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    DeepMysteries's Avatar
    DeepMysteries Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    May 31, 2013, 07:53 PM
    Invisible flying biting bugs
    A few questions:
    Has anyone actually had these bugs documented as diptera (midges)?
    Has anyone experienced a gastrointestinal infestation with them?
    Has anyone been permanently successful in getting rid of them?
    Catsmine's Avatar
    Catsmine Posts: 3,827, Reputation: 739
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    #2

    Jun 1, 2013, 04:00 AM
    The order Diptera covers all the true flies. I think you are referring to one of these families:

    biting midges, no-see-ums, Culicoides spp.

    Botfly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The second family may be where you have heard of gastrointestinal involvement.

    Getting rid of midges is pretty straightforward. Mosquito control measures are more effective on them than on mosquitoes.

    Quite often people attribute environmental irritants to "invisible" bugs because the irritation is similar to being bitten. You will see me and others urging people to capture a sample through various methods to rule out environmental irritants before trying to kill something that isn't alive. Conversely, I often encourage people to modify their environment one factor at a time to rule out such irritants. Modifying the environment sometimes eliminates conditions that allow biting insects to thrive, as well. Each person's case is different.
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    #3

    Jun 1, 2013, 08:15 AM
    Megaselia scalaris (Loew) is a small, 2 mm long, yellowish-colored fly with some dark markings. It is found nearly worldwide in warm climates, and into temperate areas in association with humans. Females of this species are easily recognized by the short, exceptionally broad tergite 6. Males have distinctive genitalia, and terminal abdominal structures of both sexes have been illustrated many times (most recently by Brown & Oliver, 2007).

    Taxon biology:
    These flies lay their eggs and develop as larvae in an extremely wide range of organic materials, including carrion, eggs, decaying plants, and rotting fungi. They occasionally infect the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, as well as incompletely healed wounds of humans, causing a condition known as myiasis. In tropical America, they invade the nests of stingless bees being kept for honey production, possibly after primary invasion by another phorid fly, Pseudohypocera kerteszi (Enderlein). They have even been reared from some bizarre media, such as paint and boot polish.
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    #4

    Jun 1, 2013, 08:34 AM
    Following your and other experts advice to capture samples, I have done several things. Tape, glue pads, and water bowls. What I was picking up on tape (lots of black specks that emerged both from bedding and directly from my skin when wiped with alcohol or dawn detergent was categorically dismissed by the ag extension service as "nothing" . Upon putting out the hot water bowl with light overnight a larva scum covered it in the morning, which led to the search for the diptera that could be involved. It also led me away from the birdmite sites and forums (where no one ever seemed to find these samples) to this "invisible flying biting insect" forum. These are not mosquitoes, but seem to be a much smaller and more insidiously invasive order of critter. I invested in a small digital microscope and captured a couple of pictures--which I am going to figure out how to post here.
    I am happy to hear that midges are easy to get rid of, but whatever these are (from other peoples experiences that match mine exactly) getting rid of them may have been more difficult.
    Has anyone on these forums ever been able to capture samples of birdmites or collembola? If so, what method do they use? I am not ruling out that these other organisms may be present as we had an abandoned bird nest on the porch (now removed) and we have an ongoing rodent issue in our 100 plus year old house on pier and beam.
    Thanks.
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    #5

    Jun 1, 2013, 08:52 AM
    Retrieved these samples from bath water surface.
    Are they different stages of the same diptera or two totally different insects?
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    Catsmine Posts: 3,827, Reputation: 739
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    #6

    Jun 1, 2013, 08:59 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepMysteries View Post
    I invested in a small digital microscope and captured a couple of pictures--which I am going to figure out how to post here.
    Did you examine the samples yourself that the Ag. Extension agent dismissed? Was s/he in the Entomology or Botany side of the office?

    As far as posting pics, there should be either a paperclip icon on the taskbar above the box where you type or a button under the box labeled "manage attachments." Clicking on either will open a dialog box for you to upload images from your computer or download them from a url.
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    #7

    Jun 1, 2013, 08:59 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepMysteries View Post
    Megaselia scalaris (Loew) is a small, 2 mm long, yellowish-colored fly with some dark markings. It is found nearly worldwide in warm climates, and into temperate areas in association with humans. Females of this species are easily recognized by the short, exceptionally broad tergite 6. Males have distinctive genitalia, and terminal abdominal structures of both sexes have been illustrated many times (most recently by Brown & Oliver, 2007).

    Taxon biology:
    These flies lay their eggs and develop as larvae in an extremely wide range of organic materials, including carrion, eggs, decaying plants, and rotting fungi. They occasionally infect the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, as well as incompletely healed wounds of humans, causing a condition known as myiasis. In tropical America, they invade the nests of stingless bees being kept for honey production, possibly after primary invasion by another phorid fly, Pseudohypocera kerteszi (Enderlein). They have even been reared from some bizarre media, such as paint and boot polish.
    Why did you copy this?
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    #8

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:19 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepMysteries View Post
    Has anyone on these forums ever been able to capture samples of birdmites or collembola? If so, what method do they use? I am not ruling out that these other organisms may be present as we had an abandoned bird nest on the porch (now removed) and we have an ongoing rodent issue in our 100 plus year old house on pier and beam.
    Thanks.
    Bird mites, although very small, are naked eye visible. They're easiest to see when moving on a black or a pure white surface. The 'invisible' gift wrapping tape is usually sticky enough to catch them.

