I'm paying a heavy price for my burst of industriousness outside the other night. To put it simply, I look like I have chicken pox. I'm covered in bug bites from the knee down.
I was thinking they were probably from mosquitoes, but wondering why in the world they would only bite my legs. Sweet Husband says they have to be chigger bites. It's possible we both could be wrong. A third option was presented in the LJWorld weekly garden column today--Oak Leaf Gall Mites.
"Oak leaf gall mites (Pyemotes herfsi) are a species of itch mites that first appeared in 2004 in several Midwestern states. The oak leaf gall mite is a tiny, 0.2 mm (1/125 inches) long mite that is barely visible to the naked eye. It is related to the straw itch mite, which has pestered farmers handling straw and stored products for hundreds of years. When the mite bites a human, it causes a raised, reddened, 1/2- to 3/4-inch (diameter) welt with a hard crusty vesicle in the center — itchy, but painful when scratched."
That sounds about right. And apparently they're tenacious little buggers. I'm a little leery of bug spray anyway--I don't generally use it unless I'm literally going to be out all night--but according to the article even bug sprays with DEET have been shown to be ineffective against these pesky little no-see-ums.
And I'm kind of wondering if they didn't get to the Wee Welshman too . . . .