This article covers Frequently Asked Questions About Chiggers
What Are Chiggers?
Harvest mites, harvest lice, or red bugs are the other names that are used for chiggers. They are the larvae of the mites from the Trombiculidae family. They are also arachnids just like ticks and spiders. After hatching the egg, the mites climb certain low-growing vegetation and wait for a suitable host such as animals, rodents, and even humans.
After the larvae find a host it attaches itself to the skin of the host and injects its saliva into the soft skin of the host. This saliva contains digestives enzymes that make the skin cells of the host liquified and this leads to the typical rash and this also causes intense itching six to three hours after those chiggers have attached themselves to the skin. These arachnids remain in the skin for about four days if they are not removed. These mites drop off once they have fed themselves. The chiggers do not require a host once they have reached their nymph or adult stage.
What Do Chigger Bites Look Like?
Chigger bites are nothing but itchy red bumps on the skin which look very much similar to blisters, pimples, or small hives. The larvae have six legs while the adult mite might have eight. These bites are primarily present around the ankles or waist or in the warm folds of the skin. Over the span of days, these bumps get bigger and itch more, and are often present in groups.
These bites cause itching the moment these chiggers attach themselves to the skin of the host.
The areas where your clothes fit somewhat tighter are the regions where you shall find these blisters. Chiggers generally love the moist and warm areas of the skin folds.
How Big Are Chiggers?
Chiggers vary in size from 0.1mm to about 16 mm. They have a discontinuous and thin exoskeleton. Some of these species do have eyes while a few do not. The larvae are usually red in color and are completely covered with hair. They move quite quickly as compared to their size. These larvae are generally found in groups in matted vegetation or near bushes and plants from where they can have better access to a host. The only parasitic stage of this mite is the larvae stage.
They feed on many animals including humans. Around 30 of the species of this family feed on the soft skin of their hosts which causes intense, red, and itchy blisters.
These mites are present in the tall grasses during the rainy season while one shall find them around the shady and bushy areas during the summer season. The larvae leave the body of the host after three to five days to enter its nymphal stage.
How Do You Get Chiggers?
The chigger bite is not that noticeable in the beginning. Once the chiggers have injected their digestive enzyme onto the skin which takes around three to six hours, the symptoms start to appear. The very early symptom of a chigger bite is itching. The region around the bite might be flat, reddened, or raised and often resembles a blister or a pimple. Stylostome is the reason for the itchiness which intensifies in 1-2 days.
This itching stays for many days and the complete healing of skin lesions might need one to two weeks.
These bites are often caused when the host engages itself in outdoor activities near low growing vegetation. These species are present there waiting for a suitable host to attach themselves and feed. They are found near the tall grasses and other low vegetation and feed on those parts of the skin where the area is warm and moist. These areas might be the underarm regions or near the waist where you put your belt or other such areas of the skin.
How Long Do Chigger Bites Itch?
The skin can become quite irritating and itchy due to chigger bites. After the chiggers have attached themselves to the body of the host and released the digestive enzymes on the skin it might take three to six hours for the host to see the red lumps or blisters. Generally, people consider chigger bites as another form of skin rash due to the presence of a cluster.
However, this is also a symptom that you have chigger bites if you have spent a lot of time outdoors. These bites can last up to three weeks and clear off on their own when the larvae leave the body of the host to enter the nymphal stage. during that time, the small bump or red blisters cause itchiness and irritation on the skin.
You will feel the worst itching in the first two days of these rashes. However, this itching gradually decreases after two days. If you feel no relief in your itching after two days, you must seek medical help. It is very important to reach for medical help if you experience any sort of swelling, pain or pus. It is advisable never to scratch those bites as this can lead to breakage of the skin and can cause infection.
How Long Do Chigger Bites Last?
Chigger bites do not last long. They last for just a few days and the chiggers fall off from your body in a week or two when they have fed themselves completely and are ready to go into their nymph stage. However, if you scratch those bites they might last longer and you might even develop infections. The bites heal themselves in a week or two but one must restrain themselves from itching and use anti-itching cream.
