Chiggers are also known as red bugs; they belong to the arachnid family and are small larvae. The size of chigger larvae is too small but their bite is generally very strong. In this article we will study what are chiggers and How to get rid of chiggers?
- 1 What are Chiggers?
- 2 Insight to Chiggers
- 3 How to Get Rid of Chiggers in Your Yard?
- 4 How do these chiggers bite and How to Get Rid of Chiggers Bite?
- 5 Treatment of Chiggers Bite:
- 6 Health risks of chigger Bites:
- 7 10 Natural Remedies for Chigger Bites or Homemade Treatment of Chigger Bites:
- 8 Bottom line:
What are Chiggers?
The tiny larvae belong to Trombiculidae, a family comprising of certain mites. Chiggers are famous and best known mites. They belong to phylum Arthropoda. These chiggers are too tiny and they generally remain un-noticed. Sometimes, they even jump on the skin and due to their small size they still remain un-noticed. One can feel them along with intense itching on the skin which is probably the first sign of chiggers. How to get rid of chiggers? Read the content of the article below.
Insight to Chiggers
Here is the detailed information about the habitat of chiggers, their mode of life and biting mechanism.
Where do chiggers come from?
Chiggers are tiny larvae and belong to the family of mites. They are found living on the tall weeds, woody areas, berry patches as well as grass. In most of the cases, these chiggers make the home backyard their habitat or either the pools. In most of the cases the hiking tracks are ideal habitats for these chiggers.
Sensitivity to Temperature:
In winter the chiggers are not much active, but as the temperature increases in spring and summer especially these chiggers become active. Chiggers are very sensitive to temperature, too low temperature like 6˚C or below can be fatal for these chiggers. In most of the cases, the chiggers get attach to your skin as you walk through their habitats and your clothes brush against the plants on which these chiggers are living. How to kill chiggers? Very high to very low temperature can kill the chiggers.
Size of chiggers:
Chiggers as we discussed above are too tiny in size. They generally remain un-noticed when they come in direct contact with the skin. In most of the cases, they are invisible to naked eye. You need a magnifying glass to see them. The adult tigers have six legs as that of typical mites. On the other hand, the larvae are six legged as well but wingless and reddish in color. They are often found living in clusters and give a characteristic red color to the inhabited place. Once they attach themselves to the skin of human beings, their color changes in yellow. They result in intense itching which is generally a first sign of their existence on human body. Getting rid of chiggers is hence important as it can be highly uncomfortable.
How to Get Rid of Chiggers in Your Yard?
Getting rid of chiggers is important. Whenever there is an accumulation of a leaf litter, make sure to clean it. Maintenance of plants and weeds is important, keep them trim so that they are prevented from overgrowth. Do not let bush piles grow in your yards. Chiggers do not grow under sunlight. Hence keep your yards exposed to sunlight as one of the key methods to prevent the growth of chiggers. With simple care and maintenance it is easy getting rid of chiggers. How to kill chiggers? Use of insecticides on the plants can kill the chiggers.
How do these chiggers bite and How to Get Rid of Chiggers Bite?
Adult chiggers do not bite humans, these are only their tiny larvae which can bite the human skin and can cause intense itching. Unhygienic body conditions favor these chiggers as they prefer moist and warm parts of the body. These chiggers are six legged creatures and have claws which help them to grab and grip the human skin. Once they grab the skin thoroughly, they attach their mouth to the skin and through their proboscis they inject their saliva in the skin. A special enzyme is present inside their saliva, as they bite the skin this enzyme breaks down the cells of skin and convert them into liquid. As this happens, the immune system of the body gets the signals and responds by producing chemicals to harden the skin around the bitten place. This creates a tube around the infected place, the tube is also known as stylostome. Through this tube, these chiggers further suck the body fluids of their host. They remain attached to the skin and get nourishment from it for several days and then fall off.
Symptoms of chigger bites:
Normally cluster of chigger larvae settle on the skin of infected human and many of these draw the nourishment altogether. Chiggers produce reddish bumps on the skin when they fall off. In the reddish bump, a dot is often seen visible. The dot is formed at a place where the larvae inserted its long tube or proboscis to inject saliva. The remaining bump is the reaction of the body to harden the site. These bumps assume pimples or hive like appearance. Identifying chigger bites is therefore easy as they leave quite obvious marks on the skin. How to get rid of chiggers bite? Shower immediately if you suspect chiggers have got their way to your body. How to kill chiggers? Use germicidal soap for bath.
