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.
21 Mar 2014, 19:16
I have this for almost a year and some days are worse than others. I have
notice that germ-x is a relief for a while. So imt thinking germ-x and
hydrogen peroxide are the key. But over time will cause damage to skin. All
i know is that there has to be a cure seeing how common this becoming. The
lotions and creams are a joke. They just want money. Also some are very
dangerous. One of my doctors perscribed my child a medicine that she was
too young for, when i looked it up it had cases of children dying or taking
it. Pisses me off that doctors are so money hungry to risk a child's life.
Ive heard some people claiming that a cup of bleach and a cup of peroxide
in bath water can help if done periodically over time . Also vinegar is a
temp relief. But for me the best one has been GERM-X!!!
01 Apr 2014, 21:11
Wow, so relieved to find this page and know we are not the only ones. I
first noticed crawling & itching in my hair & on my scalp mainly at night.
Tried everything others have tried and Dr.'s were of no help. After 2
visits to a derm was given a prescription in May 2013 for Clobetasol
Propionate 0.05% Solution. Was told I have a type of dermatitis.It
addressed the scalp & hair issue amazingly but a month later myself &
everyone in our household started having a crawling & sometimes biting
sensation on our skin in various places. Thought bedbugs since they are a
nationwide problem but no evidence of them. No actual bug could be seen but
a small black dot about the size of this(.) It could be pulled off the skin
but wasn't easy and would bleed profusely and take weeks or longer to heal.
Another trip to the doctor angered me. He said, Don't take the dot off if
it bleeds. Just leave it there. No attempt to even try to find out what it
is. It has now spread to anyone visiting our home on a regular basis.
Visitors have taken samples of their dots(.)while they were covered with
sores to their doctors and were told they need to see a psychiatrist
because they have Morgellons. I don't know what bug the dots are, nor how
to heal the bloody sores and crawling itch they cause but I know whatever
it is, is spreading.
20 Apr 2014, 17:31
Dermatophagoides Scheremetewskyi Bogdanow...I'd like to know where there is
more information on this. There is none other than on a birdmite site and
some report (only one) from 1952. Please post where people can find
legitimate information or studies about this mite. I know many people are
having trouble being cured and there is a tremendous resistance out there
with scabies, but making claims that cannot be substantiated is a terrible
thing to do people when they are already besides themselves in desperation.
12 May 2014, 14:51
I am astonished: can't wrap my brain around the fact, that the medical
community, centers for disease, etc. have not, or will not admit that this
country obviously has a major problem, and even perhaps an epidemic
situation coming on, with the thousands of sick, scared, hopeless
individuals pleading for answers, and in need of a place to go for medical
help. It's ridiculous in this day and time, to have to look to other
countries for information, and medical treatment.
As I have stated before, I have been to doctors, so-called "specialists"
county extension services, w/absolutely no help. If it weren't for sites
like yours I would have, on several occasions considered ending my life.
For me, it has been totally devastating. Your site has given me enough hope
to keep trying.
I purchased a microscope, and HIGHLY recommend them to anyone who wants to
know what we are dealing with. I'm in my 3rd year of the nightmare, and for
the first time since became a host, I can see what is living off of me.
My little demons are mainly from the waist-upward, but mostly eyes nose
eyebrows (what's left of them), and my scalp. I have knots on my brows, my
eyelids stay swollen, and itch. My scalp stays covered with pimple-like
bumps that last for weeks. In the past three months or so, I noticed my
hair getting tangles, that won't comb out after shampooing, and applying a
rinse. I have fine hair (what's left of it) so tangles have never been an
issue...long story short- I bought a fine tooth comb. Starting @ the scalp
I work it down to the ends, and discovered a very sticky brown almost
glue-like substance entangled w/ the hair that inevitably wads up on the
comb. I collect it, put it on clear tape. Under the microscope, I can see
eggs, and the brown substance, and spider-looking (8 legged demons) Sounds
crazy, but it is what it is. One more thing, and I'll finish up for now. I
take a brawny (tight weave) white towel, soak it with rubbing alcohol, or
peroxide, then gently rub my eyebrows back and forth twice. Grab the tape
and pat it on the towel to pluck them off. Can't see them w/out the
microscope, but the same spiders in numbers every time. Unmistakable.
