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mysterious bites


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Hi - I'm not prone to being bitten by mosquitos etc.,  never have been, but something is eating me alive!  We live in very rural part of Aveyron 20km from Rodez in middle of farmland on a small farm of our own which we are putting back together.  My husband and our three dogs are also being bitten badly and it only happens in the evenings, indoors (living room) with windows shut and various insect repellents on the go and we see nothing!  The bites are profuse, through clothing (and fur obviously) and very very itchy forming non descript pink blobs without obvious 'heads' as with some mosquito bites that leave weeping centres - driving us mad and lasting for days and days as others join them each evening!  This only happens at this time of year (it happened last year at the same time) and we don't know what we can do to track the source of whatever it is that's eating us - if only we could see it perhaps we could spray something etc.  Has anybody got any ideas please?  Sensible ones that is!  It is a very old chestnut wood floor that has bare earth underneath and gaps around where the floor has sunk away from the walls - (the room is still waiting to be re-done) but I have sprayed insecticide in the gaps and down between the floorboards to no avail...  The dogs are flea free and regularly treated but poor things are being bitten as badly as we are!  It really is becoming quite unpleasant and our neighbours don't seem to have the problem so we presume it isn't anything to do with the harvest etc.  Help would be most welcome, thank you.

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Probaby harvest mites (Aoutats) which are apparently prevalent at this time of year.  Not experienced them myself, but I gather the symptoms are as you describe.  I didn't know they affected people indoors, though - I thought they hung around in the grass and affected the feet and lower legs.

 

Chris

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If these "bites" are in lines and the folds of the body, around the waist line, inside elbows, between fingers,  under bra lines, around sock tops etc it is chiggers/garden flea,/dust or harvest mite or as called in France Les Aoutats,  They are particularly prevalent round here in 12.  They are not really deterred by insect repellants and the best thing to do is avoid contact, don't lay out on a towel or sit on the ground and avoid working in barns and caves etc that are dusty without all over skin covering, gloves, long trousers etc, they can climb very easily and once on the body will get where they can, they love creases .  They are nasty itches, not like mozzies that take blood, these blighters inject a fluid and the itch is the body rejecting it.

If you do a search there is a lot about them on here already or do a google, it seems that in France the preferred treatment is  Benzoate of Benzyl and the product name is Ascabiol. You can also use Piriton and other bite treatments.

Have a look here for similar posts http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/537032/ShowPost.aspx

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Almost certainly aoutats.

The reason you don't notice them until you're indoors is that they take a few hours to get stuck in. I know it sounds horrible but I pierce the blisters with a sterilised pin as soon as I notice them - seems to reduce the itching. You can actually buy a gadget to use to do this.

Prevention- when working outside wear trousers tucked into boots or socks, long sleeved blouse with cuffs tucked into gloves. Some say to shower and change undies as soon as you come in.

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Well that seems to have answered my problem - many thanks to all.  We have little chance of avoiding them it seems and so we will follow advice to ease the already existing bites and try to counter the inevitability of more!  We work outdoors all day long and it's not practical to cover up when it's hot..... but at least I know what's eating us now!  I had wild imaginings that we had something horrid in the woodwork that was hell bent on dissuading us from getting on with our project.  Thanks again everybody!
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OH gets these bites when in the garden. Another trick to try and avoid them - do not wear black clothes as they are attracted to the dark colour. A French lady told us this and believe it or not I think she is right. He still gets some bites, but nowhere near as many ....

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  • 3 weeks later...
Aoutats take a while to reach their chosen dining spot, which is why you don't notice the bites until the evening. Immediately after doing what you have to do in the garden, remove all your clothing and shower with soap. Launder the clothes before wearing them again. They hate sulphur, so I used to dust my clothes and shoes with it (get it from garden shops). It's quite effective.  
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Quarmby's got a point about washing your clothes before wearing them again, as the bugs lie in wait in your clothing and will bite you again the next day if you're thrifty enough to wear the same socks (or whatever) two days running [:-))]
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  • 1 month later...

Is it possible to have them at this time of the year???

Something is eating me alive.. Very itchy, been bitten  through clothing such as stockings..

I don't see anything but it's really annoying..

 Not from the dog, he's ok..  ( no flees )

I talked about it to the doc, he didn't seem to know , and he talked about " peut être des aoutats"

 

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All I can say is I am please I don't make a living from being a page three girl. I would be temporary unemployed at the moment.

Those aoutats or similar are biting me everywhere. They are not pleasant are they. I itch and sting nearly all the time at the moment.

Skin full of red blotches. Ugh!

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