The might of the mite that I fight isn’t slight.
I await, ’til it’s late; it migrates to it’s plate.
It’s delight is to blight all my night, as it’s bite,
Penetrates my bald pate, where it ate with its mate.
Until this weekend, I had chickens in the garden. Why do I no longer have chickens? Well, because the member of the household who most loved them was the puppy, but she loved them in the way that a child loves a toy that moves and makes noise. How do they work? I don’t know, how about I take them apart and find out!
So, to save them from that fate, I drove them to Gloucestershire, and rehoused them with my mother’s chickens, and now one fewer Battersea garden has urban jungle fowl. What I hadn’t realised at the time though, was that they left behind a most unpleasant present.
The red mite, or chicken mite – or little, itch causing shits as I prefer to call them, are a common bird problem. If you have a pigeon nesting on your roof, after the squabs have flown the nest, the mites that inhabit the dusty depths of it will come searching for other nearby blood feasts. I now believe that these creatures evolved to teach young birds to fly because if they find your bed they make you want to leap out the window.
They are very small, several of them could fit on a pin head (maybe they are really angels – clergy, please discuss), and they are a type of spider. The come in three colours; pale grey, a dull brown colour, and bright red. Grey is starving, please feed me, oh I do love the smell of your armpits and I want to live in your nostrils; Red is fed, bloody hell, you are tasty, I reckon I could live here, waiter, bring me the port and complements to the chef; Brown is siesta time, I ate earlier, don’t need anything right now, could you maybe bring me a cup of cocoa. And because they are so small, you might not even notice them even if your skin is crawling with them and they have renamed your body “The Metropolis of the Mite”.
When I cleared out the chicken hutch, the place was teaming with them, millions of grey bodies, like out of work miners blaming me for destroying their livelihoods. Many of them held placards, some were sitting down playing cards and drinking tea, and one or two were chucking stones at lines of beetles I’d drafted in to control them. However, some decided they still wanted to work, so came into the house with me and fed on me. And the marks they leave behind on your skin is the reason why such individuals are called scabs…
So I had a bonfire and burnt millions of them to death, hahahaha! However, the school of Google has informed me that there could be millions more of these starving bodies still living out in my garden, just waiting to come in, just one little bite mister, mmm, please sir, can I have some more? So, my garden is now officially North Korea, and I am Kim Jong-un. Why isn’t the world listening to me? How many more mites must I kill before anyone cares?!
Apparently my next door neighbour is suffering from a refugee crisis…