- Chiggers land on the site and bite and can stay at that particular place of the skin for several days. It is also a common experience to get bitten by multiple chiggers as well. Hence it is also possible that bites appear in the form of clusters or groups and they remain on the skin for 4-5 days to a week. Are chiggers contagious is also one of the concerns among people. Chigger bites are not contagious. It is not possible for you to get infected from chiggers by catching them from someone else. Hence if you are suffering from chiggers bite, you can take part in everyday life affairs like attending the university and gym or playing your favorite sports. However if the itch is intense and making you feel uncomfortable, you need to consult medical supervision how to get rid of chiggers bite? Use some natural and homemade remedies discussed below.
- How to get rid of chiggers bite? It is important to take some preventive measures. Some insects prefer to bite on the exposed parts of the skin however chiggers prefer to bite in the massive skin folds and the places which are moist due to excessive sweating. Hence tight fitting clothing favors the growth of chiggers. Chigger bites are commonly seen in some body parts like waist, crotch, behind the knees, armpits and ankles. Also note that these all parts are generally not exposed and remain moist mostly.
Chiggers are too tiny to be noticed. You won’t even feel them latching on the surface of your body. Their bite is even not felt. But the symptoms normally appear one to two hours after their bite. The initial symptom of a chiggers bite is an intense itch. Sometimes, the chiggers can bite on the genitals especially in males; these chiggers can bite on penis which results in intense itching, redness and swelling in the affected part along with painful urination.
Treatment of Chiggers Bite:
- Chiggers are too small to be noticed. Even while they bite a person remains unaware. Hence you only notice that they have harmed you once you get intense itch and reddish bumps. Once the chiggers have bitten you, it will take several days to heal up. Normally a time required to heal is 1.5 to 3 weeks.
- Keep your body clean, wash your body with soap or disinfectant if you have brushed against some bushes in the hiking track. This will help you to get rid of chigger bites.
- If you suspect the attack of chiggers, take shower immediately this will help you to get rid of chigger bites fast.
- Do not scratch the skin as it can result in serious infection. For itch and chigger bite relief there are certain over the counter medicines such as calamine lotion and hydrocortisone. You can additionally use cold compress as measure to reduce itch. You can rub ice cubes on the itchy part of the skin as well. Chigger’s bites generally produce characteristic reddish bumps on the skin.
- Hot showers are not recommended as they result in more itching in case of chiggers bites.
- The symptoms will disappear within few days, however if the symptoms don’t seem to improve, you can consult your health care provider.
- One of the misconception regarding chiggers is that they can burrow the skin and hide them under it and are needed to be removed. This is not true as these chiggers cannot make any burrows.
Health risks of chigger Bites:
Though chigger bites are not a serious concern yet they are highly uncomfortable as they result in intense itching and increased urge to scratch. Otherwise on the overall health of a person there is no specific harm of the chigger bites. These tiny larvae settle on the skin cells where they such nutrients from it directly. They do not act as vectors to transmit other infections.
On the other hand, when chiggers bite, a person tends to scratch the itchy red bump which ultimately can become infected. If there is any sign of infection like fever, chills or swelling, you need to consult doctor.
How to avoid chigger Bites:
As we discussed above that chiggers are tiny larvae which are mostly active in summer and spring season. Winter is fatal for them, as the temperature drops they turn inactive and eventually die if the temperature is less than 6 degree centigrade. Following some strict safety measures, you can avoid the chigger bites:
- As you walk along the busy hiking tracks, try not to brush against the plants. Try to stay away from plants as much as you can, walk in the central path.
- Try to cover your body, like wearing full sleeves shirts and trousers of long length along with jogging shoes and socks so that no part of skin is exposed.
- While going to hiking tracks use insect repellents, apply these repellents in the exposed parts of the skin like neck, wrist etc.
- As you move back to home, take shower soon.
- Keep your clothes away or wash them in a hot water with detergent so that if there are any larvae on the clothing, they are shed off and killed.
10 Natural Remedies for Chigger Bites or Homemade Treatment of Chigger Bites:
Chigger bites are generally not a serious health concern. But the itching they produce is generally awful and it is important to seek some immediate remedy. Luckily there are some natural remedies which are likely to provide immediate relief from initial symptoms like itching. For the treatment of chigger bites, 10 natural and fast natural remedies are mentioned below:
Want immediate treatment of chigger bites? Chiggers stick themselves to the surface of a skin before they inject their saliva. They use their proboscis for this purpose. If you ever feel suspect of chiggers clinging to your body or skin, you need immediate hot water bath. Hot water bath right after having a feeling of chiggers can help to loosen their grip on the skin and they fell off soon before even biting. It is important to note that once these chiggers ride on the human skin, they need some time to settle there and form a firm grip on the skin, in this way we can say that they do not bite immediately. If you take shower in the duration of their attachment on the skin surface before their biting you can get away from them straight away. In order to stay protected you need to take shower right after coming from a garden, hiking track or any place which is full of vegetation. For better results you can use disinfectant in the bath water and scrub your body as well. This treatment of chigger bites work well before the itch and reddish patches appear.
