CHIGGERS

Throughout my camping life, and I am closer to the age of 70 than 60.  I have camped among pests of various sizes.  Never Chiggers.  I have been visited around the campfire by a solo skunk.  Lost food to cunning raccoons.  Had to use steel food storage lockers for bears.

In many locations the smaller pests seem to cause the most irritation.

Flies that insist on being in your face.

To mosquitoes that can drive you insane during the period around sunset.  Leaving bites that reminded you all the next day.  Even that pesky lone one in the tent, buzzing your ears in the dark.

I have picked ticks, checked my shoes for scorpions, and kept away from brush and rocks to avoid snakes.

All the years of camping decade after decade.  Through most states of the USA, and parts of Canada I guess I was fortunate not to cross paths with chiggers.  Just something I have seen in books or TV programs.

Mid July of 2019 had me visiting parts of the Great Basin NP in Nevada.  Generally in an area around Ely, Nevada.  In the Cave Lake area.  I camped there one night.   Then moved on to parts higher in elevation.

This part of Nevada is mostly desert to some degree.  The lower elevations are too hot to comfortably summer camp.  It is miserable to even sleep outdoors at night.

My second night I moved on to Wheeler Peak and spent the night at an elevation around 10,000 feet.  What a welcome relief.  It dropped down to 55°F at night.   Wheeler Peak is near Baker, Nevada.  70 to 80 miles or so from my last camp.

I left mid morning and stopped briefly in the valley below to jump out of my vehicle, walk about 10 feet off the road and snap off some photos.

I list all of the three above because about 4 hours after my stop to snap some photos.   I started itching around my ankles just above my sock line.   I had about 15 bites surface that itch beyond any mosquito bite I ever had.

I read on the internet the itching normally goes away in a couple of days.  For me it continued on to 7.  I am not sure it is completely over.  Benadryl Cream hardly touches it.  A prescription Steroid doesn’t seem to aid any either.

I am worried I infected my vehicle with the critters and am half afraid to use the sleeping bag I used on the trip.

For an insect so small you really can’t see them.  I have to say they have been the most unpleasant pest I have ever encountered while camping.  I wish I knew which of the 3 locations I visited when I picked up these critters.  I would leave that part of the world all to themselves!

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