Gypsy's Travels

Friday, July 27, 2007

Chiggers and Scorpions

I was so involved in getting the grapes from the greenbelt area, that I didn't even think about the chiggers. Now I itch! Maybe those were the "itchies" A was referencing.
The last time I dabbled in the greenbelt, I got poison ivy. Poison ivy is worse than chiggers and lasts longer.

We don't really have too many vile outdoor pests here in Texas. Chiggers, poison ivy, stinging grass, rattlesnakes, black widows, brown recluse. Those are the worst ones; stinging grass being the least of that lot. When I first moved here, I was working in the local ER at triage one day. An almost hysterical woman came in complaining of a sting by a scorpion. I rushed her back to see the doctor who looked at the swollen finger the woman displayed. Then he looked at her, then at me.
"Scorpion stings are not life threatening unless the patient is in anaphylactic shock," he explained with a repressed laugh.
Well, how was I to know? I looked it up on the internet just make sure he knew what he was talking about. It was true, the dreaded scorpion had been getting a bad rap from my family for years. However, the bark scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda or sculpturatus), which is found in Arizona and New Mexico and on the California side of the Colorado River, has a potentially lethal sting.
Anyway, I was glad I had the information. Sometime later I was stung and knew immediately what it was. The pain was terribly intense. I used my usual folk remedy for insect stings (meat tenderizer mixed with a just enough water to make a paste) with almost instantaneous relief.

We found a scorpion when visiting my parents in Oklahoma one time. DH killed it and I told my mother.
"Be careful, they travel in pairs," she warned.
DH and I got no sleep that night. We kept getting up, turning on the light, and looking for the mate of the murdered arthropod.
Sometimes I wonder where my mother gets her information.