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I don't know how I managed this in February, but I seem to be all over chigger bites. No, I really don't know how I managed it, but I have large welts all over my legs that itch like a sonofabitch, and they all appeared a day or so ago. I'm allergic to all insects that use saliva to bite, so I have a fun couple of weeks ahead of me as the bites slowly drive me insane.

I hate being bitten - I got so mad when the woman downstairs took in some stray cats (admirable in itself) and then (not admirably) did not give them any flea treatment, so the fleas started breeding and coming through the floor into my apartment. No-one believed me until I started keeping a little soapy glass of water with suspended fleas in it. Fleas, and not even a kitty to pet. I was scratching for weeks.

The woman downstairs is a bit weird.  She makes keeping a glass of fleas in soapy water seem pretty normal.

I promised photos of what I bought over the weekend, but they will have to wait until this evening (wait, Laura, you promised that yesterday...); I bought some nice lace, and I've been dunking it in Sodium Perchlorate or something, to whiten the yellow away. I left it to dry overnight, and I'll see how it turned out this afternoon (too dark and tired to see this morning). If it works, I'll bleach the rest (and maybe a few other things), and iron them.

I want to make one of those inset lace shirts - I'm sure a lot of people are planning one - for Bob, since he's slightly more likely to be seen in his shirt sleeves than me. It's not a Stash project, because I picked up the antique lace after the challenge, but it will be really cool. Assuming the lace doesn't disintegrate, or something. It's a really awesome cluny, and I found a matching inset in two sizes, and a matching edge lace. Bob will be stylin'.

I'll post pictures this evening. In the meantime, read Bunny - it's funny.


( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Feb. 10th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
I hate to say this but are you definite about these being chigger bites? There is an epidemic of bed bugs this year and it's all over the USA and Canada. Your downstairs neighbor may have introduced this little vermin as well as fleas to your abode.
Feb. 10th, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Well, I think I picked them up outside, but you never know. What's the cure for bedbugs?
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
fumigation is the only cure I know of. You probably would have been bitten during the early morning hours (but the bites sometimes don't show up or bother you for several hours). You wouldn't have been bitten by these littler buggers outside though, they like warm places like furniture.

Edited at 2009-02-10 04:45 pm (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
And even fumigation doesn't always work completely if you miss areas- there have been news stories here in Toronto about the problems of getting rid of them in some of the lower-end housing areas, even after several rounds of fumigation (in apartment buildings they move away and then come back, hence the ongoing problem). I REALLY hope you don't have them!
Feb. 10th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
It's not just "lower end" housing that has the problem. Some of the finest hotels in NYC are dealing with this problem. The little devils don't care about the poshness of the surroundings just the tastiness of the food supply.
Feb. 10th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Ewwww! Now that you mention it, I do remember reading something about that. Here in Ontario, it's one of those problems that's all over, but rarely talked about (the newspapers made a big deal about that fact)
Feb. 11th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Bedbugs are more likely to bite around the arms and top of the body than the legs. They prefer warmer places, so if the area you live in doesn't normally have them but has been getting warmer over the last few years, they might start to move in, which they are doing in many parts of the world over the last couple of years.
I got a bunch of very very itchy weird bites a while ago that I never could work out what they were as they didn't seem to come from within the house, and I hadn't been around anything bitey out of the house either. It was very odd, and never solved.
Feb. 10th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I was told I had chigger bites last summer at our summer party. Not fun, very itchy and i felt weird wearing shorts since these red spots were all over my legs.

For me, nothing helped ease the itch - not calamine lotion, anti-itch cream, nothing.

Good luck in getting rid of the itch...
Feb. 10th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I had scabies once, from visiting the nursing home. The nursing home claimed that they got them from me. LOL. Bastards. If the itching becomes the worst around your waist and gets worse with time, hie thee to a dermatologist.
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
The "home cure" i know for chigger bites is put nailpolish on them, smother's their ability to get oxygen. as for bed bugs, they're REALLY hard to get rid of and really expensive. A camp I worked at had them and they had to strip the building down to the frames, burn the bunk beds, and anything else wooden. I'd hope it was chigger bites...
Feb. 10th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
But chigger bites generally itch long after the chigger has fallen off or died.

I generally don't feel the bites until something like two days later, so by that time nail polish is useless. I find that running really hot water (or taking a super-hot bath) over the bites temporarily relieves the itchiness, but it comes back in a few hours.

They say not to scratch it but sometimes it's the best relief. I scratch until it's bleeding, then I disinfect, then it's just not itchy any more. Of course, there's a big scab to deal with . . .

And, sadly, chiggers are an occupational hazard for a landscaper. Oh well. Good thing we had a drought this year.
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Bitch! I'm planning on making a lace insertion shirt for MyBob for Skivvies Sunday at RF7 next February. Grrrr....

Feb. 10th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not in much of a hurry... I'll let you go first. :)
Feb. 10th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
You have my sympathy.

I got chigger bites a year and a half ago. It took a whole year for those feeding tubes to work their way to the skin surface and go away. A constant, double dose of Benedryl was my friend during the worst of the itching (otherwise I would have been locked up in a mental institution because the itch drove me crazy.)
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
One house I lived in while in Buckingham County left me with whopper chigger bites. I feel for you ~ it's a miserable experience (I know).
I've read since that mulching with cedar chips will ward off chiggers.

I didn't try it at the time, but slathering clay paste over affected areas when I had serious Ivy Poisoning (Poison Ivy) really helped tone down the itching & skin effects. You can but Clay at Whole Foods Market or any health food store. You know how to make a water based paste.

Feb. 11th, 2009 12:49 am (UTC)
I recently have delt with flea bites.
I found if I ate a lot of garlic they lost interest and left me alone. I do the same with other biting insects.
If pets get fleas, Frontline stops the biting within a couple of hours.
Feb. 13th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
Won't help with this, but if you get blackfly at the Farm, eating pineapple, just a little every day, makes them avoid you like the plague.
( 17 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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