Chiggers are a foul, evil, burrowing insect which until recently had been pushed to the back of my mind. I haven’t experienced chiggers in YEARS! I distinctly remember the last time I had chiggers, I was a covey leader at the Bobwhite Brigade Youth Leadership camp near Brownwood, Texas. For some, unknown reason by the time the bug spray made it to me the third morning of camp, it was empty. It was field day which meant we would be out all day tracking quails wearing radio collars. The quails, not us. That night I realized my grave error. We counted, my students and I, we counted over 200 chiggers from my ankles to my panty line. (I counted those last ones in private, just so you know.) This was about 10 years ago and chiggers rarely crossed my mind since.
Until last week. You see I have been systemically taking out the fire ant population in and around my yard. The past few years I have taken great pleasure in going around the yard with a can of stinky fire ant powder and drenching the mounds until the occupants began to writhe in pre-death agony. I guess my war on ants has been won, but the cost was higher than I expected. You see, fire ants are chiggers only natural enemy. No ants = vigorous chiggers. I have some here with me now, I think they are probably reading this post and laughing. Yes, I think I can feel them laughing right. “Go AWAY!” They laugh harder. Demons. So I began to think about the fire ant vs chigger battle.
Bite you anywhere they can as soon as they crawl on you. You can squash them thus ending their sad, little life.
The bites are itchy for a day or two, come to a head and then go away.
Live in mounds so generally you can avoid them by paying attention to where your feet are placed.
Eat other insects and dead animals.
Crawl on you in total disguise until they have burrowed under your skin.
Stay with you for a week or more and while they can be driven out with clear fingernail polish, who wants to paint their body in clear fingernail polish?
Chiggers live in the grass and give no pre-warning whatsoever, just crawl up and make themselves at home.
Chiggers don’t do anything good as far as I know.
So I have decided this.
Okay, I have decided nothing. However I am seriously going to rethink my war against the ants. ‘Cause these little duds up under my skin…they got to GO. By the way, I looked on the internet for a chigger picture. Don’t do that. Its gross.