So I have aoutes. This afternoon, at the prompting of my friend Susie - and driven to driven to distraction by over a week of scratching at those insect bites and marinading my skin in calamine lotion - I took myself to the local pharmacy to seek a more hardcore solution. Chemicals? Pills? Bombes? Bring it all on!
Gratifyingly, three women in white coats gathered to exclaim in horror as I rolled up my trousers to reveal my lower legs and backs of knees. 'Oh la la,' said one, before recommending pills and a hydrocortisone cream, 'it's not very pretty.'
But at least I now know the cause of my affliction: aoutes or harvest mite larvae. The horrible itching is apparently caused by the powerful cocktail of digestive enzymes that they inject into your skin to liquify the tissues before sucking them up. Et voila. Fleas sound almost desirable by comparison.