To help make Chiggerade out of our Chiggers, Ali and I made Black&Blueberry Pie with some of our pickin’s…

Ali was especially proud of her butter pat pattern placement:IMG_9724

And, since it’s the first time I’ve ever made a pie quite like this and I changed the recipe around a bit, I didn’t know if I’d royally screwed it up when it came out of the oven looking as bumpy as if it had been bitten by a few chiggers itself:


(And really, there probably were a few chiggers baked into that pie…but what can you do.)

THEN, while it was cooling, it started bleeding losing all of it’s juice. Afraid that I was going to end up with the world’s driest pie, I put a reservoir system in place:

And then drizzled the juice back over the top of my now even more questionable looking pie:

Once I cut it open, though, I realized it was leaking for a reason: it was TOO full of liquid.

Oh well, you live you learn

But, despite the the end affect was QUITE delicious.


There’s really nothing like freshly picked and baked blueberries and blackberries popping in your mouth…and now I need another piece.

(I’ll try to get the recipe up on B-Sides tomorrow.)

Back to Chiggers.

Chiggers are full of lore in the South. Everyone has their opinion, and everyone has their solution.

Although Ali’s doctor just recommended to treat the symptoms with Benadryl, Calamine, and Oatmeal and dismissed any further “treatments” being needed, the rest of the non-doctoral-degreed world has quite another opinion.

It seems that everyone believes (whether true or not, I don’t know) that to get rid of Chigger bites, you must first kill the Chigger.

Chiggers are nearly microscopic little bright red arachnids that live in grass, waiting for their destiny to be fulfilled by a blood-bearing organism walking by. Then, they hop on board, scamper to the warmest spot they can find, and bore their way into their new host’s skin, feasting on their deliciousness as they dig deeper and deeper.

So, according to this theory, you can treat the itch, but unless you kill the bug, it’s going to last until the bug finally engorges himself to death with your tasty flesh.

The most popular theory is to cover the bumps with fingernail polish – supposedly, it suffocates Chiggers like no other.

But there are other theories as well.

There’s a product on the market called Chigarid that supposedly provides superior suffocation of tiny red bugs. But the ingredients of Camphor, Phenol, and Menthol didn’t exactly sound pregnant-woman friendly…or three year old friendly, for that matter.

But everyone has their theory.

My Dad’s suggestion was to pour gasoline on the bites, light them on fire, wait for the chiggers to run out, and stab them with an ice pick.

All of a sudden, Chigarid didn’t sound so bad.

But the most fascinating theory came from one of Chris’ co-workers. Chris was telling him that Ali and I had Chiggers, and his eyes lit up. He got all excited and said,

“Oh. There’s NOTHIN’ in the WHOLE WORLD that feels better than scratchin’ out a chigger!!”


“Scratchin’ one out!!! You get at it with a good fingernail, and you scratch and you scratch … you probably will make it bleed some, but you keep at it. You dig and you dig, and if you can’t get to it good enough (editor’s note: remember that Chiggers especially like warm places), you get someone that really loves you to do it for you. And you KNOW the second you got that chigger out, because it immediately quits itching, and it’s the best feeling of relief in the whole world!! It’s like how good scratching an itch feels, except times a hundred!”

Although I’m intrigued by the idea, just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The 80’s taught us this lesson with the “amazing invention” of dying shoes the same color as Bridesmaid Dresses.

But I’ll let you know if I get to scratchin’ and can’t quit until I scratch that chigger right out. I’ll just try and have an ice pick handy to finish the job.

16 thoughts on “Chiggeremedies and Chigger Pie

  1. Um…I don't know what to say about the scratching it out business. I'm going to silently smile, nod, and go "uh hunh."

  2. Wow my mamma always told me not to scratch them..We used the clear fingernail polish remedy and it usually worked.

    Your pie looks delicious, makes me want a homemade pie.

  3. I'm seriously allergic to menthol, so I would much rather set the chiggers on fire. The end result would be about the same, but at least I wouldn't have to deal with hives from the gasoline!

    And scratching the chiggers out sounds like a great way to get a nasty infection from unclean fingernails.

  4. The "scratch it out" theory explains why my chiggars bother me so much more as an adult than they did as a kid. And I did recently scratch one until it bled while I was sleeping and it seemed to stop itching a bit faster than my others. So… perhaps it's a good theory, assuming you don't mind the risk of a nasty infection and a bad scar :)

  5. I can imagine that plenty of people actually scratch the chiggers out because of pure desperation, but good grief, you don't go around telling people about it! Too funny!

  6. Actually, by the time you itch, the chigger itself is long gone. They bite and fall off–it's their saliva under the skin that makes the horrible itching (and swelling).

    My mother swears that she doesn't itch from chiggers ever since she started adding a squirt of Dove body wash (the one in the green bottle with the cucumber on the label) to her bath water.

    To prevent chiggers, always wear long pants, and socks and shoes instead of shorts & sandals when going into the woods or berry patches at this time of year. Tuck your pants into your socks, then spray your socks and shoes with "Off"–that way it doesn't get on your skin, and the chiggers can't get to your skin to bite, either.

    And don't scratch!

  7. I honestly have lost all ability to think straight after reading this…ummm. nope nothing. wow.
    Chiggers. I'll keep the millipedes invading my space I guess.

  8. OK, please don't scratch your chigger out. That sounded pretty gross.

    What's not gross is that pie and I just got hungry!

  9. Yum, that pie looks delicious! But all the talk of bugs boring into your skin and scratching them out is definitely not making me too hungry. At least you got some reward for your pain. :)

  10. Honestly I don't know what to say but I don't think I would try your dad's approach.

    It seems, once long ago in a far away land I had heard something about the nail polish trick and I think there was a happy ending. Ali might think this is some fun new fad. or she can blog about it (or what ever they'll have when she is a teenager) about how weird her momma was painting her up with nail polish.

  11. I have never had a chigger (knock on wood), but I have had noseeums…which no longer sound as bad as I thought they were…
    how on earth have I lived in the South for so long camping, hiking, blueberry and blackberry picking, tromping through the woods and whatnots and never encountered one of those? Maybe I don't smell good to them, therefore I must not taste good….mosquitos love me though!

  12. There is a lot of misconceptions about chiggers. They don't bury into the skin at all and they do not suck your blood. They usually grab a hair follicle and then secrete stuff onto your skin that makes the skin cells dissolve and then they suck up the goo. You can't see them and they fill up and fall off after 4 days. Usually by the time you get to where you want to claw your skin off they are gone. You can google it to see what I'm talking about. My husband is a forester and gets chiggers all the time.

  13. This whole world of chiggers is new to me!

    That pie which sorta became a cobbler or what have you looks delicious!!!!

  14. Brooke is right. By the time you start to itch, the actual chigger is long gone. All you can do is treat the symptom.

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