Had the thought that perhaps a thread dealing with local remedies might be helpful. I had an email from a friend who is off camping somewhere in Arkansas and she told me that a favorite local remedy for chigger bites is a mixture of Downey( a fabric softener),vinegar and water.She suggested that I try it the next time I get bit by a fire ant.Anyway, what's interesting is that when she got all of those chigger bites(and I must admit I have not the faintest idea of what a chigger looks like or does)-fire ants are my speciality) the above remedy was the only thing that worked. She was also told by some of the locals that putting nail
polish on the affected areas was also effective.Now my new special area of expertise -fireants.What I find works best is spraying a 50%vinegar solution on the affected area immediately( I always carry some in my pocket when I work in the yard).Must include this anecdote. A neighbor says she was told that a way of getting rid of the nests is to take a group from one nest and put in on another nest and that they will both destroy each other.Haven't tried it yet. My husband dumps some chemicals on a mound as soon as he sees one-can't be bothered looking for another mound.
Now I need a hint. My favorite pair of leather Docksiders got all muddy and after I washed them they got as hard as a rock.I had let them dry in my un airconditioned garage. They had gotten wet before( they are boat shoes after all)Is there anything I can do to soften them?