Chiggers are also known as harvest mites and red bugs. They are very small in size which makes them hard to see with naked eyes. People call them tiny lobsters. Chiggers live in damp and shady bushes, tall grass, weeds, fences, leaves, bark and dense foliage.
Whenever you go for a walk in the woods you must have felt like itching. This can be due to chiggers bite. They feed on number of hosts including humans but especially on small rodents.
The larvae hatch in foliage or grass and then attach themselves to the suitable hosts. They enter the pore or hair follicle where they inject digestive enzymes. These enzymes dissolve the neighboring skin cells which they use as their feed to grow. After that they leave their hosts and attach themselves to plants. They feed on same plant and lay more eggs. They are most active from spring to early fall.
Here are some ways to get rid of chiggers:-
IN THE YARD
1) You must cut the tops of long grasses because the larvae hang out on the top to find a suitable host. By cutting the top of grasses it will become less appealing place for them.
2) Chiggers live in moist and shady areas so try to keep your yard well drained, dry and open. This will help a lot to reduce chigger population in your yard.
3) Many insecticides are available to prevent chiggers in the yard. Spray one of them once or twice in the spring and again in the fall when adult chiggers are looking for the shelter.
4) Spreading sulfur around the yard is also very useful to keep away chiggers.
5) Remove any standing water because this will attract chiggers and many other pests.
6) Remove dense foliage and piles of decaying leaves and plant matter as chiggers can easily find shelter in it.
1) If you become infested with chiggers then immediately wash your clothing with detergent. After that bath in hot water properly with soap especially waist, armpits, neck, knees, anus, between toes etc. chiggers usually find the places where they cannot be easily washed away. After hot bath you can apply the paste of baking soda to get rid of any remaining chigger.
2) whenever you have to go through infested areas avoid moving through dense foliage and try not to sit on the ground because sitting in one place will allow the chigger to find the best place on your body. Also tuck pants into your socks and wear tight cuffs. Wear long shoes having no ventilation holes.
3) Apply repellant containing DEET to your clothes. Do not use it on the pets or on your skin.
4) You can also apply sulfur powder to your clothing to protect yourself from chiggers.
5) If chigger bites you then do not scratch it bit use rubbing alcohol to remove the infection.
6) You can look for a soap, perfume or spray that contains citronella oil. It not only repels mosquitoes but also repel chiggers.
IN YOUR HOME
1) If plants inside your home get chiggers then place them outside and donâ€™t allow people and pets to go near them. You can also soak the plant in insecticidal soap specially made for house plants. Repeat the process once in every week, at least up to four weeks till the chiggers are killed.
2) If you are infested by chigger then do not throw your clothes or sit on bed, furniture or carpet as it can cause chigger infestation in your home.