If the itchiness does not subdue in the first three days then you must consult a doctor for the same if the bite keeps spreading to other parts of the body. You can even wear long sleeves clothes to restrain yourself from scratching the affected region and the use of insect repellent can even be great.
How to Get Rid Of Chigger Bites?
It takes about one to three weeks for the chigger bites to heal themselves. however, some home remedies can come in handy if you try to control the swelling, pain, and itching. You should also avoid scratching the infected area and must consult a doctor if the itching does not reduce in a few days. Some of the home remedies that you can try to relieve yourself from the itchiness are:
1. Hot shower- This will cause the chigger present on the body of the host to fall off and this will even minimize the reactions of the skin from the bites.
2. Cold compress- The itching related to the chigger bites can be reduced with the help of a cold compress. The numbing effect of the cold compress can reduce the sensation of itchiness and can be of great relief.
3. Use Baking soda -One of the great home remedies to reduce itchiness, as well as rashes, is to use baking soda. Baking soda behaves as a neutralizer for natural acids and can be of great help to relieve itching. The risk of infection is greatly reduced.
4. Apple cider vinegar- Apple cider vinegar has great anti-itching and antiseptic properties which can help you to get rid of swelling as well as inflammation. It also works wonders to reduce the itching or irritation due to the bite.
5. Oatmeal-There are anti-inflammatory and anti-irritating properties present in oatmeal and can provide relief from itching which is one of the major symptoms of chigger bites. It is always recommended to use the grounded form of oatmeal as this works the best.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers?
Chiggers are mites that latch on to the body of the host and feed on the liquified skin cells until they reach their nymphal stage. These bites cause extreme irritation and lead to the formation of inflammatory blisters, rashes, and bumps. However, the best way to get rid of chiggers from your body, as well as the garden, have been listed below:
• Use lawn mowers
regular mowing of the lawn can reduce the tall and dense vegetation of your garden where chiggers are generally found.
• Take hot showers
Chiggers do not like high temperature and hot showers get rid of any chigger mite present on your body. It also provides relief to the itching sensation.
• Cold showers
If you are bothered about the irritation and inflammation caused by the chigger bites, cold showers can provide instant relief to that. You can even use ice packs and cold compressors.
• Use of insecticides
The use of good insecticides or hiring a professional exterminator can also provide great help in tackling the chiggers. Insecticides are best to prevent the mites from laying eggs in your garden. This works great and kills the mites when coming in contact with them. Professional exterminators are licensed to used more powerful insecticides and have the expertise to get rid of such mites. Hiring such a person can also help you to get rid of chiggers.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Yard?
The small red mites called the chiggers can be a real headache if they latch themselves upon you. Thus, it is important to get rid of these chiggers from your yards and clear away all the tall vegetation by identifying the hot spots where you can find them.
To get rid of chiggers from your yards and lawn you can apply the following techniques –
1. Regular mowing of lawn along with the cutting of tall vegetation
It will be wise to do regular pruning of the bushes, trees, and other shrubs to reduce the amount of humidity around these plants and allow more sunlight to fill in. This will reduce the shade as well as the moisture which the chiggers require to grow. They do not like sunny regions and areas with great air circulation. This practice should be continued throughout the year.
2. Do not allow rodents and other animals that host chigger in your lawn
The favorite hosts of chiggers are amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. Do not allow these animals to enter your yard and this may encourage the chiggers to leave your lawn in search of food. You can remove the water sources which are likely to invite these amphibians and reptiles in your lawn. Set up fencing around your garden and keep an eye on the security of the trash cans.
3. Regular treatment on the Chigger hotspots
4. While applying chemicals or doing regular treatment for your lawn, rather than applying insecticides to the entire lawn it is better to apply them in the affected region.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Your Bed?
Chiggers can cause real irritation and itchiness in your skin so it is better that once you have taken a hot shower and know that these insects are not present in your body anymore, you must take care of the bed you sleep on. The chances of these mites present in your bed are not unlikely. Therefore, you can do this simple home remedy to get rid of chiggers from your bed.
