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How to stop chiggers?

Old 07-30-2008, 11:41 AM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

ORIGINAL: whitetaildreamer

Though we might call them something different up north and I don't want to sound dumb but what type of insect is a chigger?


The thing called a chigger,
is really no bigger,
than the smaller end of a pin,
but the bump that it raises,
just itches like blazes,
and that's where the rub sets in.

They crawl up to the highest point on a plant and wait for an animal or person to walk by," Gibb says. "Then they fall onto a person, usually landing on the shoes or lower pantlegs, and then begin crawling up the body looking for a place to bite."
Gibb says people can prevent bites by avoiding walking through tall grasses or shrubs, and staying on paths.
"A lot of chiggers fall on the shoes and pantlegs, so if you’re going to use repellents I’d concentrate on that area," Gibb says. "You should tuck your pants into your socks, and then spray repellent on that area. It’s always best to avoid putting insect repellent on bare skin."
• Chiggers aren't insects, but arachnids, just like spiders and scorpions. They are a type of mite related to ticks. "Chiggers is a common name we give to the larvae of several species of mite," Gibb says.
•Sometimes tiny red mites are seen, especially on light-colored concrete. These are adult chiggers, which don't bite people, but instead feed on insect eggs and other insects. The chigger larvae are much smaller than the adults– half a dozen of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Chigger larvae can scarcely be been seen without a magnifying glass.
• Although adult chiggers have eight legs, when they are in their biting larval stage they have just six. And unlike ticks, chiggers don't carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
• Chiggers aren't really good at biting, and can bite only thin skin, which is why they bite children or women more than men. They like to bite in soft, light and moist areas of the body where the sun and weather haven't made the skin tough and dry. These are places where chiggers are least welcome.
• Chiggers don't burrow into the skin. Instead they pierce a skin cell with their mouths. Their saliva contains an enzyme that causes the skin cell wall to liquefy. The body's immune system reacts to the foreign enzyme resulting in a hard, red wall at the spot of the bite. The chigger capitalizes on this – it uses this round wall, which is called a stylostome, as a straw. After the chigger has had its fluid meal, it drops off.
• In medical terms, these hard, red welts are called papules. A bite will begin itching three to six hours after a chigger has bitten the skin. "At that time, the chigger is long gone," Gibb says. "By the time you begin to itch, it's too late to prevent the chigger from biting."
The bite will develop a red circle, or welt, within 10 to 16 hours, and will continue to itch for up to two days or more, depending on the individual's reaction. For someone with dozens of bites, this is truly an unpleasant experience.
"If you absolutely must call in sick to work because of chigger bites, tell the boss that you have been diagnosed with arachnid papules," Gibb suggests, tongue-in-cheek. "That is going to sound much worse than saying you have a bunch of chigger bites."
• Because chiggers cannot hold on well, they are easy to remove. Taking a shower with plenty of sudsy soap will remove them. "They don’t hang on people very well because we don’t have fur. To keep from falling off, they have to get in areas where clothing fits tight, like the tops of socks, the groin area, at the waistband, or in the armpits where shirt sleeves fit tightly," Gibb says.
"So if you want to avoid chigger bites while picking raspberries, doing it naked may help," he jokes.
People often see a red dot in the middle of a chigger bite, and assume that the chigger has burrowed into the skin. However, that red dot is actually the stylostome. "There are mites, such as the scabies mite, that burrow into the skin, but the chigger doesn't," Gibb says. "People sometimes resort to strange chigger remedies such as coating their bites with Vaseline or nail polish in an effort to suffocate the chigger. In fact, by the time the bite begins itching, the chigger has long since dropped off. You can't kill something that’s not there. The itch is simply our bodies' reaction to the bite."
• Sometimes the bite forms a white cap, which is the top of the stylostome. Scratching this cap off often causes a drop or two of the liquid inside the bite to ooze out. Scratching the cap off also can result in an infection.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:00 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

"Redbug" is another name.Very small , red bodied, blood ducing mite like insect barely visible to the naked eye. I think the darn thisgs are 99% teeth ... like our beloved "No-See-Ums" down here in the south.Chiggersburrow into the skin and make a heck of a whelp if not removed propmtly.Love to migrate to where ever clothes are tight against the skin ... like sock tops and brief bands. Also a lover of "privates". Itch like crazy.Amix of about a gallon of warm water and table spoon of plain ol' Pine Sol will kill them like a a hammer. So will terpentine ... but man, that ain't no fun. There is a OTC product I think called "Chigger-Ease". It is a cream that kills them as well and that stuff does not burn too badly.But it takes days to do them in.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:09 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

What pigiron posted. Re-read Mojo, they DO NOT burrow into the skin. Just take a hot soapy shower and they will be gone. However, the itch won't be gone for awhile. There is absolutely no need for Pine Sol, turpentine, bleach or any other home remedy. Anti itch topicals usually help, but it just takes time. They are dreadful little buggars.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

ORIGINAL: whitetaildreamer

Though we might call them something different up north and I don't want to sound dumb but what type of insect is a chigger?
Ditto .Whats a chigger?
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:22 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

And we scroll up to the top of this page... we have chigger info, what they are, and what they do.

Chiggers arepretty rare in the north.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:27 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

I hate those bugs and snakes you guys have to put up with in the south. We have a few ticks early in the spring, but in the country I hunt the only things that bite are the wolves, bears, and cougars, and for some reason they don't creep me out as bad as the bugs and snakes of the south. I never seen so many ticks and snakes as I encountered when in Virginia, you couldn't pay me enough to walk through the tall grass in the area I was in.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

We have them bad down here, and where they are bad, there's really no defeating them 100% of the time. Duct tape and tall boots works best for me. When that fails, I take some benadryl and swipe the affected area with acetone nail polish remover, it seems to neutralize the poison.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

What pigiron posted is absolutely CORRECT and what I have found to help more than anything,since the itch is an allergic reaction ,is to put anantihistamine stop itch cream,(I like the benadryl gel) and take a couple Benadryl tabs and that seems to work better than any home remedy I have tried.

I believe that covering the spots with fingernail polish does help,just because it cover the spot and prevents the area from being irritated as bad but the above does a much better job stopping the misory imo.
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?


Chiggers arepretty rare in the north.

Nightfire, how north are you?

I always considered NJ north, but I guess your farther upyet.Hell,...you can't escape chiggers here. I've had chiggers all of my damn life!

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: How to stop chiggers?

FYI guys.

For those of us that have already been infested with these menacing devils, I have found a home remedy that dries up the affected area much faster than steriod shots, benadryl, or hydrocortisone. Oxy pads. That's right, whatever that active ingredient is in there for drying up acne, also dries up the sore left behind by a 'harvest mite', 'chigger', 'redbug', or any other name for these vermin.

DO NOT use bleach, turpentine or any other harsh chemical or scalding hot water, unless you just want to be permanantly scarred with a chemical burn. Some really bad ideas for remedies out there!
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