I had forgotten about the joys of chiggers. It’s been a long time since I last encountered them. But, rest assured, I will never, ever again walk through tall grass and/or weeds without dousing myself in strong insect repellent, and without wearing high boots. I have four to five hundred reasons why I feel this way.
Did you know that only the larval stage bites you? Adult chiggers don’t bite. But those nasty little larvae first inject a serum like substance when they bite. This is to break down the cellular tissue to be easier for them to munch on you. Plus, they fill up on your blood. They don’t burrow under the skin, as was once thought.
It sets up an allergic reaction, and everyone is different as to how they react. I think I’m one of the high reaction people!
You (unless you’ve encountered chiggers) can’t begin to know how intense the itching can be. And scratching only makes it worse. Hot compresses work—for a while. A paste of aspirin and water works great, but is incredibly messy. Calamine lotion helps some, but is also messy. Gold Bond Anti-itch cream helps some. But I found the best stuff is called Ivy Dry, and can be found at the drug store. One little spray handles the itch for several hours, and it’s not messy.
It’s been over two weeks now, and it’s way better—but not completely gone. The itching isn’t so intense, and isn’t often. I don’t feel as much like a speckled puppy as I did. At least I can finally wear a swim suit without wanting to hide. But I still have some visible spots.
I AM able to sleep—now.
So, take this to heart, and be VERY careful while you’re outside. Avoid high grass and/or weeds, and underbrush, unless you’re very prepared. I wouldn’t wish a chigger attack on anyone! And you can’t see the little buggers until it’s too late.
Don’t do anything to keep chiggers healthy and fit!