Thursday, July 11, 2013
Close to Nowhere
Bug bite remedies!
Summertime in the South means chiggers, ticks, mosquitoes, wasps and many, many more assorted bugs of every variety.
Editor Barry Burleson stopped at a convenience store Tuesday morning on the way to work and the clerk asked him to put something in the paper about what you can do for chiggers! That’s a subject of great interest to us anyway because we live in the South and are plagued with the nasty little bugs ourselves.
“Erin came home from church camp (Sardis Lake Christian Camp) with chigger bites,” Barry said.
So, off to Google I went...
According to Boys’ Life, the Boy Scout website:
“Red bugs, chiggers, berry bugs, scrub-itch mites and harvest mites are terms used to describe the family of insects known as Trombiculidae. These reddish-orange mites really enjoy hanging out in damp, grassy and wooded areas, especially at the edges of forests. Chiggers are most active from early spring to early autumn, until the first frost.”
Chiggers like places where your clothing fits snugly, such as the tops of your socks or around the elastic edges of underwear.
What do you do for chiggers? Again, according to Boys’ Life:
Chiggers don’t actually bite you, nor do they burrow into your skin. They use their mouths to drill a hole in your skin and then slurp through the hole. Basically, humans are big milkshakes to them.
Fingernail polish doesn’t work (I’ve used it for years though). You can’t smother them as they aren’t burrowed into your skin. And they don’t lay eggs in your skin either, so that’s one worry gone.
Wash vigorously with soap and water as soon as you discover the rash. Then use topical corticosteroids (over the counter hydrocortisone) and antihistamines like Benadryl.
A home remedy website, which disclaims any diagnosis, treatment or cure (as do I!) offers a couple more tips:
Bleach will burn you, that’s a don’t.
Fingernail polish doesn’t work.
Listerine stops the itch, then bathe in cool water with about 2 cups of baking soda. Soak in this for 10-15 minutes.
Generic Sudafed PE Sinus tablets work as well as Benedryl.
Apply topical treatment with a cotton ball to infected areas (Caladryl, Camphophenique, Chiggerex, etc.)
What works best though is staying out of the woods and grassy areas.
I don’t think that works here though.
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