Friday, July 18, 2014

Chigger Bait on the Blue Ridge!

It has been the joke over the past month or so that as we were gearing up for this Quilt-Villa-a-thon, we were going to do EVERYTHING we could this year to keep those chiggers at bay.

Chiggers are the bane of our summer existence up here on the mountain – a nearly unavoidable curse, and we are always trying to out-smart them.

Young pretty girls may be jokingly referred to as jail bait, while women of a “certain age”  in the wilds of North Carolina can only be referred to as CHIGGER BAIT!

Did you spray your shoes and clothing with permathrin??

Did you use the spray with at least 30% DEET on your arms, legs, and especially every crease where chiggers love tender skin? ((Behind knees, under arms, waist bands, etc?))

Did you rub on the special cream that Mickey brought that leaves you smelling like a citronella candle??  ((LOL! Either that or Lemon Pledge the jury is still out!!))

If you answered yes to all these questions, it’s still a crap shoot!  Them little chigger buggers are sneaky.

But it was worth the few bites we got to go out and enjoy this grandeur:


Mickey and Lisa, both shooting from different vantage points!


Such a gorgeous day –with temps at only 66 degrees up here…



Cluster of Chigger Bait!
((And Shelby!))


From here we went on the same hike that I took just over a week ago with Hunter family.  To the Cascades water fall.


Lisa and Mickey enjoying the falls


Smile pretty girls!




Crazy up-the-stairs Selfie coming back from the lower level.


Beautiful burbling streams and ever-present green.

((ie:  CHIGGERS!))


Adorable little cabin on the side of the road of the parkway.

**NOTE** I had to sit down on the bank in the grass and lean over to get this photo just right so the wild flowers were a visible element in front of the cabin.  ((ie: MORE CHIGGER-OPPORTUNITY!))


I love to read these historical markers!


Story behind this lovely spot with the little cabin and other building.

HOW did those Appalachian Americans of “long ago” gatherings survive Blue Ridge Mountain CHIGGER SUMMERS without modern inventions in spay cans like Repel and citronella candle-cream??  Long Skirts, Long Johns, Long Bloomers, tall boots and petticoats and home remedies, evidently!

The entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway is only about 6 miles up the road from where Quilt Villa is – I’m happy to be able to enjoy this loveliness in ANY season, even in Chigger-summers.

We were only gone about an hour and got right back to our sewing ---windows to the cabin wide open, beautiful cool breezes blowing through.   Oh yes, this is a July to definitely remember.


And while we are remembering…..don’t forget to clean your feed dogs!

This is the result of MUCH MUCH MUCH Busy sewing! 

And we’ll be back at it today ---

Love from Buck Mountain --

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  1. Here I am, Bonnie, trying to deduce what colors were in the mystery quilt you were making the other day when you showed the photo of the strips in sepia tones instead of letting up view the real colors. So, is the color of the lint any hint? Pinks? Purples? Blues? Grays? You keep us in suspense all of the time. Don't forget to put nail polish on this chigger bites so that they are killed. The chiggers live inside your skin, so the nail polish kills them quickly. You three can have a "painting party". Enjoy sewing today!

  2. I agree with Debra--paint them with nail polish....out my way, we call them no-see-ums!! and I am certainly not as nice as you when I get bit!! they can be worse than mosquitoes..it is my understanding that baking soda bath will ease the itch but I have not tried that...I need immediate relief and nail polish seems to work great!! I have much fun reading through the posts --I can almost hear the doors slamming shut as the breezes blow...enjoy the weekend *~*CAROLE*~*

  3. The title chigger bait cracked me up. I spend yesterday weeding the garden and flower beds and today I'm covered with big red itchy welts. I happen to have a reaction to them and the bites end up being the size of silver dollars. Such is the trade off for summer.

  4. you can also apply cider vinegar - straight - to chigger, mosquito bites (as well as poison ivy). Removes the oils and restores the skin to a normal slightly acid - which mosquitos and chiggers apparently find intolerable. Also kills the itch! (I swell up like crazy - $5 gold piece size for each bite!) as well as keeping the swelling down. Reapply every 3-4 hours as needed. And yes, you will smell like a salad although most of the "fragrance" of the vinegar vanishes fairly quickly! HOWEVER midges and those horrid little gnats - LOVE cider vinegar! Be aware!

  5. Have you tried using Skin SO Soft by Avon to help with the chiggers. Just rub it on your skin before taking your walks. Helps with mosquitos too. The nail polish is the best for the after bites for me. I used to stay covered in those bites growing up because I loved playing in the woods behind our house.

  6. I was wondering if the Blue Ridge chiggers were what we called no-see-ums also. As the western mt. range chiggers have to touch bare skin, live in the tall grass and weeds and you have to seek medical attn. to get rid of them...nasty!
    The cool weather is here too and we are having a beautiful morning. Love WYO summers. :)

  7. What is a chigger? I'd never heard of them until Bonnie started writing about the bites., wondering whether they are similar to ticks which we get in long grass? One remedy that is really effective on mosquito bites is toothpaste - maybe it would work on chiggers?

  8. Anonymous9:58 AM EDT

    Bonnie, spray yourself with Avon 'Skin so soft'. It's about the best thing we have found to keep any of the little blighters at bay and it smells good too.

