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What bit me?
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Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
What bit me? on 07/20/2010 07:29:45 MDT Print View

Just got back from 4 days canoeing in the Adirondacks and I have a few strange bites I can't identify.

One of the bites is in the crease created where my leg meets my torso on the front side, by my groin. It is deep purple, almost bruised looking. In the middle of the bite it is a bit more pinkish/red and raised. I only have three or four of these, but I've just never seen anything like them. All the bites are itchy like mosquito bites, but just don't look like them.

Are they just mosquito bites in an area that has chafing? I was swimming by the shore of the lake, so maybe some bug in there bit me? Any ideas?

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: What bit me? on 07/20/2010 12:48:31 MDT Print View

Chiggers? Spider? Can you supply a photo of the bite without giving anything else away?

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
What bit me? on 07/20/2010 13:31:49 MDT Print View

Yeah, be careful cropping that photo!

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Re: What bit me? on 07/20/2010 14:24:20 MDT Print View

Yeah, since I can't type words that are allowed in PG movies on this forum I think I better refrain from the photo.

It's definitely not chigger and probably not spider. I have been bit by a spider before and am familiar with their general appearance. I dunno, this was probably a silly question. I was hopeful that as soon as I described it someone would know from the purple, bruise-like color and reddish middle, but it's hard without a pic.

If things get worse I will post a pic! It will have to be a dire situation though! :-)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: What bit me? on 07/20/2010 14:54:53 MDT Print View

I do know the black flies can be vicious! I hated them much worse than the mosquitos.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: What bit me? on 07/20/2010 15:39:40 MDT Print View

Deep purple suggest some limited internal bleeding. That suggests there might be some necrotic damage. I would not associate that with a mossie or a leech or a tick or similar, but a small spider could do that.

But I may be over-reacting.


R Alsborg
(FastWalker) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Re: Re: What bit me? on 07/20/2010 15:51:40 MDT Print View


/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: "What bit me?" on 07/20/2010 19:35:14 MDT Print View

Sounds like chiggers to me - they tend towards that bodily geography and often bite where clothing hugs skin.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: "What bit me?" on 07/20/2010 20:37:31 MDT Print View

Another factor to consider is the possibility of MRSA. If your skin is colonized by it, an insect bite can provide an entry to vulnerable tissue where an extremely nasty infection can result. Your situation doesn't sound like MRSA, so far, but if the area becomes inflamed and painful, get to a doctor fast. If it is going to happen, it will be in the 24 hours or so after the bite. Left untreated it can be fatal. I speak from experience; keep an eye on those bites for a day or so.

Steve O
(HechoEnDetroit) - F

Locale: South Kak
Joking? on 07/20/2010 21:01:04 MDT Print View

MRSA? There is no reason to suspect that.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: What bit me? on 07/21/2010 08:22:25 MDT Print View

Thanks for the ideas everyone. The bites seem to be getting better. They are not itchy anymore, but they still look the same. I realize now that a good way to describe them is that they look like little hickeys.

I'm glad things seem to be improving. I just got worried because I've been bit by most everything I can think of, but have never seen a bite look like this. I'm not familiar with water pests though so didn't know if something by the shore could have done it.

On a side note, I have never been bitten by a leech, but I saw my first one crawling on some rocks by the shore. Those things look awesome and also have a very interesting feel. The way it moved about was really neat and I enjoyed watching it. I would touch it's back and it would rear up trying to get it's mouth on me. Pretty neat little creature.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
What bit me? on 07/21/2010 10:23:41 MDT Print View

Assassin bug?


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Re: What bit me? Zanti Misfits on 07/21/2010 11:25:29 MDT Print View

Thanks Roger, now I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight. I still remember to this day those horrific creatures from when I was a kid watching "The Outer Limits". That was a frightening episode and make me check under my covers for quite some time.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Joking? No on 07/21/2010 17:36:43 MDT Print View

"MRSA? There is no reason to suspect that."


I didn't say there was at this point. What I said was IF it became sore and swollen, have it looked at. Insect bites have allowed MRSA entry on more than one occasion.

Maybe read the posts more closely before making snide replies? We've had enough of that around here lately.

William Johnson
MRSA, bug bite or hicky on 07/21/2010 18:24:44 MDT Print View

Relating to previous posts, looking at wounds from a bug bite, a MRSA infection, or a hicky can all look very similar, and unless the latter came from your significant other, all can prove dangerous to your health. :)

In many cases, showing a bug bite to a physician will cause them to look at the wound, ask some background information, and then send you home to see how if the wound gets worse. If the wound was caused by a bite, and you do not have the bug that bit you to show the doctor, treatment is not generally an immediate fix.

Asking on these forums from other hikers who are familiar with the area wherein which you were bit can help you better determine what kind of recovery process you are looking at.

In most cases, keep the wound clean, and apply an antibiotic emollient (like Neosporin or Bacitracin) that will keep the wound clean and moist. For me, I like to cover the wound with a clean dressing for the first few days, but some prefer to leave the wound open to air. Generally, you want the area to stay moist so that it will aid in tissue repair, but not too moist.

Always try to keep the bug that bit you, and document where it occurred and approximately what time, and date.

Take care!

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
What bit me? on 07/23/2010 11:09:26 MDT Print View

It isn't a bite, you have herpes

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Re: What bit me? on 07/23/2010 11:28:13 MDT Print View


Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
bubonic plague? on 07/23/2010 13:14:40 MDT Print View

The lesion you describes does (non-seriously) sound like a bubo. Camp near any prarie dogs? :o)

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Spider on 07/23/2010 15:14:52 MDT Print View

I've had bites like this. It was a Wolf spider that left a trail of them on my chest when I was sleeping. I probly traped it under me in my sleep and it tried to eat me. I found it still alive in my bed in the morning. It didn't survive the meeting.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: What bit me? on 07/23/2010 17:53:00 MDT Print View

If the bite was from a spider it would leave two puncture marks. Were you wearing short pants? If so, it sounds very much like black flies. The several times I went swimming in lakes in Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Hampshire I was bitten by black flies and ended with huge, purplish, circular, and very itchy bite marks, each about two inches in diameter. I thought it was strange that mosquito bites barely affect me, but black fly bites have such a strong reaction.

Black flies (unlike no-see-ums... midges) are active only during daylight or when there is a light source they are attracted to. They dislike confined spaces when flying, so, unlike mosquitoes are not active in dense brush. Every time I was bitten by one it was inevitably next to a lake or pond. They tend to crawl (like no-see-ums, to which they are related) into nooks and crannies, en masse, and do their biting in groups.

I'm not sure what the proper care is of black fly bites. I just waited mine out and risked getting infected from all the scratching I did (I never need to scratch mosquito bites for some reason). I'd suggest some antibiotic cream just to be on the safe side.

Edited by butuki on 07/23/2010 17:54:12 MDT.