Sunday, May 20, 2012

Itching and getting outside

Lord, I itch.

The legs, I think, maybe even the belly, are chiggers.

The back is mosquitos. Probably.  Maybe all chiggers. Maybe all mosquitoes, except I have more bites on the ankles.

I know chiggers are indiginous to the South of the US. I don't know if they exist elsewhere and will google later. (pause. had to scratch.) Damn. just discovered the welt on my back. Right there in the middle, upper back.

My home state, the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, has neither fire ants nor chiggers. This ranks it very high in my books.

Huh. I have new knees. That means more mobility. On grass. In Texas. in warm weather. I had my aerosol can of Off! with me. Didn't think to use it. (pause: I itch. had to scratch again.) Sigh.

I had hoped, with aging, my  delectability to insects might diminish. Some 35 years ago, my son, my husband and I, set out for an impromptu picnic in a nearby state park. I spread a tablecloth over the burgeoning grass and set out the food.   All three of us sat. We ate. We laughed and enjoyed.

The next day, my son and I itched. Chiggers, tiny,speck-sized bugs had  dug into skin and raised itchy places. My 5-year-old had to go to the doctor. I used some of the ointment prescribed  for him then.To his hundred bites, I had at least 40. His father had none. Snarl.  The man was usually impervious to mosquitos, too.

With more activity, I am on turf more often and outside more. After this, I will use the stinky insecticide. So much of my body has changed, I assumed my delectibility to insects would too.
Sigh. Not to be.

My grandchildren run around in shorts and barefoot, with nary a chomp.  Their parents are outside all the time with no chomps I know of. Maybe this is an initiation. After so many hours, no bites.

I need sulphur. I used to pat my ankles with it regularly to keep off the chiggers while I gardened. Worked great and washed off in the shower. Duh. I'm gardening again. Time to go back to old methods.

But if hair grows on my chin and not my shins, and I need yearly checks for skin cancer, why is the one consistent factor  that I still am susceptible to chiggers and mosquitoes?

Ah, at least I am not embarrassed much at my age by pink welts on legs, tummy, back and nether regions. If I were younger, probably so. In a few days, this  will pass. And I will remember to use  insect repellent when I go outside.  Because I itch.

I really do. Scratching doesn't help.

Damn chiggers.

 I'll never say I'm itching to do something again.


clairz said...

Insect report from southern New Mexico: No mosquitoes or flies yet, but we usually get them both as the irrigation season goes on. Or maybe not, since they're having a very hard time getting the irrigation season started because of the scarcity of available water this year.

We do have lots and lots (and LOTS) of moths everywhere. But no chiggers. Never, and am I ever glad!

charlotte g said...

And so you should be--and those New Mexico flies do bite, as I remember.

The knees are definite blessings. But sometimes receiving blessings has side effects. We'll deal.