Ok, say that three times--or even once. Trombiculidae are more commonly known as chiggers and they came to visit my unprotected flesh at a rather inopportune time. Come to think of it, I am not sure there is an opportune time for chiggers but there are more unfortunate times than others.
This is one fiercely itchy trip and may not even show up till 24 hours after exposure. By then the creature is long gone. Chigger murder is no longer an option once the itch has started.
This was my first episode since I lived in Florida where they are more prevalent though my worst episode happened in Georgia which I think is a chigger haven. I was beginning to think my area of Arkansas was free of the nasty buggers. Sigh.
Chiggers will crawl on your body till they hit a restriction, often your socks or panty line. Then they go to town poking and slurping. I was ever so grateful that I am not a thong type.
I was wearing loose Bermuda shorts so once they finished feasting briefly on my ankles at my sock line, they then traveled fairly harmlessly up my bare legs till they reached the restriction of my panty leg. There they got really busy and I was left with a majority of the whelps on my legs where my hips meets my trunk. Scratching in polite society was out. That was miserable enough but I also had a doctors appointment--- thus the inopportune part of this tale.
It was time for my yearly bladder cancer screening which requires resting my feet in stirrups while a doctor uses a cystoscope to scan my bladder for any signs of new cancers. Being female, I have long ago adjusted to that stirrup indignity. It is our cross to bear. However this time as I saddled up I was well aware of the many incriminating sores near my nether region.
A few years ago I had failed to shave my legs for this same exam. There is a difference however from just looking untidy to looking like an elderly hooker. I was sorely tempted to say nothing and see what the doctor would say when he discovered my condition. However, embarrassment made me start babbling excuses before he even took my hand to ask how I was doing.
I hoped I was convincing explaining I really didn't have an STD (a social disease) but was in fact a chigger victim. He examined me, chuckled quite a bit, believed me--I think-- and remarked that this exceptionally wet weather was bringing all sorts of biting creatures to abundance. I just hope if he blogs that he doesn't use real names.
After the doc quit smirking, I got a clean cancer check up and am good for another year. I have been dancing with this cancer since the year 2000 and it has come back eight times but so far now, I have been 5 years cancer free. Hallelujah!!
The fierce itching has finally stopped. As the saying goes, treat chiggers and they will go away in a week or so-- or do nothing and they will go away in a week or so.
You pretty much just have to ride them out and DON'T SCRATCH. The only thing to help was Zyrtec. Keep that in mind if you ever fall victim to the nasty buggers. An antihistamine really will give itch relief since this is after all, an allergic reaction to the enzymes.
Here's hoping that you never have this unpleasant experience. Stay out of the berry patches. I'm pretty sure that was my downfall.