by Jess Cropsey
WARNING — The following blog is a little gross. Read at your own risk.
Our son (8) woke up a few mornings ago with about 15 mysterious bites on different parts of his body. We thought a mosquito or flea went to town on him at night. Bug bites of unknown origin are not an uncommon occurrence, so we didn’t think much of it. After a couple days we noticed that one of the “bites” had come to a white head with a black dot in the center and red lines streaking away from the center. Well, perhaps this is a jigger (although a very odd place for one) or an infected bug bite. We tried to give it a squeeze, but it was pretty painful and didn’t prove effective. We also noticed that some of Micah’s other bites looked infected as well, so we started him on some antibiotics. Nearly two days later, things weren’t really improving and he complained about them throughout the day. As recommended by our beloved & talented pediatrician Dr. Alyssa, we soaked him in a nice warm bath. It soon became clear that something alive was inside those “bites”. After letting him soak for about 15 minutes, we began the squeezing process. We lost count after a little while, but we think we removed around 17! One from his head, his ear, several from his face/neck, armpit, back, leg, etc. Poor kid was feeling pretty woozy by the end. It was traumatic for some and thrilling for others.
Of course, we decided to look up some information online after we treated him and discovered that you’re not actually supposed to squeeze them out. (Note to self for a next time we hope never happens.) Apparently, petroleum jelly will suffocate them and you can then extract them with tweezers. Fortunately, I think the attempted drowning technique worked pretty well and they came out intact.
This might go down in the Kibuye infestation record books. While I am competitive, that’s one record I hope no one else in our family (or on our team, for that matter) ever beats.