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Clustered Red Bites

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Over the past month I've discovered bites on my skin which are extremely itchy and really testing my patience.
Originally the bites were quite minimal, but now there's quite a large amount of red markings clustered across my lower abdomen and my groin area & tops of and inside of my thighs. This is the primary area of irritation, I do however have random individual bites lower on my legs or up on my chest.

As I live in student accommodation with people filtering in and out of other people's rooms constantly my instant concern was bed bugs. However I have repeatedly inspected my mattress and other areas, including at night as they are nocturnal and I haven't managed to detect a single bug yet. This is why I'm beginning to believe that they might be chiggers as they are smaller? (And the fact that the bites are primarily around the groin). The intensity of the bites is embarrassing around the groin region as I've recently entered a relationship and it quite frankly couldn't look less attractive (not to mention I can't think of a worse area to need to publicly scratch!), so I'm currently trying to hide them.

Are chiggers easier to eliminate than bed bugs? I think in this multi-accommodation environment bed bugs would be a nightmare to control so I don't know how to approach the situation. All I know is I need to do something fast because the longer I'm leaving it, the worse they get.
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replied March 30th, 2012
Hello and welcome to e health forum.

Diagnosis of the cause of your possible bites, is not possible with the description provided. But it seems that you appear to be having a allergic or inflammatory reaction to the bite.

You can take some NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Benadryl for a few days to allow the inflammation and itching to reduce. Using a Hydrocortisone cream will also be helpful to relieve the symptoms.

It can be distressing to have an infestation of biting insects in the home, but there is no need to tolerate them as there are treatments to deal with them.

The most common sources of insect bites in the home are bed bugs, human fleas, pet fleas, bird fleas, ticks, Spiders, and other bugs. Most of these insects have the following features.

1. Usually bite after dusk or at night
2. Tend to be near slow-moving water
3. Often seen resting on ceilings and upper walls
4. Associated with cats and dogs as pets
5. Often found when moving into a home that used to have pets
6. Will switch to biting humans when pets not present

Some steps to help prevent such insect bites include -

Wearing Long sleeves, long trousers, socks, shoes and gloves ; Tucking in shirts, tucking pants into socks - to help protect you from stings.
Closing the windows in the house and the car to keep the insects out.
Looking out for insects' nests in your home or garden and have them removed immediately.

Fleas often bite four or five times in the same area so you may find a couple of these clusters on your body.

When accommodations are not adequately screened or air conditioned, bed nets are essential to provide protection and to reduce discomfort caused by biting insects. If bed nets do not reach the floor, they should be tucked under mattresses. Bed nets are most effective when they are treated with a pyrethroid.

In case, you keep getting such bites, inspite of the above measures you can seek help from a professional insect and pest management company, for proper help. This might help to solve your problem.
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