You can use baking soda and water to get rid of chiggers from your bed. All you need to do is take half a cup of baking soda and add it to your bathtub filled with water. now you need to soak yourself into this water for around 15 minutes and take it off with normal water. You can even apply a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to those areas where you have chigger bites. Baking soda can be of great relief to chigger bites. The sprinkling of baking soda on the bed can even help you get rid of these chigger bugs or jigger bugs from the bed. This cannot just heal your chigger allergy but will also keep these bugs away from your bed.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers On Skin?
Chiggers can have great irritation on your skin. One of the best ways to get rid of chiggers is by using aloe vera on the skin. To use this remedy for your skin, take a fresh leaf of the aloe vera plant and take out the gel from the leaf and spoon it out. Apply this beautiful ingredient on the bites and rinse this off thirty minutes after the application.
Aloe vera has great anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties than can easily cure chigger bites. Aloe vera is used as an instant relief for mite and spider bites, and this aloe vera gel can be of great help to relieve the itchiness from chigger bites. You can even take hot showers for instant relief. You can apply some anti-septic soaps to your body and take a hot water shower after that. Chiggers do not like to stay in higher temperatures and this hot shower can help you get instant relief.
A bleach bath can even be helpful to get rid of the chiggers from your skin at once. Take half a cup of household beaching powder and add it to your bathtub, take a bath in the same and rinse it off with normal water. The chlorine compound present in the bleach bath can help to easily dry out the rash. This tip is also great to get rid of the chigger bites from your body.
How To Prevent Chigger Bites?
Few precautions can help you avoid the itchiness and irritation that your skin feels upon chigger bites. Some of the best ways to avoid chigger bites are:
1. Avoid Chigger hotspots: Chiggers love to stay in humidity. Thus, it is always better to avoid shady and humid areas. Avoid walking through the tall grasses and weeds. Do not go into wooded habitats and swamps that have stick piles and rotten leaves.
2. Strategic sitting can be of great help: Do not sit directly on to the ground and instead spread a blanket before sitting on the ground. Try to sit on dry objects such as the wood or rocks which are at relatively higher temperatures.
3. Wear full sleeves to avoid chiggers on your body: Long shirts and pants can be really handy when you are trying to prevent chigger bites. It is always advised even to tuck the shirt into the pants that you are wearing because chiggers always target the exposed waistband area of the host which is warm and moist.
How To Prevent Chiggers?
Chiggers become a real headache when they latch themselves onto the body of the human and start releasing those digestive enzymes which cause irritation as well as itching. Chiggers are red bugs and mites that are generally found in the moist and humid regions of your yards with tall vegetation and less sunlight. There are many ways to get rid of chiggers when they attach themselves to the body of their host. However, if we can prevent them from coming into our body by taking measures to keep our outdoor surroundings squeaky clean, it can be of great help. Some of the ways to prevent chiggers are:
1. Insecticide and pesticide spraying in the chigger hotspot areas: Rather than spraying insecticide in the entire lawn, it is better to identify the areas that are chigger hotspots and that is where your focus should lie. regular weeding of the lawn can also prevent these creatures from entering your lawn and keeping you safe from all types of itching and irritation.
2. Mowing of lawn: Regular mowing of lawn can be useful in preventing chiggers. This shall reduce the tall vegetation in your lawn or garden and thus expose the vegetation to proper sunlight, which these mites do not like. Thus, this will also save your yard from the attack of chiggers.
3. Wear full sleeves clothes: It is always advisable to wear full sleeves clothes if you are visiting outdoors and in case you know chiggers might be present there. You must not sit directly on the ground as this increases the chance of those mites latching themselves to your body. Always sit on dry wood or rock or spread a blanket on the ground before lying down.
4. Do not allow rodents to enter your lawn: Small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are the favorite hosts for chiggers, and therefore, if you do not allow these animals to enter your lawn or yard, the source of food for the chigger mites are no longer present and the mites shall leave the place on their own.
5. Take hot showers: If you feel a slight itching sensation three to six hours after you have been outdoors, it is always best to take a hot shower. Chiggers do not like high temperature thus if any mite would have tried to feed on your soft skin this hot shower will take them down. Hot showers provide instant relief to the chigger bites and the itching sensation.
How To Treat Chigger Bites?
