Flea Bites: Amanda’s Fight to Get Rid of Fleas
Amanda shared her story with us on Flea bites and it warranted a page of its own.
My situation started about six months ago with my cats. They were scratching incessantly, so I took them to the vet expecting fleas and found none. Shortly after that, I started to get this feeling while driving in my car like something was biting me, but when I looked, I could find nothing.
Then I started noticing these gelanous looking globs on my car’s glass surfaces that seemed to somehow bite me (fleas?). Shortly after that, it started happening in my apartment (I probably tracked whatever had been in my car up to my apartment), and it has been pure hell.
About three years ago, I moved into an apartment on the top floor of a converted mansion. Beautiful apartment, but it’s become more like a torture chamber for my cats and me. When I first moved in, I noticed a strange odor in the bedroom, which progressively worsened. I had become disabled with an autoimmune disease, and though I know now that I shouldn’t have done it, the smell got to me, and I moved onto the sofa in the living room.
That was about six months ago. Even though I had the door to the bedroom closed, the odor sept through the bottom, so I called an exterminator after reading that bad bed bug infestations can cause a sickeningly sweet odor. He found no evidence of bed bugs, but I got rid of the mattress anyway and stayed in the living room.
My cats calmed down for about two weeks (I had them spot treated for fleas and thought maybe that was the problem even though they’re indoor cats), and then the scratching started again.
I took them to the vet again and was told no fleas. She’s basically given up on me at this point. I’ve found some brown gelatinous globs attached to chunks of hair they’ve either scratched or ripped out, but the vet has no idea what they are. It’s gotten to the point where I always think I see eyes on these things, and I feel terrible that they’re bothering my cats so much.
I found several samples of the parasites I believe are torturing us. My symptoms are a little different: there’s no “itch,” but it feels like something is stinging me. Sometimes the sting is so painful it makes me jump.
There have been times when the tips of my fingers or toes have felt like there were hundreds of tiny cuts on them. Other times, it feels like
Multiple unknown creatures are scurrying around inside my socks, intermittently biting me at a whim.
I have found many black specks embedded in my socks (these things cling to skin or fabric) and pulled many out with tweezers. Still, the exterminator couldn’t see beyond the “lint.”
On my cats, I find the brown globs. On myself, I find either gray or clear globs (I managed to get a pristine specimen off of my sneaker and found it somewhat triangular, translucent with a dark middle center – probably my blood) or what looks like off-whitish round specks (under the microscope or magnifying lens, they look very similar to the pictures Jan posted but they always seem to have two unattached black appendages which I’m sure I mutilate as I’m picking them up.)
There are white specks all over everything in my apartment, and though I vacuum and dust daily, they’re back as soon as I’m done. As a result, my life has become an endless course of cleaning and washing, and I go through lint rollers so often that I should take out stock in the company.
Taking a shower is another form of torture because these things seem to bite me along my body as they run down from my hair or bite my feet before I can use the hand controller to move the water toward the drain.
After reading on the internet, I thought I might have scabies or some lice (I’m a clean freak but use the local library where many transient people go). I had no rash and one or two spots which could have been bites, but he said they looked like I had scratched the areas and couldn’t tell what was underneath.
Also, the pores on my legs looked unusually red and large, but I’m fair skinned, and he said that was just my coloring (they didn’t look like they had looked the rest of my life, but he wasn’t too interested). He told me it was in my head and said it would go away. When they didn’t, I bothered him so much that he prescribed a scabicide, but it did no good. Unfortunately, these things are still in my car, so I feel I have no escape.
Fogging to Get Rid of Fleas
I’m sorry this is so long and all doom and gloom, but it’s the first outlet I’ve had to let this all out. My landlord insists that it must be cat fleas and wants to fog the apartment, but two vets have said no fleas, and I don’t want to subject us to that toxicity. Also, many of you have said that fogging has worsened your situation.
One more thing – today, I was doing the usual cleaning and vacuuming routine while wearing these exercise pants that had breathing holes along the surface. I noticed some off-whitish specks, so I grabbed my tweezers and new lighted magnifying lens and started to pull these things off my pants and put them into a jar of alcohol on the off chance I could find someone to identify these things. The weird thing is that these things were popping up and down from the breathing holes when I shined the light on the area.
