Chiggers, also known as harvest mites or red bugs, are tiny larvae of certain mite species that are commonly found in grassy and wooded areas.
Chiggers, also known as harvest mites or red bugs, are tiny larvae of certain mite species that are commonly found in grassy and wooded areas. These minuscule pests are barely visible to the naked eye, typically measuring less than 1/50 of an inch in length.
Chiggers are not insects, but arachnids related to ticks and spiders. They are most active during the warm months and prefer humid and shaded environments. Chiggers do not actually burrow into the skin, as is commonly believed, but they attach themselves to the skin's surface and inject digestive enzymes that cause irritation and itching.
Chigger bites are usually found around the ankles, waist, or other areas where clothing fits tightly against the skin. The bites can cause severe itching and redness, which can take several days or even weeks to resolve.
To avoid chigger bites, it is best to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, tuck pants into socks or boots, and use insect repellent containing DEET or other recommended active ingredients. After spending time in areas where chiggers are present, it is also recommended to shower and wash clothing thoroughly.
Treatment for chigger bites typically involves over-the-counter anti-itch creams or lotions, and in severe cases, a visit to a medical professional may be necessary. It is important to avoid scratching the bites, as this can lead to secondary infections.