Chiggers are really small, hairy, and red mites. They primarily live in dirt and soil found in damp areas with tall grass, or high shrubs. Chigger Bites are very common and highly uncomfortable.
You're probably here because you, or someone in your family, have Chigger Bites and you're trying to figure out how to kill them.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's talk a little about Chigger Bites, and what they are, then talk about how best to kill them in your yard.
You're most likely reading this because you or a close family member has Chigger Bites. First off, we're really sorry. Chigger Bites are miserable. Be sure to visit our Chigger Bite Treatment Guide for some relief!
Let's go ahead and dispel a very common myth associated with Chiggers: They DO NOT embed themselves inside your skin.
Chiggers wait in tall grass for a host to walk by. They jump onto the host and seek out the first section of bare skin they can find. Often Chiggers are in groups, therefore multiple bites can occur in the same area, causing, almost a rash like appearance.
Chiggers sit on top of your skin, and in fact, don't "bite" at all. What they do is worse ...
They actually tear open a very small hole in your skin and inject their saliva into that tear. That saliva has an enzyme that begins to break down the soft tissue of your skin. Chiggers, then use a straw-like appendage to "drink" up the partially digested skin.
The enzyme causes a fairly severe allergic reaction on your skin, that causes red, pimple-like bumps, that itch intensely within 24 hours.
How to Kill Chiggers
Here are our 4-ways to kill Chiggers dead!
1 - Kill Chiggers on your Body and Clothing
Fortunately, Chiggers are not very resilient. If you've been in an area, infested with Chiggers, immediately remove all your clothing and wash it. Immediately take a shower, and wash vigorously with soap.
If you think you might have been bitten, we recommend a warm or cool shower, as it will help reduce the swelling and irritation from the "bite" marks.
The soap in your laundry and in your shower will remove and kill the Chiggers on your clothing and body.
If you do think you might have been bitten (and even if you aren't sure), go ahead and apply an anti-itch cream to reduce your reaction to the bites. Trust us, you'll thank us later.
2 - Clean-up your lawn to discourage and keep Chiggers out
Before treating your yard, and killing any Chiggers, you'll first want to take steps to make your yard less desirable for Chiggers. Chiggers prefer tall grass, yard debris, and clutter.
You'll first want to completely mow your lawn, clean up any yard debris, and either remove or time back brush. Remove any fallen leaves, and try to get sun on any damp areas.
3 - Kill Chiggers in your yard using a Pesticide
The most effective way to kill Chiggers is to use a commercial grade Pesticide.
There are a number of options that work, but the best products for killing Chiggers are liquid Pesticides:
While granular products do work, we've personally found the liquid products to be far superior, and not only penetrate better but kill on contact.
4 - Kill Chiggers using a Professional Exterminator
The most effective way to kill Chiggers is to hire a professional exterminator. Professional Exterminator are not only trained, but also licensed to use stronger and more effective insecticides. They additionally have years of experience treating Chiggers and similar insects.
This all boils down to quicker resolution and prevention of your Chigger problems.
The problem is, professional exterminators are often more expensive, than traditional "do it yourself" treatment options, which for some may be a problem.
But if you can afford to engage a professional, it's often the best route to go.
5 - Kill Chiggers using Natural Treatments
If you prefer to not use chemicals or Pesticide based products, there are some effective natural products you can use.
Unfortunately, they are not near as effective against Chiggers as chemical and pesticide based products. But here are the ones that receive the highest reviews, and most praise from customers:
- Essentria IC - This product, made from all natural oils, is a natural insecticide that attacks the nervous system of Chiggers, and kills them. The most effective natural product we've found, and is safe around water, children and pets.
- Wondercide EcoTreat - This made in the USA product, which contains human food-grade ingredients is 100% biodegradable and a non-toxic pest control, that kills and repels Chiggers. Just mix with water, per the directions, and spray on Chigger infested areas of your lawn.
- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth(DE) - This product works by impaling very small, sharp and pointy fragments into the Chiggers, which eventually causes them to dry out and die. DE is very effective against most insects and mites, but only when it's dry. Apply this product when you know it won't rain over the next few days for maximum effectiveness.
- Bed Bug Bully - While this natural spray is targeted at Bed Bugs, it will also kill and repel Chiggers as well.
How to Repel Chiggers from your yard
Once you have taken one or more of the above 4 steps to kill Chiggers, you'll want to begin practicing some prevention strategies to keep Chiggers out of your home and yard.
There are a number of products designed to repel Chiggers, but here are the most effective:
- Plant lots of Marigold - Turns out, Chiggers don't like Marigold plants. So planting a large amount around and in the area of your lawn that is commonly infested, will keep Chiggers out.
- Sulfur Pellets - Chiggers hate Sulfur. Warning though, sulfur smells pretty strong for the first few days. So warn your neighbors!
- Cedar Pellets - Another very effective repellent. You'll need to refresh it after a couple weeks.
How to Keep Chiggers off of you when you're Outside
Even when using yard repellents for Chiggers, you'll still want to protect yourself. If you know there are Chiggers in your yard, wear boots, long pants (with the bottoms tucked in your boots), and a long shirt.
Wearing Gaiters, is also a highly effective option against Chiggers, and other insects.
We also recommend one of the following Chigger Repellents, that are specifically designed to keep Chiggers off your skin and your clothing. These products all contain safe chemicals or pesticides:
- Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent- This top rated product is designed specifically to be sprayed on clothing, and is highly effective. Sawyer makes some of the most highly rated bug repellent products in the industry.
- Exterminators Choice Tick and Chigger Defense repellent - Excellent product, that specifically targets Ticks and Chiggers (which are in the same family).
- ChiggAway - This product is both a repellent, and a Chigger Bite treatment, together in one.
- Deepwoods Off - An old faithful product, that works very well, and still gets excellent reviews and reports for fending off Chiggers.
For natural repellents, we recommend: