Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I mite have a problem...

It looks like I'll be bicycling to Kroger this morning to pick up some calamine lotion or somesuch. My ankles were itching around the boot line all day yesterday but I didn't think much of it; maybe skeeter bites in a weird place.

Nope. I pulled off the boots and socks last night to see the unhappy little round red welts of chigger bites, and the couple of spots at my belt line confirmed it. Must've picked the little buggers up at the range on Sunday.

23 comments:

og said...

That's just rude. Its "Cheegroes".

PA State Cop said...

Clear nail polish. Paint the bites and let the film peel off in its own time. Ask me how I know this.

Marko said...

"Mites of color."

Carteach0 said...

Thanks for the link. Now I know more about chiggers than I ever wanted to know. I thought our PA tick wars were bad enough....

RobD said...

One of my friends put me onto something that works very well and I have used it many times. Household bleach on a q-tip. Dip the q-tip into the bleach and rub it onto the center of the red welt for a few seconds, then let it air dry. The little critters need to breathe even though they are burrowed in and breathing bleach is fatal to them...probably for most things. It also sanitizes the area to help prevent infection from where the little bugger burrowed in. The red welts stop itching within a few hours and are well on their way to disappearing 24 hours later. Works great and very cheap.

Anonymous said...

RobD, visit the link much? No burrowing, on the other hand the Bleach may denature the enzyme and disinfect.

Btw household salt rubbed onto mosquito bites stops the itching. Really, I'm serious.

Joanna said...

I'm with PA SC on the nail polish. Works every time.

Anonymous said...

Yet another clear nail polish advocate here.

Frank W. James said...

Sounds like you were at Wildcat Valley R&P, chiggers are a well known hazard on a couple of the bays there.

Some of us will even 'blouse' our pant legs in our boots because of 'em.

Sorry.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Robert Langham said...

Deep Woods Off. Too late now, so bleach on a rag in the shower.
Wash the clothes. Set the shoes out in the hot sun for a couple of days.
Dang those chiggers!

Jay said...

Nail polish or full bath tub and a cup of bleach. Leave the fan on in the bathroom (that part is real important), soak in the tub as long as you can stand and then rinse off. Centex is real good for the "red mites"

Anonymous said...

Nail polish? I thought was only for the jigger flea like they have down South? Are there burrowing insects north of the Ohio? In PA? I would have thought the climate would kill the parasites off up here?

I remain chigger and bear-free, but I am not as sweet as you. Must be my acidic blood and my ashen heart that keeps the chiggers away.

:-)

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"I remain chigger ... free."

According to the twenty pound brains at the linked MO DNR article, chiggers have an easier time biting people with thinner skin.

"Sounds like you were at Wildcat Valley R&P, chiggers are a well known hazard on a couple of the bays there."

Right in one. :) They were doing some brush-hogging on the bench rest range and we walked out to make sure it was safe to go shoot the falling plates.

Crucis said...

*** chomp! chomp! chomp! ***

...as I told my then teenage daughter who wore short shorts and a tank top to the park (local wilderness area wannabe) with some friends. The next day she looked like she had measles.

Matt G said...

Lots of chigger myths based on the incorrect assumption that chiggers burrow under your skin, here.

I grew up using the clear nail polish, too. It just made another source of irritation, by adding cracked acrylic paint to my skin. Oh, and I used bleach, and (heh!) antiperspirant, applied to the sites. All in the name of science.

The fact is, once you feel the irritation, that chigger is gone. The good news is, they can be brushed off the skin by hand, or washed off with water. When you think you might have gotten into them, simply rinse off quickly.

Rabbit said...

Matt G. is right. Once you figure out you're bitten, they're long gone to nap off the meal.

If you're plagued by burrowing bugs, Kwell (lindane in a cream lotion) is the ticket. Mites, scabies, etc. all die a horrible screaming death, as should be, when you use it.

Regards,
Rabbit.

wv=mittled. Too good not to share.

LabRat said...

Like Matt and Rabbit said, the mites themselves are gone.

When I was doing field trips for ecology-related lab courses in college, the only thing that kept me from clawing my skin into bloody strips on a weekly basis was a product called Rhuligel. (Think wet gulf coast forest- the chiggers were, uh, populous.) The company that originally made it has since been purchased by Johnson and Johnson and is now marketed as "Band Aid Anti Itch Gel", but it's the same product.

It is much, much more effective than calamine.

Tam said...

I held off on the calamine when I realized that it was mostly a drying agent for weepy plant toxin rashes.

I went with a tube of hydrocortisone ointment. It's working tolerably well.

Alex said...

Thanks for that link. I know understand what the heck happened to me recently. Now I just need to figure out where I picked them up at. Revenge will be sweet!

farmist said...

my personal (and professional) favorite is diphenhydramine (Benadryl) cream. Stops the itching better than anything else I've tried - RhuliGel would be my second choice, hydrocortisone third.

Warthog said...

Try not getting bugs in the first place?

EWWW Tam's got bugs.

I will now retire to the bullet resistant bunker.

LabRat said...

What works best depends on the underlying process that caused the original Problem Area; Benadryl is an antihistamine, so it works well when the major driving irritant is your own immune reaction. Likewise hydrocortisone, which is a little broader targeted- it chills out the inflammatory response, which is why a variant of the same stuff is what gets shot into the achin' joints.

The reason I like Rhuligel is it's a plain old local anesthetic- doesn't matter if it's an immune reaction, a toxin, or a plain old sunburn, the problem feels better in seconds...

gamachinist said...

The one thing I can suggest to keep them off is wearing a flea collar around your ankle. I just leave it on my boot so it is always there when I venture out into the grass and woods.

It works great for ticks, and I don't recall getting any chiggers on me while wearing one.

People do look at you funny, but I'm getting used to that anyway.