The use of baking soda to scrub the skin:
How to treat chigger bites? Here is a simple solution. Baking soda is one of the proven effective remedies against the chiggers bite. Scrub the body immediately if you feel like chiggers have landed over the body. Even if the chiggers have bitten and itching has started, this method can provide you Chiggers bite relief. The remedy is simple and most of the times easily available at home. All you need is to make a thick paste of water and baking soda. Rub it well on the skin with gentle massage. Let the paste stay on the body for some time and then shower to get it off. It has to be kept in mind before applying this remedial paste on the skin that it will be cruel stinging on the skin but as far as itch is concerned, it is an ideal remedy as far as Chiggers bite relief is concerned.
Salt for the chiggers bite:
How to treat chigger bites? It is an easy to use Chiggers bite remedy. Salt when rubbed on the wounded part with chiggers bite will result in intense stinging effect as that of baking soda, but this is an effective remedy as well. For better results, you can mix salt with some mentholated vapor rub. Rub and massage this mixture gently on the wounded parts. The menthol in the vapor rub will produce some cooling and soothing effect whereas the salt will tend to neutralize the effect of injected spit which is resulting in intense itching. The recipe is simple; it hurts in the beginning when salt is applied to wounded part but later on it producing soothing effect. This chiggers bite remedy is one of the most amazing and effective to relief itch.
Herbal tea or chamomile tea:
Herbal teas are effective. For this purpose you need to make tea with salt added in it. The results are much better when chamomile tea is used. All you need is to prepare a chamomile (or any herbal) tea and mix 1-2 tablespoons of salt in it. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool it down. Add this mixture to the spray bottle and spray it at the site of itching. The chamomile tea will produce soothing affect on the wound while salt will help to neutralize the injected chigger’s saliva. How to treat chigger bites? Use chamomile tea.
How to treat chigger bites? Castor oil was once recommended by entomologists to be used as a remedy against chiggers bite. Though now days it doesn’t seem to work, still if you have castor oil, you can massage it gently on the reddish bumps and itchy patches. It can provide some relief against the itch. Also it is considered that oil cuts off the oxygen supply to the larvae and they ultimately suffocate and die.
Listerine mouth wash:
How to get rid of chiggers fast and naturally? Once you suspect chigger bites, wash the affected area with lukewarm water and soap. Take Listerine in a bowl and soak cotton inside it. Apply it gently on the skin or chigger rash and get some instant relief.
Aloe Vera Gel :
Aloe Vera has been medicinally proven remedy for most of the skin conditions. The Aloe Vera plant contains a thick gel inside it. You can rub Aloe Vera directly on the damaged part for immediate soothing action. One simple recipe with Aloe Vera is mentioned below:
- Aloe Vera gel (1/4) cup
- Peppermint essential oil (1-2 drops).
- Mix them well
- Applied on the itchy patches of the skin and get immediate soothing effect.
Natural itch Creams or use of Calamine lotion:
There are some lotions which can be used to combat allergic reactions on the skin and itch. Calamine lotion is one of them. It produces calming and soothing effect on the wounded parts of the skin. When applied on the itchy part with reddish bumps, the calamine lotion produces a cooling effect and relives itch.
There are certain detoxifying baths to reduce itching and several skin problems. You can use magnesium or either Epsom salt in the bath water. For making the bath ready you need to:
- Epsom salt- 1 cup
- Warm water
- Magnesium flakes if Epsom is not available easily.
- Mix these ingredients well and take bath.
The magnesium bath produces calming effect and immediate itch relief.
Use of essential oils:
Essential oils can be used to treat so many skin diseases. For chigger bites, the best recommended essential oils include lavender Essential oil and tea tree essential oil. You can apply any of these essential oils to get immediate relief. Thyme essential oil can also be used as it serves the same purpose. Oil when massaged on the chiggers bite also deprives the chigger larvae from oxygen as a result of which they suffocate and die.
Chiggers are tiny larvae which when make their way to skin result in the reddish bumps on the skin along with intense itch. Chiggers after land on the skin grab the skin firmly and insert their long proboscis inside the skin where they inject their saliva. The reddish bumps on the other hand are caused as a result of immune response. It is important to treat the chiggers bite soon or else it will result in intense itching. Luckily some natural and herbal remedies are available which are proven to provide immediate relief. Once the chigger bites, the reddish patches and itch are likely to disappear in 2-3 weeks but if the problem persists, you need to consult a dermatologist.
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