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Delusionary Parasitosis or Small Biting Bugs. Which One Is It?

Parasites can be super annoying, can’t they? There are so many different types to deal with, and it seems like they all have some unexplainable attraction to your skin and biting you. The bites are uncomfortable, and they usually present an effect, such as a bump or rash.

It’s not too difficult to identify signs of real bug bites or if they’re in someone’s head. The info here should help you tell the difference too.

Delusionary Parasitosis

The name of this condition should tell you quite a bit about it. Delusionary parasitosis is a psychiatric disorder where someone thinks that a parasite infection is at play. Some people call the condition Ekbom syndrome. Unfortunately, those affected cannot stop thinking or believing that a bug of some kind is attacking.

Affected persons often see a dermatologist or doctor for treatment, as they want to get rid of the bug either under their skin or in their bodies. None is present, but people with the condition are almost always adamant. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • A feeling of crawling on the skin
  • Scratching at skin
  • Picking at skiing
  • Unexplained burning or itchiness
  • Ulcers or lesions caused by scratching
  • Varying degrees of self-mutilation 

Realistic Bug Problems

While delusionary parasitosis doesn’t involve real bugs, many people are being bitten and affected by real ones. The skin shows different characteristics in this case, and we thought we’d share what to look for with some of the more common bug problems.

Bed Bugs

These are brownish insects that take on a red color after feeding. While they are flightless, they are incredibly quick with their movements. Bed bugs survive on blood, and the best way for them to get some is to attack while you are sleeping. That’s where the name comes from, and that’s why they are primarily active at night. Unlike mosquitoes that may drain blood for a short time, a bed bug can suck on your blood for as much as 10 minutes.

The biting and blood-sucking process results in itching and bumps that are not unlike those presented by mosquito bites. That’s one of the reasons that these infestations are so hard to pinpoint, as you may think it’s another mosquito.

Look around for shed skins, eggshells, insect filth, or random blood marks on your bedding. Once discovered, your next thought may be how to get rid of bed bugs fast. You can do so with vinegar, rubbing alcohol, repairing wall cracks, insecticides, or extermination.


No-see-ums also get their name from a prominent trait of theirs. Some people call them punkies, biting midges, biting gnats, or sand flies. These flying insects are tiny, making getting through your window and door screens That much easier for them.

It’s almost hard to believe that something so small can bite you as hard as they do. They leave bite marks, which are usually both itchy and painful. Sadly, the bite is the lesser problem. The real danger is that they can transfer diseases to humans, which makes getting control of the situation very important.

If you’ve been bitten, watch the site, avoid scratching, and get over-the-counter products to soothe the itching. Applying hot water also helps, and ensure you visit a doctor if your symptoms become severe.

Such symptoms include rashes, difficulty swallowing, wheezing, infection of the site, or excessive pain.


Chiggers, like no-see-ums, are very hard to see with the naked eye. Though they don’t have any dangerous implications, their bites are super itchy, which leaves you with an overwhelming need to scratch.

While often lumped in with bugs, they’re arachnids, which means they have more in common with ticks and spiders than traditional bugs. They’re found almost everywhere but prefer warmer conditions.

Chiggers move around on your clothing until they find exposed skin. They then make small holes with their jaw-like claws and input their saliva. The idea is to snack on your cells after the said saliva turns them to mush.

These arachnids tend to bite in clusters, so expect to see a colony of red bumps on your waist or lower legs. It only takes a few hours for the itching to begin.

Your first order of business should be to take a shower to scrub your skin and get rid of any of them that may still be present. Over-the-counter, anti-itch solutions can help with your comfort. See a doctor if the bites don’t get better within a few days.


Scabies is a condition caused by The Sarcoptes scabiei mite. They’re microscopic and can live on your skin for many months. Not only do they reproduce on it, but they burrow into it to lay eggs. That’s what causes an itchy red rash to start taking shape. Infested clothing and bedding can transfer the mites, which means physical contact is not necessary.

It takes up to six weeks for scabies symptoms to start showing themselves. The most common of them is an intense level of itching that seems to worsen at night. Scratching the areas creates sores that are prone to infection.

Prescription ointments are the most common way of getting rid of the condition, but oral medications may also be administered.

Dust Mites

Here is yet another small insect that’s too hard to see with the naked eye. Dust mites‘ preferred diet is dead skin cells, which explains the presence around humans.

The mites live in places where they are most likely to feed, such as furniture, bedding, and carpeting. These insects don’t bite you, but you may have an allergic reaction to them. You can identify this by the red color and the itching that accompanies it.

Since they are so hard to get rid of, allergic people can suffer almost consistently. There are treatment options available, and they include prescription allergy medications, allergy shots, decongestants, and over-the-counter antihistamines.

Bird Mites

Finally, there are bird mites. Bird mites originate in birds, such as sparrows, starlings, and chickens, but can live near bird nests. Bird blood is their preferred meal. They can bite humans, but they cannot thrive on human blood alone. It’s tough to tell the source if someone is bitten since the effect is not unlike that of other bug bites and conditions, such as scabies.

If you are not are around birds much, it’s doubtful that bird mites are going to be a problem. Note if there are any unusual bite marks are skin irritations, and see a doctor. You should then get a diagnosis and treatment for the problem.

If you’re looking for the right team to handle the issue for you, Synergy² is here to help. We provide trusted services throughout the area, so contact us for the best pest control services around.

Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you.  We have over 300 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here at Synergy² Jackson Pest Control!

Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Barry Pitts, Synergy² Owner

Pharmacist and Synergy² Pest owner, Barry Pitts, is a long-time Madison, MS resident with a passion for applying advanced scientific pest principles to pest control services in the Jackson metro area.  Combining exceptional customer service with cutting-edge pest control technology allows Synergy² to provide residents of the Jackson metro area with the highest levels of pest control available today.

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