Thanks for letting me vent...it keeps me going !!
Sleepless in Seattle
16 May 2014, 02:01
I agree with you all whatever these are they are very very real. I got
these mites last year in July while visiting Paris. I had no idea what they
were but after a week of no sleep because I was being tortured by some
almost invisible bugs that were crawling all over me and biting I thought I
would lose my mind. Now it is almost a year later and I am still infested.
I somehow brought these things home with me and I have tried everything to
get rid of them. I have literally bathed in straight bleach, Windex,
ammonia, vinegar, tea tree oil, hot pepper oil, hydrogen peroxside, clorox
cleaning spray, dawn liquid soap (which does seem to work for a bit if you
let it dry on your skin, but it will cause your skin to become insanely dry
and cracked) orange oil (wouldn't recommend it will give you insane
chemical burns) i have tried every household cleaner, bug killer, lotion
you can think of. The person above that mentioned the vicks is sort of
correct. It will give you a momentary reprieve but they will be all over
you the second it rubs off. I threw away my bed, all my bedding a ton of
clothes, have spent thousands on cleaners and tape, etc., and nothing has
gotten rid of them. I literally shower twice a day, I washed ALL my bedding
everyday sometimes twice a day, I will leave all my clothes in the dryer
for hours and it does nothing. I have washed ALL my clothing in bleach
(even colors) just to try and kill them and I have covered every inch of my
body in tape and wood glue to see if that helped. Vaccuming repeatedly,
washing all bedding and clothing repeatedly and taking xanax at night to
help sleep does work a little, but it certainly has not killed them. I used
to have beautiful skin and not a mark on my body. Now i have scars all over
me and I look like some crazy crackhead or as the person above said a
leper. I run a lint roller over myself and my clothes, bedding, chairs,
couch etc., over and over and over again. My family I have told think I'm
insane and that it's all in my head. But you can feel them on you, you can
feel them crawling, you can feel them biting and you can feel them when you
scrape them off or dig them out of your skin. It feels like lil tiny grains
of salt or sand under your fingers. I now keep a candle lit next to me at
all times so if I feel them I get them with the tips of my fingers and as
carefully as I can throw them into the flame or hot wax. It again has in no
way eradicated the problem, but it does help a bit. I have read everything
online and this is the first forum where people at least admitted nothing
works. All the pages like "birdmites.com" were they say they don't live or
feed on humans and don't or won't live in your skin is utter rubbish. You
can feel them in your skin and you can see and feel when they lay their
eggs in there. My house, my car and even my office are infected. To the
person above who said people have committed suicide over these things I can
see why. I feel like I am going insane. My job is failing because I
literally can't sit there for 8 hrs without wanting to claw all my skin off
and run screaming out the doors. I only get a few hours of sleep a night
and my personality has changed drastically because I am always tired and
irritable. I had read once that they cannot survive in a dry arid
environment, and they don't like air conditioning. Unfortunately I live in
a very wet, humid place so I have no reprieve as this is where they seem to
thrive. I am also afraid my dog has them now too. I'm afraid to let anyone
come to my house or ride in my car because I'm afraid of them catching
these things. It's summertime now and I'm embarrassed to even take my
clothes off and wear a bikini because I have scars all over my body. I am
also afraid because they seem to thrive more in hot, damp sweaty
conditions. They also seem to 'attack' more where your body makes contact
with other things, like your waist band, your bra straps, ankles where your
socks touch, bands of underwear etc. I also noticed that they attack more
when I have lotion. makeup or something similar on. They will also attack
more on whatever side of your body is touching the mattress or pillow. Arid
Extra Dry the aerosol kind does seem to work on them temporarily, but it's
very expensive and only temporary. They seem to burrow into your skin more
when you have anything on your skin like if you spray deoderant all over
your body or put vicks vapor rub all over you. It doesn't kill them it
makes them go in deeper then attack more the second the stuff is wearing
off your skin. I have no idea how to get rid of them but have seriously
thought about burning my house and everything in it down to the ground as
well. Of course that wouldn't even work because they are on me and in my
skin and wherever I go I will just reinfect it. I'm beyond at my wits end.
