Monday, June 29, 2009

No See Ums Feeding Frenzy

Every Saturday through out the Summer I sell at the Missoula People's Market and I decided to add a Sunday show in beautiful Seeley Lake.

It is a bit over an hours drive from Missoula. The drive there was just lovely along the Blackfoot river and passing many mountain lakes. I arrived to be greeted by a very welcoming market master named Vicki. The venue takes place on a lovely grassy lawn.

It was early morning and the lawn was dewy. I had no idea that it made a perfect breeding ground for no see ums, also known as biting midges. I saw what I thought were gnats swarming around and just shooed them away.

While I was selling a customer asked "Do you know you are bleeding?". Surprised, I looked in my mirror and my neck and upper chest were covered with blood droplets. I didn't even feel myself being bit.

Well, about 4 hours later my neck, chest, back of the neck, elbows and feet started itching. I even have a bite on my scalp! Huge welts cover me and the pain is like a wasp sting.

One bite would be an annoyance but with so many I feel down right miserable. My sunburn I achieved this weekend is not even noticeable!

I searched online and there were many home remedy suggestions. Last night I went to bed with Vicks Vapor Rubbed smeared all over me. I don't recommend this one. The heaviness of it was unpleasant.

This morning I used Tea tree oil and it was a momentary relief. No real relief from a baking soda paste. Now, with Mom's suggestion I am using a washcloth soaked in apple cider vinegar. There is a bit of a sting but it feels good. The swelling seems to be lessening.

Now, I am off to the store for some Cortizone 10 and Benadryl. I prefer natural products and have some plant based insect repellent but will also arm myself with some Cutter's insect repellent, because, hey, there motto is "freedom to enjoy the outdoors".


Katie said...

That sounds awful! I've never been around that many no see ums at once to have anything like that happen!
I'm covered with chigger bites, some mosquito bites and a bit of poison ivy. I'm lookin' good too. :)

Erika said...

OUCH!! Sorry to here about the no-c-um attack, they are visous thirsty buggers!!! They have those in Florida-land of bugs! Hope you get some relief soon. I love the lake & mountain picture you took, was this right next to where you set up? you should do a show in NH!!

Kate T. said...

Hmmmm... I was just about to suggest benadryl when I saw you mentioned it at the end. Be careful though - it might just knock you out cold!

What a shame to have those icky bugs spoil what was shaping up to be an otherwise enjoyable day. I know in Alaska they use something called "Bug Juice" to protect themselves from the black flies that plague them in summer. Maybe this could work for midges too?

Nasty bugs!

Thanks for coming by my blog - I hope you come again.

Kate (Shibori Girl)

Gypsy Moon Designs said...

I discovered the wonders of Lavender oil. After just one day it calmed things down and after several it is very tolerable!

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