It sounds nuts, but I felt like I was playing hide and seek with these things. Then something else caught my attention. I put the magnifying lens up to those red and enlarged pores on my legs and was horrified to see that several of them looked like hard white things sticking out of them, so now I’m thinking that there is something that is burrowing into my skin.
Sometimes I’m typing, and I’ll feel a stinging on one of my fingers and find one of the globs. Other times I’ll feel the sting and won’t find anything there. This all has me beyond exhausted and has taken a severe toll on my anxiety level. I feel like I’m approaching the end of my rope.
I live alone with no family nearby except for my ex-spouse, who thinks I’m nuts and now has primary custody of our kids. I have no interest in socializing and spend most of my time cleaning and washing. Oh, and my apartment has no washing machine, so I drag bag after bag to the laundromat. My neighbors think I’m “an eccentric.” I only have my cats for support (I never considered myself “the cat lady,” but they’re loving and can tell when I’m in pain). It kills me to think these monsters are torturing them as well.
Tonight, my little cat was wheezing, my hands hurt so badly after a long and painful shower, and my anxiety was so high that I felt absolutely paralyzed and didn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, I have no one I can call for help that lives nearby, and thank goodness the wheezing stopped.
For the millionth time in the last six months, I sat here crying, feeling like a complete mess and failure, and for the first time, the thought occurred to me that this is no life for us to suffer through. For some reason, I found this site while Googling “least painful way to kill yourself and your cats”. Ridiculous, I know, and now that I have read what others are experiencing – some much worse than what I go through – it’s given me the fortitude to buck up and push those other thoughts away.
My next step will be to try what my third doctor recommends. She thinks this is a nerve dysfunction and wants to try B-12 injections. Unfortunately, I believe this is a parasite and that the B-12 won’t help, but I have no choice but to try.
Anyway, thank you all so much for reading this very long post. I can only pray that we all find the reason and cure for this horrible situation. I’ll let everyone know if the B-12 has any effect.
Thanks again for letting me share and vent,
Amada’s flea bite situation – Responses
I just read this post and was so terribly saddened by it. No one really knows how truly awful this is, unless its happening to you. You mentioned that your children are with your ex, which given the circumstances in your flat, this may be for the best for now. But the isolation you are feeling is clearly not helped by being alone. I would urge you to reach out to your family and friends and let them know about this. Flea bites or whatever it is — is something you shouldn’t have to mentally deal with alone. I really feel for you and wish you all the best.
I am dealing with a mite infestation. We have a cat and two dogs. The dogs do not seem to be affected yet, but we are, and the cat seems to be scratching more too. I spent hours this week combing my home trying to find something moving. I finally found one today that was biting my leg and put it between 2 pieces of tape to bring to my vet. My vet thought I was crazy but I insisted that he examine my specimen under a microscope.
My suspicions were correct – it is some type of mite. I just got on here to try to determine what kind. The rat mite and bird mite look very similar so I am still trying to find some answers. I thought I would respond to your post and tell you that I understand the anguish you are faced with. Perhaps you can investigate to see if this might be what you are dealing with too.
I am going through the exact same thing, but with my puppy instead of cats. I have also despaired and thought of suicide and cannot socialize or sleep. I sleep in a bedbug tent but still get the bites and keep inspecting it and rewashing my blankets.
I worry they are coming in on my puppy when I put him in there with me. He’s mainly white, so if they’re small I can’t see them? I change out of my clothes before I get not the tent, which is on top of my mattress with covers on it and the box springs. I have a powder insecticide all over the mattress. But I also think they may just be getting through the mesh? I spray it with Bedlam, and have to air it out to sleep there.
My left leg looks so bad it’s scary. I may need antibiotics because I can’t stop scratching them and making them bleed. I’ve lived with this for 7 years since doing a cruise ship in Egypt and I saw one crawl into my purse at that big movie theater during a stopover in NYC (but I didn’t know what it was until much later). I’ve moved twice since then, and no matter how much stuff I throw out or how much I clean, they come back.
Now, it’s bad but I haven’t seen any except when I found a nest in a winter knitted hat that I actually put on my head and took off because I thought it was leaves from working outside a lot. I washed it and the dryer vent was full of all sizes of adult and nymph bedbugs.
