What Are Chiggers And Where Do They Lurk
Scientists call these creatures “trombiculid mites.” But they have a bunch of nicknames. You might hear people call them harvest mites, harvest bugs, harvest lice, mower’s mites, or red bugs.
Technically, these critters aren’t insects. They’re “arachnids,” in the same family as spiders and ticks.
You can travel across the globe, but you can’t escape these pests. Chiggers live in every country. Their favorite spots are moist, grassy areas like fields, forests, and even your lawn. You can also find them near lakes and streams.
Adult chiggers don’t bite. It’s the babies, called larvae, that you have to watch out for. They’re red, orange, yellow, or straw-colored, and no more than 0.3 millimeters long.
After they hatch from eggs, the babies don’t fly and don’t travel very far on their own. They tend to stay clumped together in large groups on leaves and grass, usually less than a foot off the ground, and attach to animals or people as they pass by.
In the U.S., chigger bites are most common in the late spring, summer, and early fall. The bugs are active when the ground temperature is between 77 and 86 degrees F, and they die when it gets colder than 42.
How To Treat Chigger Bites
The bites may appear as red welts, blisters, pimples, or a rash. Despite what you might have heard, you should not cover them with clear nail polish, gasoline, alcohol, bleach, or turpentine. Any chiggers are long gone, so you would not be smothering the pests.
Try to avoid scratching since that can lead to an infection. To relieve the itching, take an antihistamine and apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. You could also spread an antiseptic cream to protect against infection.
A bath with baking soda or oatmeal is soothing. However, avoid overly hot water. In fact, a cool shower or cold compress may lessen the itching. If the itching persists for several days, or you think you might have an infection, see a doctor.
Chigger control options abound, from maintaining your lawn to spraying a repellent or insecticide. To protect yourself from these pests, follow precautions like wearing long pants in tall grass and showering when you get inside.
Repel or kill chiggers in your yard to make use of your outdoor space without worrying about chigger bites. Discover how to get rid of chiggers in your yard to increase your chances of enjoying a chigger-free summer.
Identify Chigger Hot Spots In Yard
If you havent done so already, identify the areas of your yard where the chiggers are clustering. This is a key step before the application of any natural or chemical insecticides, as you should only use these substances to treat the hotspots instead of the entire yard.
Method: You can determine these areas by propping up 6×6 inch pieces of black cardboard throughout your yard in every overgrown, damp, and shady spot. Wait for 15 to 30 minutes, and then check which pieces have clusters of chiggers on them take note of where these hotspots are in your yard.
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What Are Chigger Mites Harvest Mites
Chiggers scientific name: Trombiculidae, aka harvest lice, red bugs or harvest mites, are found in every state in the United States but are more of a nuisance in the southern and Midwestern states, aided by the constant heat and humidity.
Chiggers belong to the arachnid family , which means that theyre related to spiders. Like spiders, they cant fly and also have eight legs.
Chiggers are deceivingly colored, in warm tones such as red, orange, yellow & straw and, up close, resemble a cross between an extremely small spider and an extremely small crab. The red version should not be confused with clover mites, which are also red.
Chigger larvae emerge in their larval form from their shells about a week after theyre laid. The only parasitic form in the life stages of a chigger is the juvenile form/larvae which has six legs when in its larval stage, growing an additional pair once they mature into nymphs and adult mites. Only the larvae will feed on hosts.
Chiggers are barely visible, measuring merely 1/150th of an inch, excluding their eight legs, and while this means that theyre generally impossible to see with the naked eye , its certainly not impossible to feel their bite!
These digestive enzymes then break down the host tissue/your skin cells, so they can suck them up as food.
This saliva, which dissolves skin, is the reason behind the painful welts left behind on your skin after chiggers burrow their way in.
What To Expect From A Chigger Bite
Once chiggers latch onto your pants or shirt, they crawl around until they find a patch of skin. There, they use sharp, jaw-like claws to make tiny holes. Next, they inject saliva that turns some of your cells into mush.
Why do they do it? To a chigger, those liquefied cells are food. When they get on you, they can stay attached to your skin for several days while they eat.
Chigger bites can happen anywhere on your body, but they often show up in clusters around the waist or lower legs. You may not notice anything wrong at first, but in a few hours you’ll start to itch.
The itching usually lasts for several days and can sometimes keep you awake at night. You may also notice that your skin turns red and has bumps, blisters, or a hive-like rash that may take a week or two to heal.
If you’re a guy and you get a chigger bite on your penis, you could get a condition known as “summer penile syndrome.” It causes swelling, itching, and trouble peeing. This can last for a few days to a few weeks.
Chiggers don’t spread diseases but scratching could break the skin and lead to irritation or an infection.
If you have travelled internationally, be aware that the bacteria Orientia tsutsugamushi from bites of infected chiggers can cause scrub typhus. Most cases are reported from exposure to chiggers in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, Japan, India and northern Australia. See a doctor if this is the case.
