How To Get Rid Of Chiggers?

Are you fretting about how to get rid of chiggers? Although almost microscopic, chiggers are pesky little mites that nearly goes unnoticed, that is until they decide to leave their hosts a gift.

Overview

Chiggers usually cause angry bumps that make the affected region itch. These pesky mites are a close relation of spiders and are common in long grasses and brushes across the United States. However, they are more prevalent in the Midwest and Southeast regions.

People refer to these mites using different names such as red bugs, harvest mites and berry bugs. Regardless of what you call the mites, getting rid of them is actually much easier than you might have imagined.

Chiggers—what do they look like?

Before looking at how to get rid of chiggers, it is important to first understand what they look like, and how they bite their hosts. Chiggers were are visible to the naked eye due to their small size. You may need to use a magnifying glass for you to be able to see them clearly.

Chiggers have a red color and the only time that you get to appreciate them for what they truly are is when they get clustered on your skin in a group. There are two forms: the juvenile form, which has six legs, and the harmless form, which has eight legs.

How are chiggers able to bite a human?

A chigger mite will normally infest your skin when your clothing, for example your collars, shirt sleeves or pant cuffs, come into contact with vegetation. The only reason these mites get to migrate to your skin is to find an optimal feeding region. There is a common myth about these mites that, once they are on your body, they start burrowing into your skin where they then get to stay.

However, this is nothing but a myth, and there is no truth to it. Once they are on your body, the chiggers will normally insert their feeding structures into one part of your skin, and then proceed to insert an enzyme into the affected region. The enzyme is intended to cause destruction to the hosts’ tissues.

After the enzyme starts its work, the surrounding skin will start to harden, and it will cause the growth and development of a stylostome. Stylostome is usually a feeding tube that makes it possible for the larvae to feed on the tissue that has already been destroyed. If you do not disturb them by constantly scratching the itchy region, they can continue feeding via this tube for a few days.

Chiggers have a delicate feeding structure and mouth, which means that they are only able to penetrate regions with thin skin, folds or wrinkles. You will generally find their bites in areas such as the crotch, in the armpits, around your ankles and behind the knees as well as around the groin region.

The main reason why chigger bites occur around the waist is because of the presence of barriers to their migration, e.g., belts. There is a huge contrast between the location of mosquito bites and that of chigger bites. Mosquito bites are found in exposed regions, where they are able to land with ease.

Chigger bite symptoms

As mentioned earlier, the chigger by itself is not easily noticeable. Symptoms will typically start to appear within one to three hours after the chiggers have injected their digestive enzymes into your body. The symptoms include:

  • Persistent itching
  • Reddening of the affected region. There are instances where a blister may also start to form.
  • Itching is caused by the stylostome, and will normally be intense within the first two days after the bite has occurred.
  • Expect the itching to continue for a few days. If you develop lesions, they can last for up to two weeks.
  • If you have sustained multiple bites, you may mistake them for allergic contact dermatitis or eczema. People with a history of spending much of their time outdoors may find that chigger bites are the reason why they are always itching in certain areas.

How do you treat a chigger bite?

Many home remedies in use today are primarily based on the belief that chiggers burrow into your skin and remain there, causing itching. As a result, many people have resorted to using bleach, alcohol and nail polish in a bid to suffocate the chiggers, but these remedies do not work.

The fact that chiggers are not inside your skin means that all these remedies are rendered ineffective. However, there are remedies that you can use to relieve the symptoms that are associated with chigger bites. They include:

  • Over the counter medication
  • Applying a cool compress or taking a cold shower
  • Using bathing products that have colloidal oatmeal
  • Sitting in a cold bath for a few minutes.

Chiggers—how do you get rid of them?

Use hot water to clean your house

If you suspect that chiggers have openly moved into your house, then you should use really hot water - around 120ºF - to clean the house. Hot water will help you kill the infections and germs that may be present in your home. Be sure to use some soap as well when cleaning.

Regularly bathe your pets in warm water with tick and flea shampoo

If you suspect that your pets have been playing in a location filled with chiggers, you should move with haste to get rid of the mites. Bathe the pets using warm water infused with tick shampoo to prevent them from bringing the chiggers into your house. The soapy water will help get rid of the chiggers that may be holding on to your pets. When bathing the pets, make sure that you evenly rub the warm, soapy water all over the pet to reduce the chances of a pet being infected or contracting a disease from the chigger bites.

Cut your grass regularly

Chiggers like to hide in tall grasses and in weeds. The only way to ensure that they will not move into your yard will be to mow the grass often and pull down any weeds that may be present. Removing the grass and pulling the weeds means that you will be depriving the chiggers of moisture and shade, two factors that they need in order to survive. The fresh air and sunlight does not provide a good environment for the mites to live and breed.

Obtain diatomaceous earth and spread it all over your yard

Diatomaceous earth is by itself a natural pesticide that can be used to treat and get rid of chiggers. All you have to do is obtain some of this natural product and spread it all over your lawn. Be sure to focus on areas where the chiggers have been known to hide. The chiggers should leave your yard within a few days after you spread this natural product all over the lawn.

If you are unable to control the spread of chiggers, call a professional pest control expert to help you get rid of them. It is the most certain way of ensuring that they will not come back to your property anytime soon.