Summertime is when most people enjoy spending time outdoors. However, for some, this season also brings pesky little creatures called chiggers.
Chiggers are tiny red mites that can bite and cause a lot of irritation. If you’re unfortunate enough to have them in your home, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about chiggers, including how to identify them and how to get rid of them for good.
Chiggers are a mite species closely related to spiders and ticks (Trombiculidae). Chiggers are extremely small and nearly invisible to the naked eye.
Once chiggers hatch from their eggs (larva), they feed on the skin tissue of a host (human or animal) before molting into adults.
Chiggers inhabit the outdoors on plants in woodland or grassy environments, typically near bodies of water.
They are most active when temperatures are high in the summer.
Chigger bugs have an interesting lifecycle. Let’s get started without revealing too much. This larval stage can often be viewed as an important stage.
When they latch upon mammals they feed on their own hosts. They measure about 1mm wide and light red with a large hairline.
They go very rapidly. A group of smaller groups are created around plants, soil, and plants wherever humans can enter and touch objects.
Once the victims get out of the way, they latch onto the skin and eat them up. These are only small portions of its lifetime.
Chiggers live in large grasses, thick shrubs, a thick layer of little trees, and bramble. It’s warm and somewhat humid, therefore the majority is from the southern and lower Midwest.
In Summertime they can be seen throughout the state.
Often referred to as harvest mites, they are so small that they’d barely be able to see with one eye if not another.
Chigger larvae cause chigger bites, not adults as is usual for ticks or other mites.
Chigger larvae are released from egg-laying within about a week of their birth.
Yes, a chigger bite does NOT spread. They are also very infectious. Chiggers often find an area to feed and you can see bites showing as white or pink clustered bites.
The raised surface in the middle represents the remains of the skin eaten by the chigger by the powerful jaws.
A cluster of these will surround the waist, foot, and leg. You may imagine that bites spread, but that’s essentially an insect moving around and looking for more places for food.
Because chiggers are tiny, the bites do not travel much and therefore are concentrated in one spot.
Chiggers are able to avoid pests like cockroaches or bedbugs which are found at home. Other insects in your home can survive in your environment either through food or shelter.
Bed bugs graze blood in the house while cockroaches graze on all things and hate light.
The chigger’s egg is laid in shady areas and is usually near the surface. Only when chiggers are in your home are you.
The nymph needs to eat a lot of the degraded cells of the skin for their growth.
Read Also: Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Bed Bugs?
Chigger bites are intensely itchy and can last for several days or weeks if not treated properly.
There are a few different methods you can use to get rid of chiggers in your home naturally.
Below are some of the most effective:
This naturally occurring substance is made from the fossilized remains of algae and other aquatic organisms.
When applied to the skin, it absorbs lipids from the chigger’s exoskeleton, causing the creature to dehydrate and die.
Diatomaceous earth can also be used as a preventative measure by sprinkling it around the perimeter of your home.
Like diatomaceous earth, castor oil works by dehydrating and killing chiggers. Simply apply castor oil to any areas where you think chiggers may be present, such as in cracks and crevices or behind baseboards.
You can also soak a cotton ball in castor oil and place it inside a small container near areas where chiggers are often found.
The cotton ball will attract them and they will die once they come into contact with the oil.
Salt is another natural substance that can be used to kill chiggers. Simply sprinkle salt around areas where you think they may be present, such as along baseboards or in cracks and crevices.
You can also make a saltwater solution by mixing 1 part salt with 10 parts water and spraying it around areas where chiggers are often found.
The high concentration of salt will cause them to dehydrate and die.
Baking soda can be used as a natural insecticide against chiggers. Simply mix 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water and spray it around areas where these pests are often found.
The baking soda will act as a drying agent, causing the critters to dehydrate and die.
Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe itching caused by chigger bites. Simply apply the gel directly to bites using a cotton ball or your fingers.
Repeat this process several times per day until the itching subsides.
Baby oil can also be used to soothe itching caused by chigger bites. Apply baby oil directly to bites using a cotton ball or your fingers.
Repeat this procedure several times a day until the itching stops.
Petroleum jelly creates a barrier between your skin and the environment, which can help prevent future bites from occurring. Apply petroleum jelly generously to any areas where you think chiggers may be present, such as along baseboards or in cracks and crevices.
Epsom salt can be used as a drying agent against chiggers, similar to baking soda. Mix 1 part
Epsom salt with 3 parts water and spray it around areas where these pests are often found.
The high concentration of salt will cause them to dehydrate and die.
Fingernail polish can also be used as a natural insecticide against chiggers.
Simply apply fingernail polish directly to any areas where you think they may be present, such as along baseboards or in cracks and crevices.
The polish will act as a barrier, preventing them from coming into contact with your skin.
Sevin Insect Killer Granules not only kill chiggers upon contact but keeps your yard protected from new infestations for up to three months.
Apply uniformly with a standard lawn spreader according to the product label for chiggers, as it is on the product.
Bleach contains chemicals that can kill chiggers on contact. However, it’s important to use caution when applying bleach to your skin, as it can also cause irritation.
If you do decide to use bleach, be sure to dilute it with water and apply it only to the affected area.
You should also avoid using bleach if you have open wounds or cuts, as it can cause further irritation.
With that said, Bleach may not be the best solution for everyone, but it is worth considering if you’re looking for a way to get rid of chiggers.
See Also: Does Bleach Kill Roaches?
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET before going into areas with high chigger populations.
Alternatively, a combination of essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, and citronella mixed with water may help protect you from these tiny pests.
To prevent chiggers, apply bug spray to exposed skin and places where chiggers are most attracted, such as the elbows, knees, ankles, armpits, and groins.
Treating your clothing with permethrin-based products can also help repel and kill chiggers.
You can purchase these products online or at most stores. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package, as they vary depending on the product.
Generally, you’ll need to treat your clothing with the product and then let it dry completely before wearing it.
The best way to get rid of chiggers is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Here are a few tips that can help:
By following these tips, you can help keep chiggers out of your home and prevent them from causing any further damage.
Clean with warm water pressure. Clean the home with warm water to help kill them. Chiggers who have moved around cannot be kept away using hot water or soap.
It also assists you in killing any bugs and prevents infections.
The pest targets humans only after the larva stages. Chiggers don’t live with their hosts longer or infest homes with ticks or mosquitoes.
Chiggers, unlike bedbugs and fleas, do not survive long indoors; however, they can if brought inside on clothing or pets. If this happens, chiggers will make their way to your carpet or furniture.
If you think chiggers might be in your home, completely vacuum your carpets, rugs, and furniture.
Chiggers are tiny creatures that are dangerous, but you’ll be able to get rid of them by following our suggestions from us at no charge unless you contact a pest control agency.
Get in front of it early during the winter to protect the lawn and keep it clean and shady. Wear an anti-tapir when you visit a place with potential health issues.
An ounce of prevention can be helpful, and your family is likely to spend fewer days indoors or outside.