Hair

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My family has been infested by an insect that you can barely see. It looks like a speck of dust and another looks like a very short hair. They don't bother the boys as much as me. They seem to want to nest in my hair, on my scalp. They don't seem to bite much, but I can feel them when they land on me, and it itches! It looks like a jumping grain of sand. Does anyone know what this is?

By Sarah

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By cindiphill306/15/2014

I have had these same bugs. in my hair and my house. Have tried almost everything to get rid of them. Peroxide seems to kill them. I use it on my hair too. Alcohol kills them. Have tried lice treatments, they did nothing. Flea killer helped some. Used lysol and bleach to wash clothes and this works. Now trying sea buckthorn oil for hair, and hoping it works.

I have looked at these with a microscope and they are in fact teeny bugs. Some seem to jump or fly. I believe they are collembella/springtails. Going to treat under the house also. Not sure with what yet. Any advice will help me as well. Tea tree oil made me feel better but did not kill bugs. doctors were no help. Exterminators did not eradicate them. Still trying.

By Mariann Martin09/03/2012

Possibly head lice; very difficult to get rid of. If that is what this is, you have to wash everything that your head has come in contact with. First you have to rid yourself from these, then wash all pillows, blankets, hats, scarfs, spray your beds and sofas, chairs, etc. You can get stuff at the drug store to use on your hair.

By Ace [3]08/31/2012

Stay away from fragrances like scented soaps & perfumes. Bugs may be attracted to you by the scented smells. Give it a try.

By P [2]08/31/2012

That sure sounds like fleas, though in my experience those jumpers are bigger than dust specks (1mm+). I haven't heard of jumping mites, and dust mites in particular don't attack people; they graze on dead skin cells.

Next time you feel them landing or biting, have some sturdy tape handy to apply to the area. It should get them stuck on, and you can take them to an entomologist at a nearby university to ID them. They can be from mice, birds, bats, squirrels, raccoons, rats,...or riding in on new indoor plants, or from the garden visitors.

I don't like to use sprays of any kind, and the pyrethroids used for mites can be toxic, so I think it's best to decide which mite (if any) it is first.

It's also possible, at this distance from your experience, that it's an allergic reaction to something in the house, maybe some new product or furnishing, or kitchen addition if you react more. That's a big can of worms-- to see how varied the causes can be, look up MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities).

If after all they are fleas, you may not have seen them because the feeling was from their jumping off, not on. If you put a light-color or white dish of soapy water near a night light (lit) overnight in the areas you've felt them, they should be there in the morning.
Of course, best of luck finding out! Maybe someone here knows of this problem.

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