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Super reactors to bug bites.

11 years ago

I have numerous allergies and receive allergy shots, mostly because I refuse to give up my cats. I have always had extremely sensitive skin. Last summer, from June 1 to around July 4, I had severe, constant itching from both raised red "bites" as well as tiny bumps in clusters that were skin colored. I saw 4 doctors and no one had a clear diagnosis. The dermatologist biopsied a red bite and the pathology, besides a thorough description of the inflammatory process, said it came from an arachnid bite. During that time I was aware that my yard, for the first time in the six years I have lived here, was infested by uncountable numbers of Gypsy moth caterpillars. When the caterpillars died from an application of Sevin my itching finally, but slowly subsided.

This year there are almost no caterpillars (I sprayed them) but I break out in obvious bug bites every time I set foot on or ride the mower on the grass. I saturate myself with a Off with Deet, tuck long pants into my socks and wear a long sleeved t-shirt. No matter, I get more bites every time I am exposed to something I assume is in the grass. I have used a cortisone cream and Benadryl clear lotion but each itchy area lasts for more than a week and I go crazy trying not to scratch the areas. My son, an agricultural biologist in Santa Barbara County, who knows everything, asked if chiggers had arrived in NY. They have and all my symptoms coincide with descriptions of chigger bites. Because I am a super reactor to any bite I am miserable. I can't afford to pay someone to cut my 2 acres and do my gardening. No body else I know reacts as severely to bites as I do. Even a mosquito bite causes a huge raised lump that becomes extremely inflamed, and oozes and itches for more than a week. My question is this: Does anyone reading this react as I do, or maybe know someone else who does? I am considering having the grass treated next year with something that kills chiggers. My reaction is so severe I really would like to know if anyone else does as I do, and what they may do to prevent the bites. I have read all the home remedies for chigger bites, have had 4 doctors' opinions as to any medical treatment, and I'm not asking for more. I just want to know if I am alone in this misery and what I might do to safely treat the grass and soil.

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