The bane of summer outdoor activities around these parts (next to mosquitoes and fire ants) is my nemesis, the Chigger! I consider them to be one of the 7 Plagues Of The Southland. Chiggers are a type of microscopic mite that feed on the skin of animals (including us). Any activity that involves traversing pasture or grassy areas will be followed by days of horrific itching for me. And the more you scratch, the worse the bites itch…to the point where you literally scratch open sores in the skin. They congregate at the areas where the clothing fits snuggly, like the ankles, panty-line and bra-line.
Our weather here in North Texas has been very wet and more humid than normal. I noticed that my mare’s pasterns would look like she’d been wading through cactus! There were bloody pinpricks all over them and she scratched at them constantly. It took me a while to figure out that it was the chiggers attaching her!
I tried all manner of sprays and topical applications. But they just weren’t very effective. I couldn’t apply them throughout the day due to my schedule. I didn’t want to use the nasty chemical stuff, so I needed to come up with a different strategy. The answer had been staring me in the face and I just didn’t realize it!
Teaching A Young Dog An Old Trick
Sulfur dusting powder has been used to repel chiggers for a very long time. This is an old-timer strategy that I learned from a friend MANY years ago in South Texas. You put the powder in a thin sock, tie a knot in the end, and then tap the powder all over the bottom of your pants legs and shoes. It really does work. I don’t know why. You can order it from Amazon really inexpensively too. So it won’t break the bank!
I demonstrate the technique on my horse in this video, along with some tips for soothing the skin if your horse has an active infestation…
Lisa Carter is a Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT), with multiple certifications from several different equine bodywork schools. She incorporates her knowledge and experience with Parelli Natural Horsemanship, equine bodywork, using essential oils for animals and as a veterinary technician to provide her clients with the resources they need to make informed decisions for their horses. She encourages and facilitates network building between equine health care professionals, working together to find the best combination of therapies to meet the needs of the “whole horse”.
Are you ready to get better results with your horse? Put your equine health care team to work so you and your horse can be doing what you were meant to. Click here to get started!