Every summer it happens. I get devoured by insects, and I am highly succeptable to their itchy evil. I have not had fewer than five itchy spots on me since the first summer afternoon I spent in a park. I was there for half an hour and still I got munched all over my belly and my ankles. I always knew I was completely irresistable but this is getting kind of out of control.
When I was in Brazil I once counted the bites, I stopped when I got to 44 on my left lower leg alone. It was agony.
I know, I know, you’re not supposed to scratch (or even touch) them; if you don’t, they won’t itch. Put After-Bite ™ on them. Put aloe on. Garlic. Toothpaste. Lemon juice. Poly-Sporin.
They won’t bite you in the first place if you smear peppermint essential oil on your skin. Or Avon Skin-so-soft. Or that herbal non-toxic citronella lotion stuff. Or burn citronella candles. Or if you eat lots of garlic. (No problemo there, I normally go through a full head every two or three days.)
I’ve tried it all. Nothing works but DEET.
I was outside all day on Monday and I coated myself in DEET-filled bug spray, and wore one of those really long tops so they couldn’t sneak under my clothes, and thankfully the buggers left me alone. But since I needed to, well, eat, I did make the mistake of washing it off my hands temporarily. And wouldn’t you know it, I got a bite on the base of my thumb.
I have put every effort into ignoring it until this morning - surprise! - I was awakened at 3 am because of my frantic rubbing of my wrist against my sheets. I stopped immediately but it was too late, now I have two big raw spots on my hand that hurt like a mo-fo and are about to turn into big itchy scabs.
I know this because I have three big itchy scabs on my legs that started off as itchy bits that I ignored while awake, and then rubbed raw in my sleep. I continue to rub off the scabs in my sleep, making it very difficult for them to heal.
What can I do? To stop them biting me (I would prefer not to use industrial poison, although it seems to be the only thing that works), or to stop them itching, or to stop me rubbing off parts of my skin in my sleep?