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Recovering from chiggers
July 19, 2004 4:26 PM   Subscribe

When I moved back to Texas, I was expecting to be eaten alive by mosquitoes, but dear GOD I had forgotten about the chiggers. I've pored over the web to find out how to avoid these tiny literal buggers and there seems to be no real good way. However, the skin around my legs right before they meet my feet is covered with tiny red welts, some of them going back to Memorial Day. HOW DO I RID MYSELF OF THEM? I'm going nuts here.

The linked article mentions using powdered sulphur or 1/2 that and 1/2 talcum powder as the most effective remedy. I've tried it and it doesn't work for me, and is smelly and messy besides. The itching is maddening, though witch hazel damps that down for awhile. What I'm most concerned about is that the bites don't seem to be going away, and are accumulating at an alarming rate. How's my man supposed to worship my feet with these ugly ankle bracelets. Hope me!
posted by WolfDaddy to Health & Fitness (17 answers total)
 
I cannot vouch for the safety of the following technique (although it never caused me any problems), but I am sure of its efficacy. Pour a cup of Pine-Sol in your bathwater and soak for a few minutes. As I recall from my youth, this method works very quickly. Also as I recall, this remedy was given to my mother by a nurse. Growing up in Louisiana and spending a good deal of time romping through the woods, I would estimate that I used this solution 50 times or more. Good luck.

Oh, and if you think you are going nuts now, wait until they get there!
posted by samuelad at 4:35 PM on July 19, 2004


I was going to post a remedy that I'd used(nail polish) until I read your link. I just learned more about chiggers than I ever wanted to know.

*goes to bathe in bleach*
posted by esch at 4:37 PM on July 19, 2004


Pour them a tall drink. I've often heard it said that "chiggers can't be boozers."

(sorry, I have been waiting YEARS to use that joke on the Internet)
posted by briank at 4:45 PM on July 19, 2004


*goes to bathe in bleach*
Since you probably have bleach on hand, rather than nail polish. Mix a cap full of bleach in a 1/2 cup of water - wash your feet with it or with q-tip dab the chiggars with it.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:54 PM on July 19, 2004


Since you probably have bleach on hand, rather than nail polish.

Ahem. Did we forget that this is WolfDaddy we're talking about?

I don't remember much from my childhood about getting rid of them...just lots of calamine lotion to alleviate the symptoms.
posted by ChrisTN at 5:03 PM on July 19, 2004


They're literally buggers? One cannot help but wonder: you or just eachother?
posted by fvw at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2004


You guys are so cute with the jokes and things. Why not? It's not you that's being EATEN ALIVE.

Going to try the Pine-Sol first ... then the bleach. Ecccccchhhhh.
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2004


I use a liberal coating of DEET as a preventative. If bitten, I rub plantain leaves on the sore, which relieves the itching for a day or more. Some people use jewelweed, but plantain works best for me (and you'll find it everywhere, even in your yard).

Be sure to wash the plantain leaves so you don't rub dirt into an open wound. Then tear the leaves into several pieces and rub vigorously on the chigger bite. The itch goes away immediately, and as mentioned, for quite some time.
posted by F Mackenzie at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2004


WolfDaddy, I have nothing to add re: chiggers. But I do want to say THANK YOU for using "pored" instead of "poured," which apparently is what 99% of the population believes to be the correct spelling of the word.

Thank you.
posted by davidmsc at 8:19 PM on July 19, 2004


I aim to please, davidmsc ... I also know that one adminsters a server, not administrates it.

[/pet peeve]
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:27 PM on July 19, 2004


Rubbing alcohol killed the batch I picked up two visits to Louisiana back. The red bumps only a month and more of time cured.

Me, I'd move again.
posted by rushmc at 9:26 PM on July 19, 2004


Keep in mind that chiggers don't burrow beneath the skin, and so any solution seeking to drown them or cover their air holes (in nail polish, etc.) will have zero effect.
posted by Danelope at 10:15 PM on July 19, 2004


The red bumps only a month and more of time cured.

Yes, my doctor friend lovingly calls this treatment "tincture of time". I thought he was an herbalist for the longest time.

Keep in mind that chiggers don't burrow beneath the skin

No, they just squirt flesh-dissolving poison into me and suck off the triple-thick WolfDaddy shake, while, I dunno, clinging comfortably to a hair follicle or something. AUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH!
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:21 AM on July 20, 2004


I also know that one adminsters a server, not administrates it.

Unless one is British, in which case I think one can administrate it just as easily.

No, they just squirt flesh-dissolving poison into me and suck off the triple-thick WolfDaddy shake, while, I dunno, clinging comfortably to a hair follicle or something. AUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHH!

Oh, buck up, buttercup. You're not the first Southern boy to have to deal with these beauties. At least you're not the guy I went to camp with as a kid who apparently got a spate of chiggers on his dick. No, I don't know what he was doing in the woods. All I know is, I want to come sniff you while you're all pine-y fresh.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:29 AM on July 20, 2004


Powdered sulphur in the socks, long pants tucked into socks. More powdered sulphur on waistband/belt, as they love areas where clothes bind.

We used to treat the bites with a combination of green soap(standard pharmacy antiseptic liquid soap) and cholroform. it worked okay. I think the chloroform killed 'em, and the soap kept infection away.

nasty biters, I hates 'em.
posted by theora55 at 10:07 AM on July 20, 2004


After reading that link I want to say, thank god it gets below 42 degrees around here. Sometimes below -42 but at least I can throw a jacket on.

~shiver~
posted by Mitheral at 1:23 PM on July 20, 2004


All I know is, I want to come sniff you while you're all pine-y fresh.

Oh, fine, you just want me for my fresh pine scent! I see how you are.

Tried the Pine-Sol solution today. The itching's stopped, that's for sure. I can't explain my sudden urge to sleep with Playtex Living Gloves, though.
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:05 PM on July 20, 2004


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