Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hooray for Chiggers!

What?  Really?
 Yes - Really!  But, WHY?

     Three years ago I moved into this house near the park - a really lush green part of town.  It took weeks of cutting back privet hedges just to find the gas meter and make sure there were no holes along the fence line for Honey to escape.

These privets run the length of the back yard.  Sorry, the snowy scene is my only pic.
Makes a great privacy fence.

     Immediately, I started getting bites that formed huge red, itchy welts that lasted for a week or two.  Oh no!  It's allergy or bedbugs.  The Internet told me so.  A visit from the exterminator and several hundred dollars lighter in my bank account, I was still getting the bites.  For the last 3 years, this has happened every spring and fall.  So, of course, I thought I was allergic to the local vegetation.  I seriously was contemplating moving to a more sterile location.

But Then:
     A week ago the Good Flea said she had bites, thinking maybe spiders or hives.     Then yesterday, the local newscaster was interviewing a pediatrician about an outbreak of chiggers.  He showed pictures of the bites and explained that the recent rainfall had brought on a large chigger explosion.          All this time it was Chiggers.

 courtesy of Google Images

A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymesinto the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms and signs typically begin.
  • Pronounced itching is the most common symptom.
  • The area of the bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a pustule or blister.
  • The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite.
  • The itching persists for several days, and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to two weeks.
  • If multiple bites are present, the condition may be mistaken for eczema or allergic contact dermatitis. A history of outdoor activity can suggest that chigger bites are the cause of itching and characteristic skin changes.
This is from Chiggers 


      I don't have to sell the house, or spend a small fortune with an allergist, or take a lot of shots. All I need do is wear long sleeves and pants while outdoors in warm weather, and wash in warm water afterwards.   
And, if I do have bites, cheap over the counter antihistamines and ointments are all that's needed.
What a relief!

So, YES, hooray for chiggers.

Here's hoping you all have a chigger free fall,


I would love to hear from you. And I'll respond as soon as possible.