Thursday, May 27, 2010

Snakes and Skeeters and Chiggers- OH MY!!!

I was at work the other day and some of us was talking about summer stuff- both good and bad.
I remarked that the two worst things about Summer for me was "Skeeters and Chiggers".

One of my co-workers, who is a northerner and co incidentally one of the sweetest black guys I've ever met, looked up and said "What??".. and so I repeated, "Skeeters and Chiggers"...

He got this really strange look on his face and asked, "Can you repeat that one more time?"......
At that point I realized what he thought I was saying.

I had to explain to him that Skeeters are Southern Slang for Mosquitoes and Chiggers are these tiny little red bugs that live in the overgrown fields on yellow wildflowers and they burrow in beside your hair follicles when you walk against the flowers. They burrow and make you itch so bad that you feel like clawing your skin off, and that itching is them eating their way into your skin.

He and I laughed about it, then and he said being from the cooler north, where they don't have carnivorous bugs, he had never heard of such a thing.

I told him since he lived down here now it was important to know about them and that the only thing I had ever heard of that worked to stop the itching was to make sure you had a bottle of clear nail polish and to cover the entire red spot where the chigger was burrowing with a bit of it. It seals the burrow up and they smother and die....and most importantly, the itching stops.

For Skeeter bites you can do the same thing- but you have to be quick- as soon as they bite you, you need to get the nail polish on the bite in 5 minutes or less -BEFORE YOU SCRATCH-or it doesn't work NEARLY as well.

Snakes......The best thing to do with snakes down here is just to avoid them at all costs. I don't think that the nail polish would help with a snakebite at all. All I can say about them is Brown snakes are generally VERY BAD.....Black snakes are good so don't kill them, they do bite but they just make you a bit queasy- they don't kill you...or if you just absolutely HAVE to kill it- then throw it up in a tree and drape it on a branch. At least then you'll get a good thunderstorm out of it.

Seriously. I'm a Mountain Witch- we KNOW these things. They've been passed down to us for generations.


Evan 08 said...

I don't get it... what did the guy THINK you said??

d e v a n said...

ugh. We have killed several water mocassins in our yard. (we live next to a wildlife preserve) It scares me to death with the kids. I hate snakes!

Scratch the hostile fay said...

Nail polish? I hadn't heard that one. Or the "hang the dead snake up in a tree to get rain" one. You learn all kind of things on the 'net. ;)

My simple solution to avoiding pests: stay inside...unless the pest shows up in your bathtub. Then it's run outside screaming. Just kidding.

Supposedly, if you like eating stuff with garlic in it, mosquitos will avoid you some, as it comes out on your skin.

I don't mind snakes. As long as I don't find it in the house. Snakes=fewer mice gnawing on my baseboards.

We do have a rather large something that has burrowed a hole under the trailer. It's either a possum or a groundhog (both of which are eyeballing our tomatoes). Have to deal with that soon. Ugh.


(Have you tried clicking on the little wheelchair symbol instead of typing the word? You get this bizarre recording with numbers.)

Sunny said...

You ARE kidding, Evan, Right?????

Devan- we live next to a creek too and we have water moccasins and copperheads all over our place as well.
Scratch- Really?
According to legend- anytime a snake climbs in a tree- it's an abomination in God's eyes (because of the Garden of Eden Incident)and therefore shows his displeasure by sending a Thunderstorm.
.....I don't make this stuff up- I just pass it along.