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Alien Hunter

Mysterious Bug Lurking In Lincoln, Nebraska

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First the lakes are full of a Unknown Substance that can kill a dog and now this. :P


A mysterious airborne bug is sweeping across the capital city. Lincoln/Lancaster County health officials aren't sure what the bug is. Even entomologists are baffled by the bug. The pattern behind the bites is a person is outside, and then the next morning they wake up with so many bites it looks like a rash. Scott Holmes who's with the Health Department says the bites are usually around the upper torso, inner arm, and neck area. Holmes says the bites are in different areas than chiggers, which normally bite around the waist area and ankles.


Lincoln resident Margaret Berry has been battling the bites for about ten days. Berry says, "You just wake up and go crazy because they itch and itch." Berry estimates that she has been bitten 30 times and the other day, one bite swelled up to three inches. The health department says the bites are red swollen areas with a pimple like center.


The health department says the bites do not pose a serious health risk. However, if you are bitten by one of these unknown bugs then you can use a antihistamine like Calamine Lotion. :)


I love the last paragraph. They don't have a clue what it is, but don't worry it's not a serious health risk. OK as usual the government is clueless but they have to sound like they know what they're doing. So please don't overwhelm the Emergency Rooms they can do nothing but cover you with some overpriced Calamine Lotion.:)


But, remember there is a health risk, just not a serious one. scratch . ? . scratch . ? . scratch . ? . :P


Check out the full story at


Edited by Alien Hunter

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Turns out its a mite that eats another mite that causes pin oak leave gall. Many places in eastern Neb are getting hit. Lincoln is just lucky to be getting hit most.


People get them from outdoor contact and sleeping with the windows open.


See, if you had voted for the road bonds, there would be orange barrels everywhere and you couldn't sleep with the windows open due to the noise. Then you wouldn't get bit. :laughing:

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:D I remember hearing about a similar outbreak of mysterious bites in the South Eastern part of Kansas. It may be the same type of situation, but I am not sure.


Just checked out the Topeka Daily Capitol and hears what the article says, :( sorry for the long post but I couldn’t link to it. Sounds like bug spray is a must……………….


:( Mysterious bites spark CDC inquiry :(


The Associated Press

PITTSBURG -- Cooler summer weather is a likely culprit for a rash of bug bites affecting hundreds of residents in southeast Kansas.

The outbreak, first believed to be chigger bites, has prompted officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate. The outbreak has been most intense in Pittsburg and on the campus of Pittsburg State University.


Dr. David Parris, director of the university's student health center, said Tuesday that four or five cases continue to be reported daily, down from as many as 30 a day in late August. He said CDC officials were expected to review case files from patients treated on campus.


"The hypothesis is that because of the cooler summer that we have had that it's from a family of bugs that you see in the South," Parris said.


The insects are believed to be part of the fly family and feed on humans. Parris said the bugs don't appear to be connected with transmission of serious disease. The only complications from the bites have been itching, minor swelling and swelling of lymph nodes in sensitive individuals.


Janis Goedeke, a Crawford County health officer, said it was difficult to determine how many residents were bitten because many treated the bites at home.


"It's more of a nuisance. People are pretty uncomfortable," she said.


Testing from state and CDC investigators will continue through the week. Goedeke said nothing has officially been ruled out as a cause, including environmental sources.


Part of the problem, she said, is people don't feel the bites until they start itching. That's when a red bump with a blister develops, followed by a clear fluid that is "extremely itchy."


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has sent epidemiologists to the area, and entomologists from Kansas State University are trapping bugs for testing.


KDHE spokeswoman Sharon Watson said one species trapped was biting midges, though more testing was needed.


"Anytime there's something unusual, we want to identify that it is a bug and not something else going on in the community," Watson said.


The problem was first reported in Crawford County in late August, when people who attended a Pittsburg State football game found themselves covered in bites.


"At first we thought it was a dorm thing, but then the football game happened," Parris said.


KDHE said several cases also have been reported in Labette, Cherokee and Bourbon counties and in the southwest Missouri counties of Jasper, Barton and Vernon. The agency said it did not know of anyone who has been hospitalized because of the rash.


Parris said residents were combating the bugs by staying indoors, wearing long sleeves or using heavy doses of bug repellent containing the chemical DEET.


The outbreak comes as Kansas nears the peak of West Nile virus season. The disease, transmitted by mosquito bites, has been in the state for the past three years. The disease can be fatal to birds, horses and humans. :D

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For what it is worth, the outbreak, at least in Nebraska, has been confirmed to be as Bigredmed said. It is microscopic mites. So, avoid oak trees when caching. I don't know if bug spray will work and the dang things travel through wind. Anyway, they say another week to ten days of it.


With the toxic algae, check the Department of Environmental Quality web site for lakes with advisories. It is updated every Friday. I did some testing at one of my cache sites (Red Tail WMA) for toxic algae. I advise not letting the dog swim in any listed lake. At this point, my dog is not allowed to swim in any lake at all.

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oh yuck. ick, ugh. that is just----oh, I can't even type anymore.....itchy....yikes.


why would a mite-eating-mite bite people? is there a link to an article that gives more details? :(

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My wife got bit up pretty bad in Lincoln while caching with me but they left me alone I must taste bad.

I stayed in a motel in southern Minn. last week and they warned about sleeping with the windows open cause of the bugs.

Big Tom

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