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Chigger Bites

What to use on Chigger Bites

Many people are not aware of what chigger bites are and what to use on chigger bites.

This is the best time to educate yourself on what this is and find out the effective cure for chigger bites that are available to you.

What are Chiggers?

Chiggers are also known as harvest mites and red bugs. These are very minuscule insects that can only be seen through a magnifying glass or a microscope.

Chigger bites cannot really be felt. However, you will start to itch or your skin will start to inflame and redden hours later. They can live on your body and can move around to look for a place to feed.

They usually “eat” the thin outer layer of your skin. A barrier such as the waistband of jeans or your armpit may trigger them to feed.

What do Chiggers look like?

Chiggers look like a monster from dinosaur days. Adult chiggers have eight legs and rounded body. The larval has only six legs and has a rounded body. An egg looks like an egg. Adult chiggers come in a variety of colors. Some are red, thus Red Bug. Some are amber or gray. Chiggers largely resemble spiders, of which clan they are a part of – read more about spiders in the insect identification section.

How large are Chiggers?

Chiggers come in three sizes. Small and smaller. If adult chiggers are lined up side by side it takes about 20 of them to stretch across an inch. The larval lined up would require approximately 120 of the little guys to span an inch. In short, if you expect to see one you probably won’t without a microscope or a very good magnifying glass.

What do Chigger Bites look like?

Chigger mites feed on both animals and humans. In animals, they’ve been found on turtles, birds and snakes among many others.

In humans, they feed on the skin but only in certain parts of the body where the skin is soft and moist.

It’s the chigger larvae that actually cause the bites and not the adult ones or what are known as nymphs as some people believe. These mites in their larval stage feed on the skin to get the nutrients they need in order to reach adulthood. With their short and specialized mouth parts known as chelicerae, they get their food through the skin pore or hair follicle.

When they find the opening, they inject their saliva that contains digestive enzymes. These enzymes then break down the skin tissue. The liquefied form is then ingested by the mites.

As the saliva enters the skin tissue, it also causes the surrounding area to harden thereby creating bumps or welts.

At the same time, a thin tube called the Stylostome develops. When the chiggers feed on the skin longer, the stylostome also becomes longer.

Another effect of chigger bites is intense itching. This has two causes. One is the allergic reaction of the skin to the saliva left by the larvae. The effect varies in people, though.

Some may experience extreme itching that can lead to hives and large skin blisters. For the others, though, the bites can cause only small and bright red spots or bumps usually clustered on the skin similar to teak bites.

It is a must to apply immediate treatment on the skin to prevent further itching. This reaction can occurs hours after the bite but it can also last for weeks or even months especially when left untreated.

How long does it take for Chigger Bites to show?

It normally takes about 12 to 24 hours after the bite before the itching begins.

They commence in a a very subtle way. Something that is not really noticed or annoying. It is just like a very faint sound in the distance. You know it is there, but you don’t really pay any attention to it.

Within 24 hours of being bit something appears like a rash. It depends on how contaminated you are as to how much you can be affected.

Where do Chiggers like to hang out?

Chiggers love heavily wooded places with lots of brush and tall grass. They live where it is moist and warm and dark.

They like piles of rotting leaves or old rotting wood piles. Chigges also park on the tips of leaves and the ends of long grass stems.

Chiggers like these places because they can easily drop onto unsuspecting prey, like rodents and rabbits and people.

Where do Chiggers bite most often?

Most folks have a problem with chiggers around their ankles, waist and under their arms.

Chiggers like to get in close and personal. They will crawl around inside the clothes until they find some tight fitting clothing, i.e. the waist line, bra strap and socks, all of which hold clothing tight to the body.

Do Chiggers bore under the Skin and suck out the Blood?

No. Chiggers are bitters, not borers. They do not suck blood. They bite a hole in the skin next to a hair follicle and place sipping straw in.

Then they spit into the hole a special little enzyme that will rot the flesh away. Then the chigger will suck up the rotted flesh in the little straw.

How long do Chigger Bites last?

Itching varies from person to person. Itching can last from a few days or week up to two weeks or more.

Do Chigger Bites carry Disease?

There are no known diseases associated with chigger bites in North America

What to use on Chigger Bites?

What is good for Chigger Bites? Many people use nail polish as a cure for chigger bites. However, this is not an advisable treatment. Nail polish contains chemicals that can further aggravate chigger bites.

You can apply topical treatments to help relieve the itchiness. Applying Calamine lotions can also help relieve the itchiness caused by chigger bites. Using oatmeal scrub can also help relieve the itchiness.

In worst cases, doctors can prescribe you with steroid creams or benadryl to help relieve the itchiness and the skin inflammation.

You can also use a natural remedy called Pure-Heal Gel. This is a natural remedy that can help soothe the skin and can help provide skin support.

This product contains herbal ingredients such as Marigold, Tea Tree, Lavender and Gotu Kola. Marigold is an herbal remedy that is known for its powers in maintaining healthy skin tissues.

Tea Tree penetrates the skin deeply and can heal inflammations on a deeper level. Lavender can soothe aggravated skin effectively and can help maintain healthy skin circulation.

Gotu Kola is a natural anti-oxidant that can support the health of the skin.

How to prevent Chigger Bites?

You must know that Chiggers, although they are microscopic creatures, they do not enter the skin.

The most effective insect repellants in this case, are the DEET and permythrine based insecticides.

You will use them to prevent, not to treat. Please take into consideration that these insecticides are toxic and very dangerous for humans, so manipulate them carefully.

Another very good prevention method is to move the lawns and remove weeds, in order to clean the place and keep the Chiggers population controlled.

It is very indicated also to do a bath or a shower after you were into lawns or woods. This will keep the Chiggers away and you will remain unharmed.

Chigger will always bite you in the tightest places of your body, so keep in mid when you are going into lawns or woods to wear loose clothes. This will reduce eventually the risks to your general health.

A good pain reliever in case of you was bitten by this insect is Benadryl. Also don’t forget about the Antihistamine Tropical Creams such as Caladryl or Aloe-Vera based hydrocortisone. They will immediately stop the itchiness sensation and will also prevent, on a long term based timeframe, the possible future infections.

One comment

  1. Very informative article. I’ve heard that chiggers most commonly bite in areas of thinned skin such as wrinkles and folds. Therefore, chigger bites are commonly observed in the crotch and groin areas, in the armpits, and in the folds behind the knees.

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