I spent about half and hour pottering about in the garden yesterday. It had been raining, so everything was wet, which provided a wonderful environment for insects of all kinds.
When it started to rain again, I went back in the house and soon realized I had a couple of mosquito bites; one on my back and one on my thigh. They didn’t bother me much. I am used to mosquito bites. They itch a little and create a small swelling, but otherwise I don’t have a bad reaction to them.
After about an hour, though, I saw that my right hand was starting to swell up and it was itching like crazy. And I do mean crazy. I simply could not stop scratching. So, I applied generous quantities of hydrocortisone cream, and that soothed the itch temporarily.
Last night, the itching on my hand kept me awake. I must have woken up every hour, and I only got about five hours of this broken sleep.
That had me wondering what bit me. I had been wearing gardening gloves, so whatever it was, it must have been inside the glove when I put it on. That really creeps me out. From now until eternity I’m going to be turning my gloves inside out before I wear them.
I checked out the Healthline bites and stings website to see if I could figure out what had bitten me. Based on the images of bug bites they provide, I thought it might have been either a tick or a brown recluse spider. The description of the spider’s behaviour seemed to be right on:
- It likes to hide in quiet, dark places like closets and bookshelves
- Nonaggressive, it will only bite humans if it’s being crushed between skin and a hard surface.
So, presumably, being squashed inside a glove would cause it to bite.
I knew that ticks live in Alberta but I didn’t know about brown recluse spiders. It turns out they don’t live in Alberta. (Thank you, UC Riverside.) Phew!
It seems, then, I have been bitten by a tick, or something else not described in the Healthline website. Either way, I am not experiencing any of the serious additional symptoms so I think it’s just a matter of waiting for the swelling to go down and the itching to cease.
If you like gardening, don’t forget to turn the gardening gloves inside out! Just sayin’.