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Do Chiggers Stay On The Skin
Chiggers do not burrow in the skin. Instead, they use their mouths to pierce a skin cell. The enzyme in their saliva liquefies the skin cell wall. The bodys immune system responds to the foreign enzyme, forming a rigid, red wall at the bite site. The chigger takes advantage of this by using this round wall as a straw.
The chigger then drops to the ground after consuming its fluid meal.
Since we dont have fur, chiggers have difficulty clinging to humans. They must get into places where clothing fits tightly, such as the groin area, the top of the socks, the armpits, or the waistband if they want to avoid falling off.
Chiggers are easy to remove because they dont have a strong grip. You can get them off by taking a shower with lots of soap.
How To Get Rid Of The Chiggers In The Yard
Start by mowing the lawn neatly, keeping the length of the grass short. Trim and prune and weed the yard regularly. Please keep it clean, get rid of the leaf litter, unwanted moisture accumulating logs, and tree stumps. If you have observed that the area getting good sunlight has lesser infestation than one in the shade, allow sunlight in the yard. Get rid of the shade temporarily. This will work, but it will require patience.
But if you want a more prominent solution or there is quite a heavy infestation, you can try some of the following things. But remember to use it in areas most likely to offer ideal conditions for chiggers to live in, as we have discussed above. It would help if you observed the habitat closely because some species also like the dry areas, but most commonly, it is in the moist and dense areas. These are some natural ways to get rid of the chiggers in the yard or garden.
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Repel Insect Repellent Review Use While Working In The Yard
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The Repel insect repellant can be ordered in several different size variants and is basically formulated to create a solid barrier against chiggers, fleas, and ticks. It contains 98.11% DEET, which makes it highly effective to get rid of large chigger habitats.
When sprayed, the Repel repellants stays active for up to 10 hours, and is easy to use with its pump spray mechanism.
Other ways to get rid of chigger in your lawn include:
- Mowing your lawn regularly, and keep the grass short, especially around edges and woody areas.
- Removing accumulated leaf litter, and keeping landscape beds weeded.
- Maintaining your landscape plants with regular pruning to prevent overgrowth
- Getting rid of brush piles from your property
- Reduce or eliminate shady areas in your lawn
Chop Down The Bush & Shrubs
Having greenery around the house looks nice, but if you dont want a repeat of what just happened with you a few days back, you might have to consider chopping down the bush and shrubs for good. Cut them down into smaller sections and make sure there is no outgrowth of the excess weeds around the areas because that causes chaos too. Also, while cleaning out the yard, you need to ensure that you are following the right methods, especially when it comes to wearing the right clothes and wearing insect repellent.
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Chigger Bugs In The Garden
Theres nothing that can ruin a hike, picnic, or day in the garden as fast as the irritating, itchy bite of the chigger. Like hungry, invisible ninjas, these tiny critters climb up socks and pant legs, looking for a place to feed. What are chiggers though and how do you prevent chigger outbreaks?
Chiggers are a pest that is surrounded in mystery. These larval mites are so small theyre difficult or impossible to see with the naked eye, but their bites are unmistakable. Chiggers attach themselves to skin, hair follicles, or pores with their biting mouth parts, with which they inject a fluid into the skin that partially dissolves tissue.
Most humans have violent allergic reactions to that digestive fluid, making it difficult for chiggers to adequately feed on us. Instead, they rely heavily on rodents, birds, and lizards for their survival. This is why chiggers are found in so many different habitats, from dry, scrubby woodlands to moist, swampy areas and even heavily landscaped yards. They go where the food sources are, so anywhere theres adequate cover, chiggers may appear.
Repel 100 Insect Repellent
This repellent with a high concentration of DEET is intended to protect a person in severe insect conditions. According to the manufacturer, the spray will repel chigger as well as a number of other pests. The product is for outdoor use only, with the protection lasting up to ten hours. It can be applied both directly to the skin and to the edges of the clothes. You can safely use the stuff on a daily basis without causing harm to the health. Remember that DEET is less toxic than Permethrin and other similar insecticides, however, the concentration also matters. What you need is to carefully read the label directions and follow them. Particularly, be sure that the product is out of reach of your children because when used improperly it can pose a hazard.
Repel 100 rates 4.3 out of 5 stars on, with almost 2,500 customer reviews . Out of everything weve tried its the best for chiggers, no-see-ums and mosquitoes, a satisfied customer said. To avoid bites, the users suggest spraying the stuff on all exposed areas of the skin and clothing. Another customer confirms that the solution works against chiggers but highlights a weakness of the productthe sprayer is very touchy and leaks.
Price: Check the current price
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How To Get Rid Of Chiggers Permanently
There really is no effective way to completely rid your landscape of chiggers permanentlynor would you want to, as such methods would probably require copious amounts of chemical treatment, which would also harm pollinators and other helpful insects.
