Mystery Of Bug Bites Solved!

Lately, many Lincolnites have noticed mysterious, large bug bites. Experts were stumped. But after a couple weeks of scientific detective work, they finally have an answer.

When more and more people came down with similar symptoms all over the city, public health officials called in the insect experts, like UNL Entomologist David Keith. He began relating the bites to oak trees, specifically pin oak trees. Tiny maggots feed on the leaves, causing the growths called “galls”. It isn't the maggots that are biting Lincolnites, it's tiny mites- appropriately called itch mites- that eat the maggots. They fall out of the oak trees and land on your skin. The only sure way to avoid getting bitten is to avoid the outdoors. But experts stress that the bites aren't dangerous, so taking a shower after being outdoors, and not sleeping with the windows open are all the prevention most people need.

Experts say they don't know why there are so many itch mites this year, but they expect them to start dying out within a few weeks. Now if you do get bitten or already have the mystery bites, experts say the best thing to do is just keep them clean with soap and water or an antiseptic and try not to scratch.