    Springtails (collembola) are not capable of biting humans, despite several websites' insistence that they're parasitic mites. They're actually insects that have a jumping mechanism that can feel like a bite.

    Rodents can carry mites as well as fleas, but they normally don't jump to human hosts well.

    Antique houses are notorious for fungus of various types, which leads me back to the environmental factors I mentioned in my first answer.
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    #9

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:29 AM
    I posted two pictures of the winged critters on one of the other branches of this forum-- it is a bit confusing to have so many threads going on the forum. Isn't there a way to consolidate them? Having to subscribe to each in order to respond is like like having more or less the same conversation going in several different rooms each of which requires a membership to enter.

    As for the black specks, I did not have my hand-held microscope when I first gathered them. Since then I have looked at similar samples and have found them to be one of three types--none of which look like organisms so I understand why ag ex dismissed them. I think now that they may be excretions from the flies, but not sure if there are other things of interest in the mix--especially the fibrous ones that come out of my skin. I will post the black speck series (two) and then I will post what I think are the diptera series from larvae to full adult.
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    #10

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:43 AM
    Black specks gathered from surface of bedding after spraying with windex generally look like irregular opaque "rocks".

    Black specks gathered from skin after wiping with alcohol or dawn or windex generally look like either irregular opaque "rocks" , often arrow shaped objects (as shown) or fiber wrapped things of varying shapes and sizes.
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    #11

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
    The filament wrapped skin emergents may be secondary involvements of fungal fibers.
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    #12

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:53 AM
    These are what I believe to be the stages of this insect--what I am currently assuming is some diptera.

    First two images are 1. larva on hot water left out overnight with a lamp.

    2. insect in the same bowl with larva scum.
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    #13

    Jun 1, 2013, 09:58 AM
    Now a series of stages found from my bath water and body.

    1. egg removed from my nasal passage (they swarm and lay eggs in my nose)

    2. larva caught in a small strainer of bath water after an epsom salt bath.

    3. larva found on my body near the "exit".
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    #14

    Jun 1, 2013, 10:01 AM
    And the two insets found in the bath at two different times.
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    #15

    Jun 1, 2013, 10:07 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepMysteries View Post
    I posted two pictures of the winged critters on one of the other branches of this forum-- it is a bit confusing to have so many threads going on the forum. .
    I have moved your pictures of the winged creatures to this thread.

    As far as I can tell you only have this thread, if you have another thread with more information regarding your problem, please let me know and we can see if they can be merged.

    If you are asking about all posts on winged, biting insects being kept in one thread, it becomes confusing when several different questions by different posters are combined into one thread. It generally ends up with someone getting incorrect information for their situation. We prefer to give you the best advice we can.

    Thank you.
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    #16

    Jun 1, 2013, 10:08 AM
    Because this is a diptera that has been described as hosting on humans and especially the alimentary canal-- I definitely have a parasite that is using mine.
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    #17

    Jun 1, 2013, 10:12 AM
    The above post was in answer to your question why did you copy this -- the web entry regarding diptera Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866) | The Diptera Site which will invade humans.
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    #18

    Jun 1, 2013, 12:27 PM
    More questions for all invisible bug sufferers
    Also wondering whether any of the folks who have assumed they have bird mites or collembola have ever had them actually identified and, if so, how did you collect the specimens?

    And, of course, are there any definitive cases of complete recovery of life and environments and, if so, how?

    We should write a book!! Share the profits for research.

    We should also include this cartoon:
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    #19

    Jun 1, 2013, 01:03 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepMysteries View Post
    The above post was in answer to your question why did you copy this -- the web entry regarding diptera Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866) | The Diptera Site which will invade humans.
    The reason I asked was that it appeared to be incomplete. The only thing that showed up was the copied part; there wasn't any comment or question from you.

    That's one reason I like this site as compared to others where your post goes up when you hit 'enter' regardless of whether you're finished writing.

    On to the pics. The resolution on those pics is fantastic. It won't be advertising if I ask what brand of scope/camera you chose. I'm in need of a new portable at the moment.

    I can see why you thought of phorid flies. They are very good likenesses. You might look at Culicoides furens, a biting midge that could very easily be infesting your house.

    biting midges, no-see-ums, Culicoides spp.

    As far as control, first eliminate all the wet areas you can. Those you can't can be treated with larvacides onto any open water and lime onto any wet soil. Check under the house for leaks, too.

    Inside the house, a good old fashioned field day will help tremendously: waxing all the wood that isn't painted; caulking and grouting tile, porcelin, and linoleum; cleaning and polishing the floors; and even checking ductwork and chimneys. I realize that's about 150 hours labor for a four bedroom antique house, but you'll be amazed at how much it will cut down on insects, fungi, and allergens.
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    #20

    Jun 1, 2013, 02:19 PM
    It is a Celestron Microcapture pro -- can be used hand-held or in its stand. It was a little more than $112 and they have similar more expensive ones. I am so happy that I got it as sending things off to people without knowing what I had was wasting everybody's time. And the first good sample I had (seen under a 30x hand-held) I took to a dr. and it got tossed in the trash without even being looked at. Plus there seem to be few people around here who have the willingness or expertise to look at these things.

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