Whats a chigger?

Ah, chiggers. The little buggers that we all love to hate. These tiny creatures leave us scratching like mad and wishing for relief. But what are they exactly? Well, don’t worry my friend because by the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about these pesky critters.


If you’re anything like me, then you’ve had your fair share of run-ins with chiggers while out in nature. These microscopic bugs have ruined many camping trips and outdoor adventures for me (thanks guys)! But why do they cause so much havoc on our skin?

What is a Chigger?

Chiggers are also known as harvest mites or red bugs (although I’m not sure where the ‘harvest’ part comes from). They are actually arachnids, which means they belong to the same family as spiders and ticks! Crazy right!? Despite their name, these pests aren’t actually insects at all.

At only 0.3mm they’re practically invisible – no wonder we can barely protect ourselves against them! Chiggers usually prefer warm weather but happily infest wooded or grassy areas where there is plenty of soil debris or moisture lying around such as in hogwallows, caves etc.

How It Begins

So how does one catch these itchy parasites? Well first things first: avoid any green vegetation with yellow flowers and small hairless leaves. Humans become infected when walking through chigger-infested vegetation that has low branches or tall grasses that touches bare skin OR clothing conspires with clinging rugae before being abruptly pulled away creating easy access points via folds & creases; if wearing tight pants/shirts/sweaters/socks this could be yours truly 🙁 .Another way humans get infected involves barrier breakdown- underperforming insecticide sprays on personal items, shoes or vehicles used in infested areas.

Chiggers tend to target certain areas of the body like ankles, midriff and groin regions. They attach themselves to your clothing and wait for an opportunity to latch onto your skin while you’re out & about enjoying nature’s offerings.

How Do Chigger Bites Look?

It generally takes a few hours before the effects of chiggers’ bites become apparent on human skin, but when they do: reddish, swollen welts appear at times with pimple-like heads that itch like crazy! The intensity of itching gradually subsides after several days but it may still be felt intermittently within three weeks post-infection.

The rashes look identical; adults better withstand contact time than children for obvious reasons considering size differential.

How To Treat Signs Of Infestation

There is no need to panic as chigger bites aren’t serious nor will they cause illness or disease (while mosquitoes can carry malaria, yellow fever and dengue). Scratching them can lead to secondary infections so avoid doing this if possible – use antihistamines such as Benadryl®, calamine lotion, corticosteroids perhaps limit exposure & always remember good hygiene habits during outdoor moments just incase one might forget( -ye-gads)!

A simple home remedy you could try involves placing adhesive tape over each affected area then pulling away- relief should come from removing most-mature mite backups instantly! Also putting nail polish remover/ rubbing alcohol on infected spots works very well by suffocating parasites causing death via dehydration. Although popular housewives theories have arisen claiming using clear nail polish would smother these nasties too!!!

Remember!! Prevention is always key: don’t wander off into unkempt patches barefooted in short/patty inclined garments!!! Always cover yourself up- repellents offered nowadays are heavily recommended both for application and pre-soaking of clothes before traveling. 2% Permethrin & DEET up to 25-50% have been proven effective if used properly over the years per health officials recommendations.


Chiggers are tiny but mighty pests that can sure ruin a perfectly good camping/fishing/hiking trip! Always remember prevention is key and it’s best left to avoid infested areas altogether, sometimes nature isn’t your friend after all(!!). When going out, don’t hesitate to use insect repellents such as DEET or Permethrin on both skin and clothing which has proven time tested efficiency.
So keep yourself safe from these little bugs by being aware when venturing into the great outdoors – trust us, you’ll be glad you did!

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