The Flies, the Flies!
The only other possibility I can think of involves an insect I’ve never seen before: a tiny white moth-like fly. It’s the smallest flying insect I’ve ever seen, and it’s in my home.
Image from BugGuide.net
It’s so small it could easily be taken for a dust-mote. Its wings appear cream or white, but can also look translucent in certain light. Bizarrely, it seems to fly at knee- to groin-height, which is another reason it’s so difficult to spot. It hovers with ease, but normally flies very slowly. Until you go after it – then it turns on the afterburners and you’ve no chance of catching it.
I’ve only seen a few during daylight hours. It seems a lot more numerous at night and seems to avoid light (but see my update below). I’ve woken at night to visit the bathroom and seen them floating about at bed-height when I turned on the bedside lamp. When I get out of bed, they alight on my legs, buttocks, and groin, and lower back (the sensation is, again, tickles, but qualitatively different), and I have to brush myself down thoroughly with my hands before getting back into bed.
They’ve been present right from the very start of all this when the entire house was carpeted. And they’re still with me now that I have all wood floors, though in substantially reduced numbers. So this is not due to static electricity.
I first came across them one summer morning, having just sat up in bed and thrown back the duvet. I idly watched dust motes floating in the sunlight. One mote seemed to launch itself from my shoulder and move slowly against the air current to land on my duvet. I looked closer and saw that it was a tiny fly with translucent wings.
As I watched, it slowly moved through the weave of the duvet cover and disappeared inside.
That day, I vacuum-packed all my fabric- and down-based bedding and pillows, bought a nylon-shelled sleeping bag, and broke out my inflatable air-bed. This is how I’ve been sleeping (or semi-sleeping) since.
I’ve won awards for my fiction writing, but I really couldn’t make this stuff up.
If this microscopic fly is responsible for all my misery, then it’s obviously a case of secondary hosting since I can find no mention of any human parasite like it on the web.
Neither dermatologist commented when I mentioned it.
If this is all caused by a fly, it would explain why it wasn’t eradicated by all the pesticides. Because flies roost on walls and ceilings – spraying floors and furniture wouldn’t touch them.
Only an entomologist can help me here, but I doubt any would be willing. Not with a diagnosis of delusional parasitosis hanging over my head.
Update: Since writing the above, I found where they’re hiding - my kitchen.
One evening, I was cooking dinner when I happened to look up at the light over my head. A cloud of these tiny flies was roiling about the light directly over my head. Unfortunately, I had nothing to hand with which to harvest specimens.
So I got an A4 sheet of card, covered one side with double-sided sticky tape, and waited for them to reappear. Three days later, they were back. I gently wafted my makeshift “catcher” through the cloud and got almost all of them.
But I made one stupid mistake: the card I used was white, and so they didn’t show up clearly when I put it under the microscope. I now have a black card “catcher” ready and waiting. But I haven’t seen them since.
However, the number of cocoon-like objects appearing on my clothing while I’m wearing it has now increased.
So who can I turn to for help now?
Read on to continue the story...