Monday, August 19, 2013

Chigger Hell

I recently returned from an assignment in Mississippi, which, prior to this visit, was one of those states I've never had the pleasure of visiting. I can say without hesitation that Mississippi is a beautiful state. The weather was delightfully unseasonably cool, the people were gracious, charming and friendly, the accommodations were first-rate, the food was fantastic, the tea was sweet, minty and cold, the bourbon was delicious, and the landowner's conservation efforts to bring back wild quail were laudatory and inspiring.

But I will never, ever go back there, or anywhere back east or south again, without an industrial-sized can of "Deep Effing Woods GTF OFF!" (which is a bit stronger than regular Deep Woods OFF!), because I came back from Mississippi with a raging case of...chiggers.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a place with no chiggers, then just Google them. If you do live in Chiggerland, then I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

I hate chiggers. Intensely. I grew up with chiggers, suffered their disgusting, parasitic habits my entire life, and when I finally moved away from Chiggerland to a sparser, more arid, less chigger-friendly clime, I rejoiced. And stopped scratching.

But the downside to living outside Chiggerland is that you get lazy, let your guard down. You forget the evil, the misery. Then you make a return visit to Chiggerland without taking precautions, without preparing yourself. And that's when the little bastards get you.

And they got me. Lesson learned.

OK, so the picture isn't a real chigger, it's a Berkley Chigger Craw (a soft plastic bass bait for you non-anglers), but the photographs of actual chiggers (actually it's the larval stage that feeds on you) are so repulsive I couldn't bring myself to use one...

So, to reiterate: if you're traveling to any region where "here" is a two-syllable word, be sure to pack your "Deep Effing Woods GTF OFF!" Apply liberally and often. You'll thank me for it. 


  1. Fingernail polish, applied liberally. Color is up to you.

  2. I've only heard stories from my pops.. hope I never run into the SOBs.

  3. The little bastards got me a couple weeks ago while fishing for bluegills. Just a quick outing; wasn't planning to be there long. No bug spray. Big mistake.