TMI part II (the oak mite bite saga)

We have a huge oak tree that shades most of our large back yard. 

We don’t have the pleasure of sitting beneath the ol’ oak tree, wiling away our lazy days of summer, though.  The oak mites have stolen that one freedom away from us.

Oak mites fall into the category of “No See-Ums”..almost invisible to the naked eye. They inhabit oak trees and the grass around them, and love to crawl up you legs or down your back, find the most embarrassing spot on your body, and bite away.  Mosquito bites are innocuous compared to oak mite bites. I think I’d rather be stung by a swarm of bees than to be bitten by one oak mite.  Why? Any other backyard insect bite stings, itches a bit, then eventually goes away. Oak mite bites sting only when you touch them, but they really STING! and then the itch….scratch the itch, the bite starts to sting, then the terrible itch, which makes you scratch, bringing on the sting, and so on and so on. This can last for days, even weeks. The only sure way to rid your oak tree of mites is to cut it down. But since we are not at liberty to down a tree in a yard that we rent, we coat ourselves with insect repellent and  spend our evenings in the yard inside a screened gazebo.  Poor Dr K…every time he mows the lawn he has to take off his clothes immediately after and take a shower, and his clothes go into the washer to prevent mites moving on to some other unsuspecting victim.  Even with all the precautions we take, we still have bites, most of them in the area where clothing is tightest (waistbands, underwear, bra, etc.). Nothing seemed to sooth the pain and itch of oak mite bites…not colloidal oatmeal baths, no ointment, no antihistamine pills, no large doses of adult beverages, nothing. Until one day Dr K found a new hydro-cortisone cream at the pharmacy that seemed to do the trick.  We spent a romantic evening daubing the cream on each others bites, murmuring sweet little “Son of a Bitch that itches!” and “What the hell, I have a bite on my _ _ _ _!”   I happened to look at the directions printed on the back of the tube and,cringing in disgust, showed it to Dr K.:

Scanned Picture 2

Too Much Information

” Do not use by putting directly into the rectum by using fingers or any mechanical device or applicator.”

Way too much information.  Anyone desperate enough to use this ointment in such a manner would probably be thinking,what else could I use? My toes? A bottle brush? Someone else’s elbow?

Suddenly the bites on my body didn’t seem so bad.  Fortunately they were  all on the outside and I had a multiple of  application choices. Heck, I could probably rig up some mechanical device to use if I wanted to.  Thank you, mites, for staying away from places that hydro-cortisone cream forbids us to go.


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