Unable to shed more light about the possible biology of the insect, Dr. Stephen L. Timme, a professor at Pittsburg State University, has described the bites as producing a "pustule surrounded by reddish inflammation of the tissue." "It itches and when you scratch it, it bleeds and can become infected, Timme said.
The insects have been reported in pockets scattered over Pittsburg, especially around the Pitt State campus, but not everyone is getting bitten. And, apparently, the infestation is not confined to Crawford County but seems to be the most prevalent there.
Janis Goedeke, a spokesperson for the Crawford County Health Department, called the outbreak "meanacing" but not "life threatening." DEET is effective in thwarting the insects but Goedeke warned against its use on broken skin. She also advised seeking medical attention if the bite area swells or if red streaks radiate from the site of the bite.
An investigation has been ititiated to try to determine the identity of the predator.