I have spent a fortune on products and pesticides, and I only trust the Diatomaceous Earth (bed bug powder) because it doesn’t dissipate. I don’t want people coming to the house because they might bring them with and I don’t want anyone to see how I live. I’m afraid of giving them to other people and fully believe they are biting me in the car when I drive, too, and have treated the car several times.
I’ve gained weight even though I don’t eat much and am constantly cleaning, and drink more wine(but I don’t get drunk, I pace myself with water). I’m out of work and afraid if I don’t get a job soon, I’ll loose everything, but the anxiety I already have is so bad I don’t know what I’ll do with more? I can’t sleep and so a job seems impossible, anyway?
Your story helped me write this, I feel very beaten. So please hang in there, you’re not alone! Hopefully, things will get better soon for both of us and all of us.
OK, I am sure you’ve heard this story time and time again, but I am very concerned!
My husband and I are temporarily staying at my parents’ house while we transition to move back to the city, therefore we’re sleeping on an air mattress.
About two weeks ago I woke up with a couple random bites and thought it was flea bites (there are two dogs in and out of the house all the time) I bombed and sprayed everywhere and didn’t get another bite.
Until today, I woke up with 4 “sets” of bites. There’s a row on my upper thigh, a cluster on my stomach, and a couple on each arm. Now mind you I sleep with sweat pants and a t-shirt so really only my arms are exposed skin.
Just at the beginning of this week I washed all of my bedding (in hot water as usual) and I am a vacuum everyday, a couple times a day, type of person. So I am at a loss for what to do now.
I have checked my bedding and my air mattress and nothing….
It’s getting to my head really bad just like everyone else but I am just wondering if this sounds like bed bugs or something else to you.
I have four dogs, all who have been scratching like crazy, so we thought they had fleas, flea bathed them and treated them and for awhile we were fine. our two roommates had bites that didn’t resemble flea bites but looked like nothing we’ve ever seen before. they too went away, for two months things were fine, then recently my dogs been scratching like crazy and ripping out fur, we’ve bug bombed our house and both my husband and myself have gotten bit as well as house-guests.
I’ve been itching everywhere especially my head,face, neck, and arms legs and his back has bites everywhere that resemble pimples. we checked for bedbugs and have not seen any and have no idea what it could be, none of our dogs have had issues before and its only been an issue the past 3 weeks. help!!!
please mssg me with any tips
OMG, I totally get this. 8 years ago I started getting bit at work by things I couldn’t see and only I got bit. Resembles flea bites; however, I started seeing these fruit fly/ gnat things. By the time I see them, I am no longer getting bit. Happened every July – August for yrs.
I moved to Kentucky and wasn’t bothered until I moved in the country to a trailer where when I started getting bit, I found minuscule white things in spider webs. Then the bites started clearing and we had gnats which don’t bite. They only attack me. Now, moved home to Houston, on mattresses new to us, but my kids and I all got lice, bites that look like fleas, no fleas in house, fruit fly/gnats everywhere but the bites happen at night all over, and daytime around ankles.
I have cleaned, cant spray cause Mom on chemo, she has mold. WE ITCH. NO ONE THINKS I AM CRAZY NOW CAUSE WE ALL ARE COVERED WITH THESE ITCHY RED RAISED DOTS WITH ONE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE. MOSTLY ON REAR ENDS AND ANKLES AND STOMACH.
We all seem to have the same thing, this is not stress, this is causing stress. Who said gnats don’t bite in baby stages?
What are these invisible things? Causing dogs to lose fur at their tales. NO FLEAS. NOT ONE. HELP???????
Omg, so sad to read all these stories a friend of mine has gotten bites last night that’s how i wound up on this page,
@ Amanda, when i was young i took in a cat and my whole family got some kind of body lice that lives under your skin, we didn’t know about it till we went to a doc, they gave us some kind of lotion that you have to keep on for hrs cant remember for how long, maybe you should look into that, not saying it came from ur cats but you did say that there are animals in ur attic, and u have air heat they could be coming threw there and the smell could be a dead animal or animal waste. I hope everyone fixes there problems cause i know it could drive you nuts, o, look into the body lice that live under the skin!!! good luck!!!
@ Karla, gnats and fruit flies do bite, I’m a bartender and they love the sweetness of the booze, it seems like i’m the only one that gets bit by them, let no one tell you different they do bite!!!!!