I even quit seeing my boyfriend because I don't want him getting them and
I'm embarrassed about what they've done to my body and my home. I am truly
Sleepless in Seattle and I'm willing to try anything to get rid of them for
good! I am in the process of bug bombing my house, then throwing away every
piece of clothing, drapery, bedding and furniture that I can, packing
everything else I own and plan to leave it in storage for as long as
possible, a year if I have to. I am also moving to a new place with air
conditioning. I'm just afraid that these will just go with me to the new
place or the second I open one of those boxes that have been in storage it
will start all over again. I truly don't know what to do.
19 May 2014, 13:08
Hi Sleepless in Seattle!
Here's a few tips that actually do work:
(I'm assuming your problem is the same as mine) Its about making their
lives a misery rather than yours. This way their numbers will drop, and
keep dropping. Give them nowhere to live.
1) diatomaceous earth (food grade).
3) gas mask & goggles.
4) polyester clothing.
5) fake leather sofa.
6) No carpet.
7) heated and vented linen cupboard.
8) Boilable bedding (whites).
9) "Pest Pistol"
Start by changing what you wear. Minimise cotton and other natural
materials. Wear polyester sports clothes, loose fitting.
Get a scuba tub XL (107L) to seal clothes in. Put 1 litre ammonia to 10
litres water in this tub and immerse clothing for a week. Use the gas mask
and goggles and washing up gloves so the ammonia doesn't affect you (its
dangerous), and keep the doors and windows open to vent the air.
Bring out clothing after a week and wash on any temperature. Most bugs will
be dead. Wear the clothing etc, return to dip after one week. Keep
repeating this sequence. Throw out any excess of textiles.
Place clothing in thin piles only in a dry dry dry linen cupboard (I miss
out this step but its good if you can put it in).
Strip the bed. Throw away and replace the duvet for as small a one as you
can manage (eg single 4.5 tog), this can then be placed in the ammonia dip.
I'd advise running 2 ammonia dips, one with bedding, one with clothing.
Boil wash the whites, boil wash everything you can. This helps, but drying
in the dryer does not usually.
Buy a "Pest Pistol" to put the diatomaceous earth (DE) in. Make sure the DE
you buy is food grade otherwise it can damage your lungs. It cuts up the
exoskeletons of these bugs. they then dehydrate and die. Put this
everywhere possible, I 100% found this to be effective. The pest pistol is
essential otherwise you end up using lots of DE which is totally wasteful
and messy! You can fine mist a room (which initially is like a fog but when
settled nobody even notices).
Good luck. Here's my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
29 May 2014, 16:43
Does anyone know the scientific name for these mites?
Ask the Exterminator
15 Jul 2014, 13:30
I received this email recently from someone who has had bird mite issues.
Hope it helps.:
I have found a way to slow them down is to mix pinesol and water in a pump
sprayer and cover everything! It is quick cheap and smells good. To
completely clean my home would take forever. Its like mowing a football
field with a push lawnmower.
Mites have been bugging me for years.
Recent research has led me to believe that my body immune system is
weakened and my skin is super sensitive. My new spring cleaning has to be
internally. By improving on a healthy diet is the KEY! An apple a day
keeps the doctor away. Chemically speaking, Fresh foods that keep your
body PH levels alkaline are best. New studies say that even cancer cells
can not grow in a alkaline body.
The cure is at the fruit and vegetable market. Lemon water and cider
vinegar will clean inside and out.
11 Oct 2014, 23:14
I have just recently become infested with these mites and am searching for
a solution. It's miserable.
There is a new way of treating Bed Bugs, using heat of about 120 degrees
for about 4 hours in a house. They recommend the people stand in the heat
for a time too. It's supposed to kill adults and larvae all at once and
doesn't need to be done again.
Does anyone know if this would kill the mites? Would extreme heat kill
12 Oct 2014, 10:00
Hi Lois, try putting an infested clothing item in the oven to test first.
Thats a controlled environment. I can't get rid of these things. Look up
Richard Khuns and Andy Coyle and BT cotton and GMO biopest control cotton
nematodes... I find they are in new cotton clothing and so I wear gym gear
and sleep in a sleeping bag to avoid them as its polyester. Good luck.