Monday, April 30, 2012
Shortly after I moved down here, the farrier came over to do my horses’ feet. Using her big file as a pointer, she pointed at my lower legs. “You’re getting eaten up by chiggers” she said.
And I was. My lower legs were covered in a number of tiny red pustules, the origin of which I had no idea. And she was right.
I was born and raised in the South and had long heard of chiggers. But I really never knew what they were other than teeny little “bugs” that would bite you and make you itch. My mom used to tell my brother and I not to drag down Spanish moss out of the trees and play in it or we’d “get chiggers”. After years of not getting bitten by anything, we continued to do so.
Well, there isn’t any Spanish moss in Kentucky, at least not that I have seen so far. And Momma was right about this. They itch and hurt like the dickens. I’d walk along and let my foot/leg move against the other one to get in a little more scratching time. It was the kind of itch that you would wake yourself up at night, scratching.
Everyone had a remedy, the most popular one involves nail polish, in the belief that there is a living insect and you can smother it. Not according to Wikipedia:
What did help was to prevent them. So although I wear shorts non stop in the warmer months down here, I keep my legs sprayed with bug deterrent when I have to go through the pasture or woods. I prefer to wear shorts because I can feel if a tick gets on me and I can’t do that if I’m wearing jeans. I also try to get into the shower right after wandering the fields and hills and scrub my legs as they seem to take a bit of time to get settled in to biting me. I’ve not gotten them sitting in the grass but maybe it’s because it gets so warm in the yard and it’s hard for them to live there. They seem to prefer longer grass.
My farrier was right. She’s a very wise person.