Chiggers are very small, red mites with six legs that live in weeds, tall grass and berry patches.

Common myths pertaining to chiggers are wide-spread. Many people suspect chiggers tend to be some kind of insect.

Folklore conveys to us that they burrow under our skin and die, that they drink blood and therefore chiggers can easily be wiped out simply by suffocation with ordinary nail polish, alchohol, salt water, turpentine, or bathing with bleach.  To be honest, each and every one of these well-accepted facts are simply not realistic.

Appearance / Identification

These creatures are extremely small, and measure less than 1/150th of an inch in diameter. A lot more than a 1000 of chiggers could easily line up throughout this web page, and yet leave enough space for at lease 200-300 additional creatures.

chigger magnified

You Cant See Them

At these small measurements, chiggers are practically undetectable to the naked eye. On the other hand, whenever a few chiggers group together with one another in the proximity of an elastic waistband, or a wrist watch, they can be clearly visible due to their bright red color.

Chigger Bites


They initially emerge as irritating red bumps on your body. At first, an itch starts out, then it will grow. Additional rigid red welts will appear. An irritating itch will begin to bother you beginning with your feet and your ankles on up, and particularly at those private areas of your body where you do not want to publicly scratch.

What Do the Bites Look Like?

chigger bite marks
chigger bites on skin


Once the chiggers start to bite and attach to the skin, you develop reddish bumpy rashes or pimples around the ankles, and waist.

Where the Bites Are Found

The chigger’s strong mouth parts are concise and intricate, and will only penetrate thin skin, or locations in which typically the skin creases and folds.

This is the reason why many chigger bites happen to be in the region of the ankle areas, the crotch area, in armpits, under the belt line, and in the back of the knees. The attachment of the mouth parts is not necessarily noticeable. The bite by itself is definitely not the root cause associated with the itch.

Chigger Bite Myths

Chiggers, like the tick, will bite and hang on. One of the most common myths regarding chiggers is that they will drill down directly into a person’s skin and ultimately will die inside of the tissues, therefore resulting in the neverending itchiness.

This untrue misconception has its foundations within the states in the south where pests with very similar sounding names for instance the jigger flea, or the chigoe. These creatures do ravage humans by means of burrowing under people’s skin. However, chiggers are definitely not designed to burrow, not to mention that they’re just much too big to be able to enter in through people’s pores.


Treating chigger bites involves taking care of the itching. At night the itching can become extreme, so it is important to treat the symptoms of chigger bites before it becomes worst. Constant scratching at the rash site can cause a secondary skin infection to occur, adding another layer to your misery.

Often people treat these itchy sites with antihistamine creams and cortisone lotions. The rashes caused by the chigger bites themselves will go away without any extra treatment, but as stated before, it’s the itching that needs the most attention. Other than common anti-itch creams, aspirin dissolved in warm water and applied to the bumps can work as well. Some people use nail polish and others say that applying lice medications help.

If the chigger bites and subsequent rash are more than you can bear, consult with your physician. Your doctor can diagnose the cause by looking at the rash. He or she can prescribe something stronger to treat chigger bites or medicine for any infection that may have occurred. Stay calm during the extreme itchiness and know that it will pass.


If you you have pets you may want protect them from the ticks and chiggers. A good place to start is to clip their hair/fur back during the summer months for easy inspection and access for treating wounds and removing ticks.

You can use Vicks or Eucalyptus essential oil for chigger and tick bites on us humans and your pets. It helps to kill the itch and heals the sore. (Keep a little bottle or container just for using on your pet.) Ticks do not like Eucalyptus and are discouraged from attaching when applied to common trouble spots like under the pits, in the ears, under the belly and between the toes. Remember, a little dab will do ya.

Keep a special pair of tweezers handy just for your pet. You do not want to come in contact with those little ticks unless you have to and please wash your hands after working with any kind of tick. Lime’s disease is something you do not want to contract, believe me.

Treat your pet with the Vicks or Eucalyptus oil after you have finished working on them as indicated above.

Eucalyptus oil is also a good antiseptic as is Tea Tree essential oil.

Other natural treatment remedies might be a poultice of smashed fresh basil and comfrey leaves.

A small amount of tobacco soaked in water and applied to bite. Both of these even work on fire ants!

Honey is a natural antibiotic. Apply with a cloth bandage and an ice cube over the top of the bit to relieve pain and swelling and promote quick healing.

A fresh slice of onion works on wasp and hornet bites. Just wrap the slice to the sting and keep it there.

How to Get Rid of Them

This means removing them from your lawn. Because chiggers like to “hang out” in shady, weedy areas, keep your lawn and landscaping well-trimmed and neat.

Chiggers tend to produce in the summer and fall months. One of the best remedies for removing chiggers from your outdoor space is sulfur pellets. Chigger do not like the smell of these organic pellets, and the best thing is that there aren’t any harmful chemicals.

Another treatment to consider for your yard is beneficial nematodes. These organisms attack and feed on the chigger larvae by entering its body. In about 48 hours the chigger larvae will die, and then the nematode will go to the next one.

While you are treating your yard area for the chiggers, it would be wise to avoid the area until you are sure the have been removed or killed.

Life Cycle

They are the larval form of a particular relative of mites, the Trombiculidae. Mites are arachnids, similar to scorpions and spiders, and they are closely related to ticks. Chigger mites happen to be distinctive amidst the countless mite families in which basically the larval stage nourishes on vertebrate creatures; chiggers feast upon individuals primarily in their earlier stages of life, and eventually emerged as vegetarians of which will survive on the soil.