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Cure for the Common Chigger

Living in the Southeast and enjoying the outdoors, I have had many a battle with the hated little chiggers. It seems their attraction to me is similar to that of the most voracious of predator to its prey. I have had cases of chiggers so severe that Iíve tried everything from soaking my lower extremities in pure bleach to pouring nail polish remover straight on my open and festering wounds just to get through the itch. Of course Iíve done all the traditional cures, nail polish, chigger-rid, and sulfur powder, but to no avail. If you question the sincerity of my comments you have but to investigate the self-induced masochistic scars that line both of my ankles.

But at last, I have discovered the real cure!

After a recent kayaking/camping trip on the Edisto River, I came home only to discover that two of these not so cute little hitchhikers decided to move in next door to parts of my anatomy that did not appreciate the partying little BUGgers. At this I concluded enough was enough! Through my contemplation of how to evict these unwelcome little guests I decided to see if they could survive in outer space.

Surely youíre wondering what exactly I'm talking about. Allow me to explain.

You see, space exists in a state of zero atmospheric pressure devoid of oxygen or even pressure sufficient enough to keep internal organs in place. As much as I would have enjoyed the ride into space, I neither have the time nor especially the funds to bring this pipe dream to fruition; so of course I did the next best thing. Being in the HVAC trade, one of the common practices is to evacuate refrigeration systems of all non-condensable products through the use of a strong vacuum pump. The pump creates a vacuum capable of removing everything from vapor particles to gas molecules. I concluded that this was as close I could get to space!

I pulled out the old vacuum pump and rigged up a hose and fitting to be able to concentrate this deep vacuum on an area about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. I proceed to place the makeshift ďminispaceĒ applicator on the chigger infested area and kicked the pump into action. As I was standing in the garage naked, with a vacuum hose just inches from providing a 200 micron enema, I couldnít help but wonder what the neighbors would think if they happened to wander by the window.

Itís been more than 24 hours now and no itch; although I do have some petty nasty hickeys! Now, I have to say that the experience was not exactly what I would consider pleasant, but it did the trick. So, if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament (and have access to a HVAC pump), hopefully my experience can save you some serious scratch time.

Submitted by: Mikel Carr - Summerville, SC

For more great stories: See the Archive!

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