Chigger bites can be extremely itchy and irritating. Some of the ways that you can reduce the effect of these chigger bites instantly are:
1. Take cold showers: Although the cold shower might sound a little unpleasant it works great in reducing the inflammation caused due to the bites. It also provides great relief to itching. You must apply soap and scrub your body which will remove any additional chigger present on the surface of the skin. Lather your body properly for quite some time and this shall kill all the chiggers that have attached themselves to your body.
2. Application of Hydrocortisone cream: 1% Hydrocortisone cream can also provide relief to the itching caused due to chigger bites. You must use as little cream as possible as excess application is not advisable. You must always seek medical information before applying this cream to children below 12 years of age or to women who are pregnant and nursing. The application of this cream can be done at time intervals of 4-6 hours.
3. Use calamine lotion: Calamine lotion is also of great help to treat chigger bites. Shake the lotion, take it out on a cotton pad, and dab it on a chigger bite. Let this lotion rest for some time before you put on the clothes. You must consult a doctor before applying these to a child below 12 years of age or a pregnant or nursing woman.
What Are Chigger Bites?
Chiggers are mites that feed on the soft skin of the host and cause blisters, rashes, and inflammation which leads to excessive itching. These rashes are called chigger bites.
These mites are parasitic in their larvae stage and feed on the skin of the host. They do not dig into the body to feed on blood but secrets certain enzyme that breaks down and creates a tube or channel-like structure for the chiggers to suck the skin cells in the liquified form.
These regions then become red and irritate our bodies. These insects attach themselves to the skin for about three to four days but they get easily brushed off way before that.
What Does A Chigger Bite Look Like?
Generally, a cluster of chiggers attaches themselves to the body of the host. When these mites fall off they leave behind reddish bumps. A bright red spot at the centre of the inflammation can be seen. This is the region where the tube or channel was formed by the saliva of the chigger for them to feed. These bumps generally look like blisters, pimples or hives. They are generally found in the moist and warm skin fold of the body such as underarms, below belt region, ankles and other such areas which are comparatively moist. Chiggers have the ability to stay attached at the same spot for many days and, usually, you have been bitten by more than one chigger mite. Thus, the bites are often visible in groups and they get larger with each passing day. You won’t feel any sensation when these mites crawl on to your body until the next three to six hours where you start feeling the itching sensation.
What Does Chiggers Look Like?
If you google about the appearance of chiggers, the first answer that you shall come across about their appearance is that they look like mini spiders. Chiggers are very small, microscopic pests that generally look like mini spiders. They belong to the family of Trombiculidae and are arachnids. These mites are responsible for causing serious itching and inflammation in their larval stage. They are often located at dense vegetation which is very humid and moist and is nearby a water resource. They latch themselves to the soft skin of the host and secretes an enzyme which helps them create a channel or tube through which they suck in the liquified skin cells. They do not suck blood like other ticks and mites but they cause serious rashes and blisters in the first two days of their attachment to the skin of the host.
What Insecticide Kills Chiggers In Your Yard?
The best and most effective way to kill chiggers in your yard is with the help of pesticides. Liquified pesticides act the best for chiggers such as spectracide Triazicide, RTs Bug-Free spray as well as Ortho Bug B Gon. Although the granular pesticides also work the liquified pesticides are way better. They can penetrate better and it kills as soon as it comes in contact. You can even use professional exterminator who is licensed to use better and stronger insecticides. They possess the experience of getting rid of such mites and ticks from your homes and can be of great help.
You can even use natural treatments; however, these are not equal to the effect that insecticides have on this vegetation. Some of the natural remedies that can come handy are:
Essentria IC- This substance is made up of natural oils and attach on the nervous system of the chigger mites and kills them. This is the safest product that you can use to get rid of the chiggers and it is also safe to use this around pets and children.
Wondercide EcoTreat- This is one of the products which is available in the USA that even contains human food ingredients that are completely biodegradable and are even non-toxic. All you need to do is mix it with water and spray it in the chigger infected zones.
What Kills Chiggers?
