How to Treat And Prevent Chigger Bites | Full Guide
It's summer and you know what that means: bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. Especially those pesky little chiggers. It seems like the minute I step outside my door, I'm swatting away at these tiny little creatures who are trying to make my life miserable. But there's no need for this suffering; we can work together to stop chigger bites from ruining your day. Follow the following guide below to find out how you can treat and prevent chigger bites.
What exactly are chiggers?
Chiggers are tiny red mites that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They have eight legs and can be found in grasses, shrubs, flowers, trees and tall weeds that grow near woodlands across the world. Chiggers are arachnids, a class of arthropods that includes spiders, ticks and scorpions. While they’re not insects (which have six legs), they belong to the same phylum as ticks: Acari (or Mites).
Where do chiggers come from?
Chiggers are found almost everywhere around the world, and they like to live in grass, weeds, and brush. Chigger bites occur most frequently during summer months when chiggers are active. They don’t fly or jump, they can only crawl around on the ground.
Chiggers usually feed at night, but they may bite during daylight hours if conditions are right such as hot temperatures and sunlight that attracts them out of their hiding places (the grasses where they live).
How can you remove chiggers from clothes?
There are a few ways to prevent chiggers from getting onto your clothes. The first is to wear long pants and sleeves, as well as a hat and insect repellent. Another option is to use a lint roller on your clothing after spending time in the outdoors, especially if you've been in grassy areas or near tall vegetation.
If you have already been bitten by chiggers, there are several ways that you can treat the bites and prevent them from itching further:
- Wash clothes in hot water before wearing them again.
- Dry clothes in the sun.
- Wear light-colored clothing; this will make it easier for you to see any chigger bites on your skin.
Tips to prevent chigger bites
Here are a few things you can do to prevent chigger bites.
- Wear pants and long sleeves.
- Wear light-colored clothing (white). Chiggers don't like the UV light from the sun so they tend to avoid it.
- Wear shoes and socks.
- Wash clothes in hot water every time you come inside, especially if you've been outside in tall grass or weeds, where chiggers are more likely to be present. If possible, dry your clothes on high heat for at least 20 minutes before storing them away (this will kill any eggs that may be on the clothing). If necessary, put a laundry bag around each piece of clothing before putting it into the washer so that no eggs fall off into other laundry items during washing or drying; throw this bag away when done using it. And if you have children who go barefoot outside often during summer months, make sure they wear shoes whenever possible.
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How do you treat chigger bites?
Here's what you can try to treat the itching and irritation caused by chigger bites:
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Apply calamine lotion, which will help relieve both pain and itching.
- Use hydrocortisone cream on the affected spots for immediate relief from itching and swelling caused by chigger bites (but don't use this if it's been less than two weeks since your last dose of antihistamines).
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against chiggers is to keep your yard mowed, weeds under control and grass short. This will make it easier for you to see any infestations of chiggers and remove them before they can bite you. If you are bitten by chiggers or other types of insects, use an antihistamine cream or hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching and swelling. Other remedies include applying cold compresses or soothing lotions directly on the affected area until it heals completely. Finally, remember that chigger bites are unpleasant but not dangerous so try not to let them bother you too much.