It's been a good year for Blackberries. And for every quart we pick, we collect a pint of chiggers as a free bonus. Chiggers are in the Arachnid family and could be any of a variety of larvae of several species of mites.
They are a type of mite related to ticks. Personally I'd much rather have ticks, since you can usually see a tick, even a tiny one, and have a fighting chance to pick it off. Chigger larvae can scarcely be see without a magnifying glass, (which really slows down blackberry picking!) and by the time you feel the bite the chigger is long gone. ( 3-6 hours later!) Chiggers love Blackberry plants or other foliage and wait there for a candidate to walk by, then fall onto the person or animal to have their meal. There are some ways to keep them at bay - if you don't mind smelling like rotten eggs, dust in sulphur. If you don't mind smelling like a pickle, wipe vinegar on before going to the patch. This might reduce the ratio of Chiggers to blackberries down to 1 cup to 1 quart! S
ince I read that they can't hang on well, a hot soapy shower as soon as you get done might help. I think that would greatly reduce the time you dared stay out there, and you couldn't bring a helper, as there'd be a fight over the shower. ANYWAY, we're posting Blackberry recipes on Saturdays for this month, while we scratch our way through July.