Looking Itchy

Texas was a great time but I’d never want to live there. It was hot. And humid. All the time. Sort of like those 2 weeks in August in Northern Indiana when you wish it was winter (though we never say that out loud because we don’t want to jinx ourselves). Anyway it was sunny and the temps were hovering around 90 degrees with a stifling humidity of 60-70% making everything damp and mildewed or moldy. My allergies were under control until we got to Houston. (gesundheit) But that wasn’t the worst of it. I slathered on the sun screen – a water proof SPF100 for my exposed skin and a special Neutrogena SPF100 for my face and neck. They all worked but I burn easily as in 15 minutes in full sun and I look like a boiled lobster, 30 minutes and I’m in 2nd degree burn territory. I’ve got scars. Anyway we were out hiking, running around waiting for the group photo for Geowoodstock, then more hiking, doing urban caches, and then some more walking around. I’ve got so much Vitamin D I may never need to go into the sun again! With all that exposure to the sun I managed to get a touch of a burn (mostly on the spots where Sparky missed in his application where my arms don’t reach). It was probably for the best that I couldn’t get my hands on the itchy area or I’d have done myself harm. But no that wasn’t the worst of it. At the end of the first day caching I noticed my feet were itching. I noticed a small red dot on my ankle just at the edge of my shoe. I didn’t say anything because duh, I wasn’t wearing socks or long pants and we had been walking through unmowed grass. I probably got a mosquito bite or stuck with a burr. But by the next morning I had several more small dots on my feet and ankles. Sparky was however covered in small dots so much so that it looked like he was wearing dark pink socks. He had them all over his feet and ankles. We drove all over to get geocaches. By the morning after Geowoodstock Sparky had red dots at his waist and legs where his underwear touched. I discovered bites at the back of my knees. They itched. We spent time thinking they were bed bug bites. But then it clicked as we were driving back to Fort Worth to return the rental car – and something bit me. There were FLEAS in the car!! We were being feasted upon by the starving fleas in the rental car!! I suspect this is not uncommon as the rental car agency was quick to stuff about $125 in vouchers into our hands and apologize profusely. So we took precautions and everything has been washed and the suitcases are airing in the garage after being treated. Even the shoes have been washed and dried. The spots are fading and the itch is gone (mostly except for the one on my right knee that I scratched in my sleep and made a big scab)… I’m glad it wasn’t bed bugs but I’m totally miffed at the rental car place. I’m considering whether I want to even use those vouchers…

29 thoughts on “Looking Itchy

    1. Yeah, It took me awhile to figure it out… I’ve been out of clinical practice too long! Pretty sad when a vet tech can’t diagnose fleas. We still have red dots but the cortisone cream has been put away!

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  1. First I thought of ticks as you were out in nature. Next I thought of the tiny ants we have here, some call them sugar ants but I grew up calling them piss ants. šŸ™‚ I get bit by those and I don’t always see them. Fleas are the last thing I thought of, in fact I didn’t think of them. good grief!

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    1. Same here – we figured we had been bitten by chiggers or “no-see-ums” or even ticks… then we thought bed bugs! Fleas in a rental car was the last thing we imagined!!

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  2. Wow. I never thought about that with a rental. But only have had one rental. I was afraid of poison ivy or something. I burn easy to. Sunscreen is my best friend. I tan but compared to everyone else it’s how they look at the start of the year when it’s the end of the year. But if I dont wear sunscreen I am a lobster. When wearing a swimsuit it’s like 10 applications a day to prevent burning. Skin cancer runs in my family so I am always wearing a hat outside

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    1. The thing about rentals is you never know! We have friends that are hyper concerned about head lice. They won’t even go to a movie theater because they are worried they’ll get lice. I wish I had bought stock in sunscreen! I’d be rich!

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  3. Ugh! Fleas and bedbugs are really nasty, and I would be beside myself with anger at the rental car place, too. Especially if I suspected that they knew about them. There are some people who are not bothered by them at all, but they love me the most. Ugh!

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    1. They like warmth and tender skin. I’m cold all the time – even in the Texas heat. So the only part that got warm was the tops of my feet where my shoes hugged my feet. And of course that’s where I got bit. Sparky was chewed to pieces – where his socks and waist band hit. He had it worse than I did…

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  4. Flea bites? Yikes! Hubby is super-allergic, would scratch half his skin off. Vacations are fun, but loaded with unexpected pitfalls. People wonder why I favor relaxing at home. At least I know my digs are flea-free. šŸ™‚

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  5. My first thought was ticks. I’ve read that the young ones are so tiny one can hardly see them. They mature on mice and small rodents before graduating to dogs and people. ICK! So, at least you don’t have to worry about Lyme disease…black plague or Hanta virus maybe, but not Lyme.

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    1. Aren’t you a ray of sunshine!! Hehe! I doubt we have Hanta or Plague since the incubation period has passed and we’re both healthy. I was worried that Sparky might have become anemic! So far I haven’t (knock on wood) had a tick but we went out geocaching this last Sunday and saintvi had one on her neck – she got it off before it decided to have a snack… (shudder!)

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    1. I knew they could live in cars as I had sold flea bombs for cars when I was in clinical practice. However I never dreamed that a rental car would be infected!

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  6. As I was shaving my legs this morning, I noticed the scabs around my ankles where I’d scratched bites and then forgotten about them. I’m gonna bet I got them when joyouswind and I were in the backseat of that rental car.

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    1. I’m all healed now – just a few fading red dots here and there. Thankfully there is no more itching and besides a few scabs on Sparky (because he scratched himself bloody) you’d never know we had a run in with blood thirsty fleas!

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