Seen any bears? Nope. Cougars or Mountain Lions? Nope. Any run-ins with angry elk, deer, or hogs? Nope. Had any trouble with snakes, alligators, snapping turtles, skunks, rabbid raccoons, or spiders? Nope. I wasn’t worried about any of these animals anyway. However, what I have been dreading has finally come…Chiggers.

Chiggers are tiny, six-legged wingless organisms (larvae) that grow up to become a type of mite. Chiggers are found in tall grass and weeds. Their bite causes severe itching. Many home remedies for chigger bites are based upon the incorrect belief that chiggers burrow into and remain in the skin. Nail polish, alcohol, and bleach have been applied to the bites to attempt to “suffocate” or kill the chiggers. But because the chiggers are not present in the skin, these methods are not effective.

Well, now that I’ve had them. They are just like a mosquito bite, just a little more itchy. Not as bad as I thought. But, I am camping in the Bayou, what did I expect.

I met John, a professor in counseling yesterday, and he told me of other things to be worried about in the swamps of Louisiana…armadillos.

Wild armadillos have been known to be infected with the bacterium that causes leprosy (Hansen’s disease). The only cases of transmission from armadillos to humans have occurred in rare incidents in which people ate undercooked armadillo meat. You have a greater chance of contracting rabies from raccoons that you have of getting leprosy from an armadillo.

Rattlesnakes, Cotton Mouths (Water Moccasins), and Copperheads now they may pose a bigger problem. But, I have yet to see one that wasn’t dead on the road. I haven’t seen an alligator too. Kind of bummed about that. But I suppose it isn’t the snakes and alligators that you see that you should worry about, it is the ones that you don’t see.

As it is, I choose not to worry at all. I mean I am gonna die someday. How much better to have died walking and running for peace…and then being eaten by an alligator. Better than sitting on my butt watching Sports Center and doing nothing.

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