However, you can greatly reduce chigger populations by eliminating brush and areas of long grass. Good sun exposure to all areas of your landscape will greatly reduce the numbers of these insects.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers Outside On The Lawn
There are many ways on how to get rid of chiggers and fleas in your lawn so that you can enjoy the great outdoors, such as:
- Pulling out Weeds: Chiggers like thick vegetation and tall grasses. By removing weeds, youre reducing the amount of vegetation that these pests can call home. Make sure to remove overgrown, unnecessary, weedy areas.
- Mowing the Lawn: Another way to eliminate dense vegetation is to cut your grass frequently.
- Chiggers dont just like dense vegetationthey also like tall vegetation.
- Getting busy with your lawn mower and keeping your lawn mowed reduces both.
- Cold Climates: While this isnt in your control, it helps to know that chiggers hate the cold. They cant survive frosts, so the cold naturally gets rid of your chigger problem for you. After that, you can continue other maintenance practices to prevent them returning.
- Yard Treatments: Keep a check on the build up of leaf litter in your yard and also on areas of overgrown vegetation. If the chigger problem gets out of hand, you can always turn to professional pest control services to treat your yard with insecticides.
- However, if you dont want to go all guns blazing yet, you can purchase a repellent or sulfur powder yourself . All yard remedies should be started before late spring or early summer, which is when chiggers really get going.
After you get home from your outdoor adventures, showerhot water and soap help dispense with any chiggers that may still be latched on to you.
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How To Prevent Bites
When you spend time outdoors in grassy areas, use an insect repellent that has DEET or wear clothing treated with an insecticide like permethrin. As you put on bug spray, pay special attention to areas where chiggers might travel from clothing to skin, like cuffs, necklines, and the top edges of socks.
Some studies show that natural sprays may help keep chiggers away. Try ones that have oils made from citronella, tea tree, jojoba, eucalyptus, geranium, or lemon grass.
And of course, don’t make yourself an easy target for a hungry chigger. Wear long sleeves and long pants, with your pant legs tucked into long socks.
These simple tips lower your odds of getting chigger bites. Then you can enjoy the great outdoors — itch-free!
Deter Chigger Hitchhikers And Wild Animals
Chiggers might enter your yard through the help of other hosts that bring them in. They cling themselves to mammals or reptiles and get into your yard without your notice.
Small animals such as turtles, birds, and rodents often attract and introduce chiggers to lawns. Other host animals include snakes, tortoises, frogs, spiders, toads, and shrews. If these amphibians or reptiles are quite common in your home area, then you should make a great effort to keep them away from your lawn.
Host animals such as snakes and frogs can be kept away by eliminating the source of water or food thats attracting them to your yard. Also, minimizing clutter, trimming shrubbery now, and then, and covering your trash cans helps in deterring wild animals thus reducing the population of chiggers in your homes yard.
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Monitoring Chigger Hot Spots
The Ohio State University Extension recommends locating chigger hot spots with a 6-inch square piece of black cardboard. Place the cardboard on end near the edge of your lawn and examine it with a magnifying glass after waiting just a few minutes. Chiggers look like tiny red, yellow, pink or orange-colored dots against the black background. Perform this test in about 10 different parts of your yard, including areas with grass, leaf piles, shrubs and weeds. Spray pesticides only on the areas with chigger populations.
- Chiggers prefer damp, shady areas with thick vegetation.
- Perform this test in about 10 different parts of your yard, including areas with grass, leaf piles, shrubs and weeds.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Your South Florida Yard
Have you recently seen tiny red bugs on your lawn or your clothes? Unfortunately, you may be suffering from chiggers in your grass. While chigger bites are not dangerous, they can cause red bumps that lead to intense and uncomfortable itching. If you own a property in South Florida and are interested in learning more about these tiny red bugs and how to get rid of chiggers in your yard, keep reading. Well cover everything you need to know about these insects and how to get rid of chiggers from your property.
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What Is A Chigger
Unfortunately, even beautiful warm sunny days can come with a price. You notice on the way home your legs are a little itchy, as well as your stomach. You come home and undress to get a nice warm shower. As you look in the mirror, you notice hundreds of small red marks on your stomach, groin, and legs and they are itching like crazy!
While out enjoying the day, you ran into some Chiggers , and they decided to turn you into their afternoon feast!
While not fun, our Chigger Bites Treatment tips will help you learn how to calm the itching from Chigger Bites and Red Bug Bites, how to prevent Chigger Bites from spreading, and how to prevent Chigger Bites in the future!
Chiggers are some of the tiniest yet deadliest creatures that give you tremendous pain and discomfort. As painful and scoring the bites are, the good news is that who can also treat these bites easily with the right guidance and expert advice. In fact, with the right chiggers bites medical treatment, you can easily get relief from the scathing pain and get back to your regular life. Here is all that you need to know. Read on.
A Chigger actually isnt an insect at all, but a tiny mite that lives in grassy/woodland areas. They are related to spiders and ticks and are also called: harvest mites, harvest bugs, harvest lice, mowers mites, or red bugs.
Unfortunately, they tend to attack in large groups, causing numerous bite marks that can often look more like a rash.