Skin mite infestations of human habitats can be extremely difficult to control. The skin mites are microscopic and are difficult to capture so you can show them to someone. Consequently, no one wants to believe you have a mite infestation.
Kate from the United Kingdom writes:
I finally got an (insect) ID this month: Dermatophagoides Scheremetewskyi Bogdanow. It was the second mite that I researched, after Dermannysus gallinae.
I had my cats put down because of this. I threw away everything I owned, and all my clothes, twice. I have moved four times. It (the mite) is now living in my scalp, as well as my current house.
This mite burrows in the skin, similar to sarcoptes, is contagious, infects humans and pets. The ova to nymph (instar) stage is 8-14 days. It lives independently in the environment without a host (the only parasitical mite to do so). Adults can live up to 8 months without feeding. It evades topical treatments by re-entering the burrows, is commonly found in houses and public places, and currently, there is no known cure for the skin infection. Surfaces, clothing, pets and contact can all be vectors. Environments can become infested by infected inhabitants and inhabitants can get re-infected from their environment.
People in both the UK and US are reporting this to be a huge problem. I know of over 500 people who are trying to be rid of this thing. I know one man who says he has (been infested) for 20 years (since Viet Nam), and there are many people having infestations for 2 to 14 years. Some people have committed suicide over it; some have been institutionalized in mental hospitals.
Environmentally, folks have tried a arsenal of things to kill it including Permethrin, tetramethrin, pyrethrins, deltamethrin, carbamates, malathion, acetamiprid, sevin, mint oil (Victor), cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, phenothrin, resmethrin, pyrethroids, flumethrin, benzyl benzoate, and benzylkonium chloride. None of these have worked.
Ask the Exterminator note: Best success has been seen with products containing beta-cyfluthrin such as
Tempo SC Ultra
I had my original apartment sprayed with permethrin 21.6%. That worked to clear it from my environment, but the apartment was re-infested again because I had it in my skin and did not know it. Strong permethrin also works.
Initial infection tends to be similar to flea bites, but since nothing is seen or found (as in my case), people assume it is fleas, and do the usual flea protocols and wait for autumn. I actually abandoned that apartment in September, moved, and then threw away everything I owned a month later. Moved again and again, and still have them. People are using flea protocols for laundering and increasing drying time to 2 hours.
Topically, people have tried these without success: malathion, permethrin, phenothrin, cyclomethecone, flower of sulphur soap/ointment, zinc, Ivermectin (veterinary topical for mites, etc), menthol, (the list is virtually endless). I even know of one woman who put a veterinary spot-on treatment on her scalp and left it on overnight. It contained 45% permethrin, and she wondered why her head felt burnt the next day. (This should give you a good idea of how desperate people get with this mite.) People have sprayed Raid on themselves, taken bleach baths, put kerosene, motor oil and roach killer directly on their skin. People say that the mites actually move the hair on their heads. It's true! They do. And many have gone to extreme measures to be rid of it.
Topically, people have reported marginal success, or temporary success using: benzyl peroxide, 10% sulfur ointment (if used daily), 5% permethrin (if used daily for 6 months).
Varying successes have been reported using oral meds; Ivermectin, some other anti-thelmetics, various antibiotics. The most success rates seem to be with dogs who are treated with Ivermectin, or another miticide from the Avermectin group (oral or injectables).
I have seen a doctor in the UK and am trying Ivermectin, long-term antibiotic therapy (3 months) and naltrexone for 3 months to get my immune system working again. I am unsure if any of these will work, but this doctor claims to have success with other patients for this problem. I'll see.
I suspect that I got this infestation in July, but do not know the source. I can only say that it is a real nightmare to live with, and that if anyone can figure this out (cure and eradication) it should be me because I never give up on anything, and everyday I get up and try to do one impossible thing before breakfast. And I am failing miserably.
08 Feb 2012, 19:43
Yes I agree!!! MITES it is! I have feverlessly inquired all over the net.
Morgellons, simply is a man/woman, made name. Medical professionals, rnt
familiar.not,or wasnt in any references they could rely on.They need a
scientific name.T,s a Zoonotic condition 4 sure.I too had two cats die
after i fooleshly took in a stray.5 yrs ago. I have a question; What about
Neem oil? please respond a.s.a.p. thanx.
18 Feb 2012, 18:49
So far still got them. The behaviour is very similar to the one described
by the Opening Post from Kate. Vicks still seems to control their
population. I have moved house to one without carpet. First days it felt as
if they had disappeared. However they were back once I opened a furniture
box. I have pictures under a microscope of them inside the porosites of my
skin. Sometimes I catch about 1 mm whitish "balls" where some legs can be
seen. About 2 days ago I picked one up on the tip of my finger and moved it
very close to the Vicks balsam inside recipient. I looked closely and in
less than 5 seconds it jumped very fast but fell inside the recipient. I
think those are this big once they become pregnant. Is this common?
18 Feb 2012, 20:11
I know fact my home was infested when I moved in,can I sue them? They have
had many other bug problems also,now&in the past,also mold central...also
does anyone know of a good lawyer,my kids&I have lost everything including
our health...its been over a year now&we're still here because I've lost
everything to supplements,cleaners,ect..please anyone with any info? I live
in ma. Thanks in advance..god bless us all..
24 Feb 2012, 18:13
hmm. These sound like they may be what has invaded my home, flesh, hair,
There is an extremely minute whitish creature; which will cause fur
strands, hair strands, and/or dust or cloth fibers to actually move in
I first saw moving dust fibers on a lamp shade by my desk. When viewed with
a super magnifier, one can see moving whitish speck(s) on the active fiber.
Upon further investigation, I discovered the ones attached to dust fibers
have anchored their preferred dust fiber in place.
Problems first began circa 5/2009; when my dog developed dandruff; then the
condition spread to a formerly indoor 24/7 cat.
04 Mar 2012, 14:58
I just had my attic cleaned and new insulation replaced. We are being
bitten by invisible mites and feel them swarming all over us. How can I
trap these things to get a sample to identify them. I am unable to locate a
mammal source anywhere. Unless, I am the source putting my mom at risk.
Please help me anyone!
04 Mar 2012, 19:50
I hate to be the one to say this to everyone but its true,as of now,no1
will have answers for you..I've been through so many doctors,I have
2children&are all ill..but I do hear there is help from homeopathic doctors
or holistic doctors..also someone mentioned the deat earth,also heard of
people getting releif from that...I've tried Everythiing too&yes neem oil
works well but they'll move,so you have to make some kind of paste. Wish I
could tell you more but I'm unable to do any of these things because I've
lost all my $trying to figure out what it was for a year!go to morgellons
04 Mar 2012, 20:39
Have you tried Vicks vapour rub balsam ? It does work. At least to reduce
population and allowing to sleep. We became infected when we moved to a
victorian house after mice had been killed as a pest control measure.
@kely, due to the infectious nature of this issue, how would you legally
prove you hadn't brought it from outside?
Btw, to this web's owner, thanks for providing this space to exchange
information about such a debilitating condition.
16 Mar 2012, 00:11
I'm sure we have mites as well. But when you say skin mites do you mean
scabies or head lice/crabs ? Probably not because those are visible. I am
loosing my mind and look like a leper. My cats itch, my dogs itch and my
doctor thinks I'm 'dillusional'. I made the mistke of saying "morgellons"
but then again my md's have never heard of bird mites or carpet beetles.
Help. I want to burn my house down (not really)
09 May 2012, 13:21
The Demodex mite lives in the hair follicles of all mammals. I began
taking a daily antibiotic to treat adult acne aka rosacea. My skin has
never looked better. After I enjoyed my flawless skin for several months I
discontinued treatment.(now there is a known link between rosacea and
demodex)6 months pass with no problems but suddenly I experienced the itchy
crawling scalp. Tea tree oil was the only product that could give me 6-8
hrs of relief. I used clear scotch packing tape to identify my curse.
Quickly when I could feel the tiny army moving south from my scalp,I
slapped a strip of tape on my forehead then slowly peeled it off. I added a
clean strip over the sticky side making a crude slide to view under
magnification. When I began my daily antibiotics again I noticed the
nightly army vanished. Take care in who you consult for help and web pages
touting cures.I found this article helpful
www.eyeworld.org/article.php?sid=4381 FYI, 7 days with no sleep will make
anyone dillusional and kill even the best immune system. Do what you must
to get some sleep.
26 Sep 2012, 21:52
Diatomaceous Earth will not affect mites; I have this information from a
world famous entomologist. He says to stop wasting money because it will
not affect their skeletal systems.
07 Dec 2012, 09:35
have found relief from nose ticklers & eyelash [so small feel them on
by diet coke wash ,doesn't sting & cleans skin [any diet cola may work]
18 Dec 2012, 11:52
The best day of my life to read this. I'm not crazy or dillusional. Ive
been fighting this same mite that everyone above is describing. Doctors
think I'm delusional and so do all my friends and family. So frustrating.
I've had this problem since June. Kate: can you provide me the name of ur
doctor in the UK? An email address would be such a blessing. I've read that
iys best to go outside of US where doctors will at least listen and try to
help. Us doctors are so closed minded I wonder how they became doctors.
Thank you and anyone else with doctors info is greatly appreciated. I am
from San Diego, CA.
04 Jun 2013, 15:01
OMG !!!!! I have lived the nightmare for two years. I would not wish this
on ANYONE, but I am so grateful to know I am not alone. I have been to the
library, searched the net, and could only find a few sites that remotely
came close to matching my symptoms. "Parasite infestation" was my
self-diagnosis, and since no otc drugs are available (that work), I went to
a local clinic. I've been trapping the demons with clear tape, and I took a
large amount of them with me, assuming the doctor would immediately
recognize them, and give me a prescription. Long story short- I was treated
like a crack monkey. He didn't even look at the samples. I've since, been
to UAMS (a large research hospital with a parasite specialist), and was
offered a mental evaluation. They said this kind of thing doesn't exist in
the U.S.- only in third world countries.
12 Nov 2013, 15:27
I have been infested, along with my 4 children, and yes these things are a
living nightmare, I lived in one Boro, has since moved and now my baby
daughter is displaying symptoms of the bites again, we were all prescribed
the peramythim cream, which took about 2 treatments, it worked but still
leaves remenants of the bites on the skin. I have been using clorox cleaner
spray to spray all over my room and mattress. It kills the bugs on spot,
but does not completely alleviate them. Constant cleaning with a microfiber
cloth helps pick up the little creatures also, then bag the cloths and
13 Nov 2013, 13:13
I have been to my county extension office, a parasite specialist, an
entomologist, several clinics, and still have no answers. I recently
received an email, suggesting I contact a medical university, where Indian
students are attending. There is a huge problem with parasites in India,
which may be where our problem has come from. Anyway, supposedly an Indian
student could possibly help point me in the right direction for
medication/treatment. I'll try anything.
09 Dec 2013, 19:16
Ammonia is the only thing that seems to kill the LIVE ones, eggs remain
unaffected, I bought NEW clothing from Sports Direct, Matalan, and Primark,
they ALL had invisible crawling 'things'. 90 degree washes don't kill them
either, nor does using a dryer & I have a Miele.