Learn all about chiggers and their bites.
Their scientific name is Trombiculidae or trombiculid mites. You may hear them referred to as chiggers, harvest mites, mowers mites, harvest lice, red bugs, berry bugs and a host of other names.
They are so tiny that you almost can’t see them without a magnifying glass or microscope. Chiggers tend to congregate in shady areas with a lot of vegetation and can be found in fresh cut grass, tall weeds, overgrown and wooded areas.
Chiggers most often bite humans. They bite by grabbing the skin. When the mite bites the skin on the penis, it can cause a condition known as summer penile syndrome. It results in painful urination, itching and swelling of the penis. It is not a sexually transmitted disease as is sometimes thought.
Often the chiggers rash is mistaken for mosquito or tick bites or a rash caused by plants such as poison ivy.
Chiggers Bites and Rash
The chiggers mite feeds off human skin cells, and not. Only the larvae bite humans. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. Chiggers have claws that help them grab onto skin. The chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva. The saliva contains an enzyme that breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Your body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube, or a stylostome through which the chigger sucks the host’s body fluids. Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days. Usually they last about 4 days before falling off. The chiggers rash is made up of many itchy red bumps. There may be some redness of the skin surrounding it, and tends to resemble welts similar to hives. The symptoms develop within 1 to 3 hours after the bite. The itching and size of these bumps then increase for a few days.
Scratching can significantly worsen the chiggers rash by irritating the skin and causing tiny tears. This may then lead to a secondary bacterial infection of the skin. It is mainly staphylococci and streptococci bacteria, many of which naturally live on the skin that causes this secondary skin infection. Redness and swelling of the skin with pain and an oozing discharge (pus) are signs of a chiggers rash that has become infected with bacteria. This is a superficial skin infection known as impetigo. However, if the bacteria are able to penetrate deeper into the tissue underneath the skin (subcutaneous tissue) then it can cause a more serious infection known as cellulitis.
What do Chiggers Bites look like?
They can trigger itchy and red blisters on sufferers’ body. When the mite falls off, it typically leaves a red bump on the skin. This is usually itchy and the itching may persist for a few days even after the mite has finished feeding. The bumps (also described as pimples, blisters or hives) usually occurs in groups but resolves completely within about 2 weeks.
Chiggers Bites Treatment Home Remedies
Chiggers bites and treatment home remedies are given below;
- Hot shower is widely applied to treat the other diseases, such as curing dry and rough hands or getting water out of your ears.
- Cold Compress; Take some ice cubes, wrap them in a thin and clean cloth. Use the ice bag to apply on the bites for some minutes. Repeat this if the itching keeps annoying you. Alternatively, you can soak the affected skin in cold or cool water to ease the itching. Like hot shower, cold compress is a natural way to cure many health problems, including swollen mouth or leg pains.
- Aloe Vera has always been people’s best friend as it is a trusted ingredient in various treatments for health and beauty problem and chigger bites are not exception. With the natural treatment on how to treat chigger bites from Aloe Vera, you can manage the condition of swelling, pain, inflammation on the skin. At the same time, vitamin E in it helps moisturize and accelerate the healing process Get the gel inside an Aloe Vera leaf then apply it on the affected area. Let it sit on 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with tepid water. Repeat this 2-3 times daily.
- Alternatively, add some drops of olive oil and peppermint oil into some Aloe Vera gel. Mix them well then apply on the affected skin. After 15 minutes, wash off with clean water. Do this 2-3 times on daily basis for the best results/
- Neem is another source of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help you effectively deal with discomforts caused by symptoms of chigger bites. Put some neem leaves in hot water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes then strain. After it cools down, use the liquid to cleanse the affected area. Do this several times a day until you see improvement.
- Baking soda possesses strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you effectively with the itchiness and inflammation. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with water to make a paste then apply it directly on the bites. Let it sit on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with clean water. Do this 1-2 times a day for the best result. Add a cup of baking soda in a bathtub of cool water. Soak yourself in there for 10-15 minutes. Finally, dry yourself with a clean towel and apply moisturizer. Do this once on daily basis.
Get rid of Chiggers naturally
Spring, summer, and fall are prime time for chigger bites. When you’re in wooded areas that may be chigger-infested try not to brush up against vegetation. When hiking, walk in the center of trails, rather than along the sides. Wear long sleeves and long pants that can be tucked into your socks or shoes. Use insect or tick repellent, especially around the tops of your shoes, shirt neck, cuffs, and waistband. Shower as soon as you go indoors. Wash your clothes in hot water.