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Old 01-05-2012, 06:37 AM   #29
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That's me. I do not look forward to a campfire.

Our screenhouse goes far towards stopping mosquitos. I can enjoy a drink in the evenings and coffee in the AM out there with minimum mosquito annoyance.

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:46 AM   #30
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The most effective bug repellant I have found for myself is to have my wife nearby. They all go to her and leave me pretty much bug-free! Unfortunately, it's difficult to keep her within range all the time.

I don't like to use products with DEET. Almost anything can be readily absorbed through the skin, so a good rule of thumb is, "If you wouldn't drink it, don't put it on your skin."

The ThermaCell that was mentioned does seem to work pretty well against flying pests, but won't help you with chiggers, which is what your description does sound like. To prevent chiggers, your best bet is to keep a barrier of some sort between you and the ground, or between you and the wood surface you are about to sit on.

If you already have chiggers, your best bet may just be Benadryl. The nail-polish trick is common, but studies have not supported its effectiveness. The idea is that the nail polish (duct tape is another common folk-remedy) suffocates the chigger. However, there is plenty of oxygen available in the blood and surrounding skin tissue to sustain the little critter. My wife has gotten some relief by soaking a cotton-ball in vinegar and holding it over the welt for a while.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #31
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I think it is chiggers too in which case they came up through the mat and bit through my sweat clothes or bit me just walking through the sand path to the beach. I have with us Benedryl, Chiggerz, and Cortaid 10. The best relief has been the latter.
In the future I am bringing a large yoga mat too and trying out the 25% Deet family Off. Maybe it is tolerable. The 12% I have used in the past was not bad. It just left a white powder on the chairs.
I kind of forgot to think of bug stuff but then, I would not have anticipated what I encountered.

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Old 01-05-2012, 07:38 PM   #32
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You can get reliable info about chiggers here. Chiggers - PubMed Health.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:22 PM   #33
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I looked at that website and one on images of bites and now wonder if it might not be fleas. I did not walk in tall grass, and the campground had lots of dogs. We don't have dogs or outdoor cats, because we had cats that brought them in once and made me miserable until we got rid of them.

Oh well, many appear to be drying up now.

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:24 AM   #34
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I don't think they are chiggers as they don't fly but live in tall (or short) grass. Typically when you get chigger bit, they will be concentrated around your belt line or other areas where your close fit tight, such as areas where there is elastic..
Take a look at this and see if they aren't the problem.

NO SEEUM
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:07 AM   #35
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I don't know. I am home now; some are drying up. Others still continue to itch. They are clustered around my ankles, run up my leg, with a few on my elbows and arms.
Circumstances do not match chigger. I was not in long grass. The bites are not clustered at my waistband; in fact, I have no bites there. They do match no see ums. I was at the beach the day before the welts appeared. Our campground abutted a wet reserve. The grass was damp most of the time but not long.

The bites look like both no see um bites and chigger bites. My friend with whom I went shelling on the beach said that they looked like noseeum bites.

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Old 01-06-2012, 06:00 PM   #36
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No seeums are really, really small, and a lot of screens won't stop them. They will go thru any small crack even with good screens.
I'm really sorry for your discomfort. Some people react more violently to bites than others, and it appears that you're on the high end of the scale.
You may want to call your doctor if you're still experiencing discomfort. An oral antihistamine (especially at night) may give you some relief and allow you to sleep. Benadryl knocks me out; Claritin allows me to function normally, but is still somewhat effective daytime. Only you and your doctor know your allergies.
The problem is that if you experience itchiing for a long time, and scratch in your sleep, you may open wounds and develop an infection, so night time relief is really important.
Next time you camp in similar conditions, you may want to spray the campsite, or at least the screened area, once a day. In spring, fall, and winter, heavy dew may dissipate the effects of spraying the campsite. And do the long pants, long sleeve, deet spray precautions. I do well with spraying my clothes, instead of me. I hope it works for you.
Though I have a lot of sensitivities and allergies, camping days are a lot of fun. We just have to help you figure out a way to dispell the bugs, and enjoy them more!
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #37
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beach bites

Cindy,

Sorry to hear your Florida vacation was made less enjoyable by the insect bites.
One more "bug" to add to your investigation is one we commonly call "sand flea". It likes to live in rotting seaweed on the beach sand. They are related to no-see-ums and have a similar microscopic size and irritating bite.
You can Google "sand flea" for more info and see if it matches your experience for habitat and bite/rash patterns.

Deb
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:05 PM   #38
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I'm still itching reading this thread.... now, go back in time... way back to the days of unwashed bodies staying in communes. I remember reading those folks kept fleas and other biting insects off their bodies by wearing flea collars. Around their necks to keep fleas out of their hair... makes me want to scratch thinking about it.

BUT, what about buying pet flea collars and either wearing them around your ankles or cutting into pieces and tying onto your shoe strings, belt, or hat??????????????

Hummmmmm.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:51 AM   #39
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That is a thought. I did use the anklets and bracelets that you can get at Bed Bath and Beyond. Not sure how effective. Same with the blue thing you hang from your belt. The anklets/bracelets make you smell very nice

I saw info on the Internet on sand fleas. The bites did appear after a day shelling on the beach.

Well, I have to find something or my enthusiasm for camping will continue to drop. I got these kind of bites last year in Canada when we camped on the beach there too. Chiggers in PA before that. Mosquitos are always after me too. Just kinda makes you less willing to jump at the chance to camp.

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:44 AM   #40
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Hi: CindyL... I can also tell you that fleas...sand or otherwise... can find a nice home in motel/condo carpet. A friend with a bad back decided to lay on the floor after a long stint driving. YIKES what a mess of flea bites!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:19 AM   #41
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Alf's comment about fleas in carpets makes me wonder if I should "flea bomb" the camper. I know that CindyL (my wife) did some exercises on the indoor carpet floor one of the early days of our trip. However, I don't get the bites and I crawl around on that floor quite a bit trying to find things under the bed.
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