Some of the best ways to kill chiggers have been listed. These are:
1. Remove the chiggers from your clothing and body: If you have visited a chigger infected zone, remove the clothing and wash it immediately. Take a cold shower and wash it using the soap. If you feel that you have been infected, you should take cool or warm showers since this will help to reduce the inflammation.
2. Regular cleaning of the lawn: Chiggers love to live in tall vegetation and clutter. It is advisable to clean the lawn regularly and remove the chiggers from your yard.
3. Use insecticide and pesticides: The best way to get rid of chiggers is to use good quality pesticides. Some of the best options for a pesticide that shall help you to get rid of chiggers instantly are ortho Bug B Gon, Spectracide Triazicide and Rts Bug-Free Spray. These are some of the best insecticides that will help you clean the lawn.
4. Ask a professional exterminator: Professional exterminators can be of great help as they have the experience of getting rid of such mites and ticks and are licenced to use stronger insecticide. They can provide a quicker solution to your chigger problem.
What to do for Chigger Bites?
Chigger bites can be extremely irritating and inflammatory. To reduce the itching sensation of chigger bites you can start with cold and warm showers. warm showers kill the remaining chiggers on your body while cold showers are great for providing relief to the inflammatory regions. To reduce the itching sensation, you can apply 1 % Hydrocortisone cream or can even use calamine lotion or oral histamines.
Ice compress or ice pack even works wonders to reduce the inflammation caused due to the bites. But they are not as effective as cold showers. Certain insect repellents that can be used to get rid of the chiggers from your lawn and yards are DEET. Always try to avoid humid and moist vegetation sit on dry woods and rocks to prevent the chiggers from latching to your body.
Where Are Chiggers Found?
Chiggers are very common during the time of spring and winter. Chiggers are very common throughout the USA and are generally found in the mid-western and the warm southern states of the country. However, you will find these mites across the globe. Some of the characteristics of the places where these insects frequent are:
• Berry patches
• Tall and overgrown vegetation
• Weed and long grass on the fields
• underneath the rocks and pebbles
• Moist and humid areas
• Near water bodies with dense vegetation
• An area where a large number of rodents, amphibians and reptiles are present.
These are some of the basic places where chiggers are most likely to be present. Thus, you must take your own precautions while visiting these places. The precautions that you take shall prevent you from the rash and itching caused due to the chigger bites.
Where Do Chiggers Bite?
Chiggers do not like warm and sunny temperatures. Thus, you will always find them in moist, humid and shady areas. When they attach themselves to the body of the host, they travel across the body till they have found a similar place to feed on the skin. Therefore, most of the chigger bites that appear are on the moist and warm skin folds of the skin such as ankles, groin areas and the crotch. Chigger bites are also very common in the knee region, armpits and below the belt. One of the common reasons that these chigger bites often appear in the waist region is their inability to cross the barrier such as belts. Those parts of your body where the clothes fit slightly tighter are most likely to have chigger bites. Chigger bites are different from that of mosquito bite which appears on the exposed area of the skin.
Where Do Chiggers Live?
Chiggers are very common during the time of spring and winter. Chiggers are very common throughout the USA and are generally found in the mid-western and the warm southern states of the country. However, you will find these mites across the globe.
Some of the characteristics of the places where these insects frequent are forests, berry patches, tall and overgrown vegetation, weed and long grass on the fields, underneath the rocks and pebbles, moist and humid areas, near water bodies with dense vegetation, an area where a large number of rodents, amphibians and reptiles are present.
These are some of the basic places where chiggers are most likely to be present. Thus, you must take your own precautions while visiting these places. The precautions that you take shall prevent you from the rash and itching caused due to the chigger bites.
Why Do Chigger Bites Itch?
Chigger bites itch due to two reasons one is due to the allergic reaction to the saliva of these mites and the other is due to the stylostome itself. Some of the people get an extreme allergic reaction which leads to the formation of large hives or sores. Generally, it is red, itchy and blisters like a bump.
Stylosome which is the other cause of itching causes great discomfort and irritation until it is taken care of by the lymphatic and immune system of the body. If the feeding process of the chiggers extend for a long time and the stylostome gets deep into the skin, the irritation and itching might continue for a long duration of time.