delusions of parasitosis. This is one of the trickier "pest" problems to solve, especially since there is no pest involved. In my office I receive 2-3 suspected delusional samples per month, many as referrals from some of you. The problem seems worse this year, as I have had many people convinced that they have intractable biting mite problems after reading misleading and harmful information online.
A recent article published in the Veterinary Information Network News Services addressed the issue of pet owners bringing their pets in for treatment of non-existent bugs. Apparently PMPs and vets both have to deal with this issue, and I found the article informative and helpful. One story, highlighted in the accompanying photo, had a happy ending when the client accepted psychiatric treatment. Sadly, it is very difficult to get most delusional clientele to pursue such therapy.
Some of these folks perceive normal grooming behavior of their pets as proof that the pet is infested and suffering. I guess the lesson here is that in cases where you cannot detect a valid pest, and the pest description doesn't match reality, take everything a customer claims with a grain of salt. For more information on diagnosing mysterious bug bite cases see my factsheet.