    I shall look out for you at the NEC next month, I shall be there as it is not too far away from where I live.

    Incidentally, I love the blog - don't change it!


    Gillian, Milton Keynes, Bucks, UK.

  9. Re Chiggers:
    I was told by a friend that Old Spice deodorant and Preparation H were essential.
    The Old Spice,classic version, stick deodorant gets rubbed on ankles, boots, feet, bottoms of trousers, socks..whatever is a chigger-height. This seems to repel them.
    Preparation H, well it shrinks whatever it is applied to and stops itching gggg So you put that on the bites, if the Old Spice doesn't work.
    Now if were can find the answer to West Scotland midges......I will be a happy bunny :)

  10. When we were kids we always used the nail polish cure but if you check on line, the little buggers bite you and move on, they don't burrow under your skin. I've found that shoes and socks, long pants and pull your socks up over the bottom of your pants .... That way they can't get to bare skin. Also, they don't like the heat, so stay out of the shade! But, in the end, they only itch like crazy for about three days.....happy summer!

  11. Anonymous10:18 AM EDT

    My add would be CLEAR nail polish. It smothers the little guy.

  12. Chiggers are not No-see-ums, chiggers usually are below the waist biters unless you are in pretty tall grass. I've lived in Chigger country and currently live in No-see-um country. Skin so soft does work for No-see-ums if you can stand the smell,I can't. Nail polish does seal the bite to keep you from scratching so much but does not heal them.Caladryl lotion (antihistamine lotion) does seal off the bites and helps heal too. Most salves & lotions are to prevent infections from all the scratching. I'll take the No-see-ums anytime. Former Chigger Bait victim...May

  13. Good luck with chigger control and say a prayer that you don't pick up any turkey mites. Those critters do burrow under the skin...miserable little biters! Looks like the crazy quilt ladies are having loads of fun!

  14. Hi Bonnie, looks like you're having a great time with your friends. A well deserved girly time. Good on you

  15. Uggggg chiggers! :(

    Their bites make me swell and bruise--miserable!

    Beautiful pictures (though now, I'm itchy!). :)

  16. I will have to honestly say I have never heard of Jiggers or no-see-ums! The things you learn about on the internet!!!

  17. I spray my long pants with permethrin and then wear knee high pantyhose over my socks and the cuffs of my pants. So far this year: 2 chigger bites when I zipped into the garden for a few seconds w/o protection.

    I only bring the knee highs up over the pant cuff, not all the way up the leg. Sock weave is usually loose enough for chiggers to sneak through--unless you have the silk underlining socks.

    (And don't forget to strip before entering the house...)

    Needless to say, my strategy requires a photo free zone.

  18. Angel Selders2:55 PM EDT

    Bonnie As a fellow North Carolina resident(Macon county a couple hours west) I can relate to the chiggers. I usually get all swollen up with them just from going into our back yard, I found that a dab of Tee tree oil works wonders for the itch.

  19. Barbara Anne3:27 PM EDT

    Word of warning from my childhood experience, DON'T scratch a lot and then put Clear Nail polish on the bites. It BURNS and if your windows are open, the neighbors will hear you yelling. Been there, did that - loudly.

    Be sure to check for ticks, too, as these days they might well carry the evil Lyme disease. Hie the to the doctor pronto if you see a target-shaped area around the bite site and DO look all over for bites. I was bitten here on our property outside Richmond, VA and the target is obvious if you were bitten by a Lyme tick.

    Scenery is just lovely!

    Am cutting little squares for a 9 Patch baby quilt today.


  20. Anonymous6:29 PM EDT

    I've found that they don't bite straightaway so if you have a shower and change ALL your clothes as soon as you get home you can minimise the bites/itchiness. I think they spend an hour or two creeping over your body, searching for cosy nooks and crannies or elastic bands to sneak under.

  21. I found out what chiggers were the hard way on my first trip the the US. I had all these weird itchy bites that I eventually went to a drug-store to get something for, and everyone said "chiggers" as soon as they saw my legs. I had no idea what they were talking about!

  22. Anonymous9:55 PM EDT

    I just LOVE your pictures......dappled shade with a stream running through it......waterfalls surrounded by green.......oh so soothing! Can I be your friend and come visit?? :-)

    Laurie in San Diego

  23. I hate chiggers (don't have them in the desert) and I hate mosquitoes (very rarely do we have a problem unless someone has a stagnant swimming pool--ugh!), but I miss those precious fire flies!!! I love your beautiful scenery--reminds me of childhood in Missouri.

  24. Chiggers are nasty! In my youth, we would dust the "target areas" (waistband, groin, ankles) with sulphur.. We generally weren't bitten, but we smelled bad!

  25. When I was young we would visit my grandmother in Kansas. I was too young for jail bait but I was still chigger bait. No matter what my mother would put on me I would still get bite. Then told don't scratch there.... I am so glad we do not have chiggers in Oregon.

  26. We always use sulphur powder to dust our legs and socks to prevent chigger bites. I would put the powder in an old sock to apply. The scent is horrible, but it works!

  27. There was a song we sang at 4-H meetings especially during the summer:
    "Oh there was a little chigger and he wasn't any bigger than a wee small point of a pen, but the bump that it raises, it itches like the blazes, and that's where the rub comes in..." Lol
    I would choose mosquitoes any day over chiggers.


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