Chiggers, often misunderstood by many, are tiny, red contaminants that can cause tremendous itchiness and in some cases, a great annoyance to the human skin. Found in living areas such as moist grass, forests, and overgrown patches, these bugs have a small size, making them hard to detect and, with time, can burrow into your skin without you even realizing it. While many people question the effectiveness and dangers posed by chiggers, such as the severity of their bites, getting rid of these pests, and the risks associated with them, it is important to be informed about this small-but-mighty menace.
What Are Chiggers?
Chiggers, mites from the family of Trombiculidae, are tiny, red pests, only about 1⁄150 of an inch in size. Having six legs and an orange-ish hue, these bugs hide in areas such as moist grass, gardens, forests, overgrown patches and more. Chiggers feast on humans and animals alike and can attach themselves to the skin and bite into it. This process, however, is invisible to the naked eye and requires a microscope to be observed.
Where Do Chiggers Live?
Chiggers are nearly everywhere in the world, primarily in warm, humid climates. They live in areas such as damp grass and shrubs, dead leaves, decomposing plant material, cracks in the soil and piles of rubble. Though chiggers can live almost anywhere with some moisture, they also need places that have decaying vegetation or animal matter, so they can have a good source of food.
Are Chiggers Dangerous?
Although chiggers are a nuisance, they are not considered to be dangerous. Generally, their bites are not a serious health risk and do not transmit diseases, making the itchy bites even more of a nuisance than a danger. However, in some rare cases, those with a weakened immune system may be more prone to dangerous reactions and additional safety measures may be needed.
What Are the Symptoms of Chigger Bites?
Chigger bites cause a very intense sensation of itchiness, with a red patch on the skin being one of the most common symptoms. Other symptoms include a slightly raised red bump, severe swelling, and a halo-like pustule that surrounds the affected area. Depending on the strength of the person’s immune system, the body’s reaction to the chigger bite can differ dramatically.
How Are Chigger Bites Treated?
The most common way to treat chigger bites is to avoid scratching the area, as it can aggravate the problem. Applying an anti-itching cream or calamine lotion, and taking a cool bath or shower can help alleviate the itchiness. For more serious reactions, such as those including severe itchiness, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, you should consult a doctor or healthcare professional.
How Can Chiggers Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent chigger bites is to avoid areas where they are known to live, such as grassy or weeded areas, and places with overgrown foliage. Additionally, applying insect repellent containing DEET can help keep chiggers away. It is important to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers when you go into areas where chiggers are likely to be found and to make sure to check your clothing and body for signs of these pests before coming back inside.
People Also Ask
What Do Chiggers Look Like?
Chiggers are tiny, red mites, about 1/150 of an inch in size, and are coloured orange-like. They have 6 legs and can be difficult to detect with the naked eye.
Can Chiggers Live in Your House?
Yes, chiggers can live in your house, but they’re more likely to be found in areas outdoors with moist grass, gardens, and overgrown foliage.
How Long Do Chigger Bites Last?
Chigger bites usually last a couple of days or so and may cause severe itching, redness, and swelling.
Does Vinegar Get Rid of Chiggers?
Yes, vinegar can be useful in getting rid of chiggers, as the vinegar’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties can help reduce the skin irritation caused by the bite.
Can Chiggers Transmit Diseases?
In most cases, chiggers cannot transmit diseases. However, those with a weakened immune system, may be at a greater risk of more serious health risks.
Chiggers, though not always a problem, can be a pesky annoyance to humans, making it important to be educated on their lives and habits. While chiggers themselves may not be harmful, the bites they leave can become inflamed and itchy, making it all the more important to avoid these areas, or take additional safety measures when necessary.