People tell me I’m crazy, but I know I’m getting bit! Psychiatry has defined the term “delusional parasitosis.” This is a long way of saying that the patient has an obsessive sense that insects are crawling on them and perhaps into a person’s body, when in fact, no such parasitic activity exists. Formication is a term used for the actual sensation of crawling insects on the body. Often, the adamant conviction of the person with suspected parasites is so strong and persistent over time that concerned loved ones may be tempted to support a false medical diagnosis to the extent that they themselves start experiencing the same symptoms. The psychiatric term for this is Folie � deux. In disagreement with this Wikipedia resource we have found this situation to be fairly common. Morgellon’s disease is a new term that is thrown around a lot on the internet. Folks reading a variety of new websites and blogs such as Morgellon Support and Birdmites.org may find kindred spirits who are concerned about parasitic conditions. It appears to this reader that those finding solace and solutions on such websites in fact have many different conditions, medical, environmental, psychological or pest related. Unfortunately, you can find such frenzied desire for conclusion that bloggers are describing numerous self-treatments that may be harmful to themselves and the environment. Work of some scientific value is being done at the Morgellon’s Research Foundation. We came across one person who I am sure had a combination of skin irritants over time, some of which were pest related and others not. After much reading on the web, he determined that he could solve the problem by purchasing pesticides on the internet and dumping them into his washing machine, so that all his clothing would provide him with a layer of pesticide protection against mites. While this did not solve his problem, it did create undocumented water pollution akin to those who dispose of pesticide down the toilet. It is well known that many medical and psychiatric conditions can lead to the sense of insects crawling on the body. It seems practically anything! Menopause, drug and alcohol addictions, other forms of dementia with secondary delusional parasitosis, even a simple vitamin B deficiency! Pest control industry personnel have a unique perspective on this problem. Occasionally they will come across these cases. The pest technician should refer the potential customer to the doctor. Sometimes, the technician may think the person crazy and additionally customer to a doctor. The pest technician may realize that many of these people are simply elderly folks at the end of their days, with deteriorating skin rashes. The technician may try to treat without a clear understanding of what they are treating for. Often this leads to a flea treatment that clearly does not solve the problem and leads to pointless follow-up services and a dissatisfied customer. Our position is that the situation is even more complex. Clearly all the above situations occur. Other misdiagnoses are common. One major reason for the creation of this website under the general heading of “bugs in my bed” is that at the time of the pest control inspection, it is not clear what is happening. The caller may have even provided a strong self-diagnosis. “I have bed bugs,” only to find upon inspection that they have bird mites. Others may suspect mites, only to find that they have bed bugs. Then it is also possible that both are present. Highly skilled pest technicians will look at the inspection with a wholistic approach. The inspector may see a rat problem and realize that the rats may be attracting mites or that they could be transferred by a dog that roams in the yard. But the inspector should also consider the lifestyle of the owner, his or her travel patterns as one factor. The inspector must consider both who and what is coming and going from the pest inspection site. Facts support that there are millions of mite species, some visible and some microscopic. Mites that are visible to some people are small enough not to be visible to others. Some mites are pests of specific animal species and some are not so particular about their host. Bird mites are known to bite birds, rats, chickens, bats and humans. There seems to be a consensus that bird mites cannot survive on human blood, but is that true? Arachnids, and acari have been evolving and adapting for millions of years. If as commonly suggested, that humans are still evolving, why is it not credible to assume that these tiny creatures are evolving. A minuscule amount of work has been done on mites relative to their dominant numbers and variety. The problem: they are far too vast, too varied and too small. So like our oceans, there is much more that we don’t know than we know about them. What we do know in the work we are approaching cautiously in California is that more and more people are reporting that they are being bitten by mites, sometimes visible bird mites and sometimes mites that are microscopic. We have found commonalities:
    1. Not only birds, but rats have been reported in the vicinity, with known harborage areas, such as palm trees. Often, dead rats in the immediate vicinity.
 
    1. Dogs are present and these dogs are allowed outside, in areas traversed by rats.
 
    1. Dog feces are often present, sometimes in large numbers, in areas traversed by rats.
 
    1. Customers are reporting that their dogs are bothered by severe itching and scratching.
 
    1. Customers have taken their pet to a vet and nothing has been found.
 
    1. These same customers have reported feeling an itching or a crawling sensation when playing with or washing their dog, particularly when touching the more concealed parts of their dogs, such as the rump.
 
    1. These same customers have reported crawling and biting sensation long after the pet was removed from the environment.
 
    1. Now, as more calls are coming to us, we have noticed a small customer call cluster and believe that we will find more. The first we have found is in a low density section of Temecula, California, where within 1 mile area and on a common open space area, we have found three customers with the same symptoms. These families have no association with each other.
 
  1. All the other symptoms discussed on this webpage are commonly found. The longer the situation continues the more the customer destroys the home in a vain attempt to solve the problem. Sometimes the family is also destroyed.
The book has yet to be closed on this topic. We hope this website will give some encouragement to those suffering from these symptoms. You should not be afraid, as many are, to seek medical advice, but with the limited training of doctors, even dermatologists, on the subject of parasites, one need not to see the opinion of doctors as the final word. Time will tell.

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