Chigger Bugs, or more commonly called just Chiggers, or Red Bugs, are the larval stage of the Trombiculidae mite.
Chigger Bugs are a real nuisance, as their "bites" cause inflamed pimple like marks on your skin, that itch intensely. If you've ever been bitten by Chiggers, you never want to be bitten again!
Again, Chigger Bugs are more commonly called just Chiggers. During the larval stage, Trombiculidae mites need to feed to grow to adults. During this phase, they are called Chiggers, and they will hide in tall grass, shrubs, mulch and other outdoor areas.
Chiggers are commonly found in grassy and woodland areas and do not prefer direct sunlight. They are incredibly small, about 1/150th of an inch, and very difficult to see with the naked eye. If you see them, it's often because there are multiples moving around quickly on your skin or clothing.
Chiggers wait in tall grass, or on shrubs for a host to come by, then jump on the host to begin feeding. The feeding process is what causes the "bites" and the intense itching associated with the bites.
Chiggers have four different stages as they progress to become adults. The larval stage is the only stage where they seek out people and animals as a food source.
>> Learn more about Chiggers in our What are Chiggers Guide.
For humans, this means Chigger Bugs generally jump onto your clothing, then immediately begin searching for the first open area of skin they can find.
Once there, they will rip open the skin, and insert a tube-like appendage, and fill the soft area of skin with an enzyme that dissolves it, and the Chigger will begin drinking.
To be more clear, Chiggers feed on your skin.
Chiggers will feed for approximately 2-3 days, if allowed, then drop off. Within 24 hours, the inflammation and itching begins. The specific time varies, depending on how severe the person's reaction is.
Bites are often in groups, and can literally be counted in the hundreds in a severe attack. Bites are often located at transition areas where clothing stops and skin begins (this is evident in the photo above, where the majority of the chigger bites are above the waist line).
Chigger bites commonly occur on:
>> You can read more about Chigger Bug Bites in our Chigger Bites Guide.
Commercially available insecticide sprays are a very effective way to kill and get rid of Chiggers in your yard. Specifically, the following products are very effective:
The most effective way to kill Chiggers in your yard, and to keep them out, is to engage a Professional Exterminator.
Professionals will survey your yard, and provide and implement an ongoing treatment plan. When contacting a professional exterminator, be sure they have current and prior experience treating Chiggers.
>> You can read more about how to kill and prevent Chiggers in our How to Kill Chiggers - 5 Easy Ways Guide.
Most people that have been bitten by Chiggers actively seek out, how to keep from being bitten by Chiggers again, and for good reason. Chiggers Bites hurt!
The most obvious answer for how to prevent Chigger Bug Bites is to avoid areas that have Chiggers. The reality of that though, is that it's very hard to do.
To do this, you would really need to just not go outside. No fun right?
Avoiding Chiggers is difficult, for the following reasons:
If you think you'll be venturing into an area that may have chiggers, we recommend doing the following:
When you return home, do the following immediately: