- Chiggers: Little Bugs with a Big Bite
- How to Know It’s a Chigger Bite and What to Do About It
- What do Chiggers Look Like?
- How Do You Prevent and Treat Chigger Bites?
Chiggers: Little Bugs with a Big Bite
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But there is an easy way to sample your yard for chiggers if you're concerned about a possible chigger mite infestation. Be sure, of course, to wear appropriate clothing and repellent whenever you walk through an area that may have chiggers. They're also called harvest mites, harvest lice, and red bugs. The tiny arachnids are found in a range of warm colors, from straw to yellow, to orange and red. You might see them in groups or moving on your legs or you might see the welts from their bites. The larvae are the ones that bite; they have six legs.
I have a lot of requests to cover topics about biting and stinging things, mostly because these are the critters that make people's experiences outdoors unpleasant. One such creature is the dreaded chigger. Now most of us have heard of them, and many of us have had their bites, but what are they really? What do chigger bites look like? Should you be worried?
Photo by: Hansell F. Cross, Georgia State University, Bugwood. It can be difficult keeping track of which insects are biting you and which are not. Chiggers are found all over the world and love to feed on humans. Chiggers are easy to identify. Because they are easily found you could go out and find plenty of the in the wilderness once you feel comfortable identifying them.
How to Know It’s a Chigger Bite and What to Do About It
Red bugs, chiggers, berry bugs, scrub-itch mites and harvest mites are all terms used to describe members of the family of insects known as Trombiculidae. These reddish-orange mites can be found worldwide, but they really enjoy hanging out in damp, grassy and wooded areas, especially at the edges of forests.
What do Chiggers Look Like?
Closely related to ticks, these mites are arachnids, part of the same family that includes spiders and scorpions. They don't prefer humans because we're big bullies. We easily brush or wash chiggers away when they bite us when we can catch them in the act , something their preferred prey—birds and reptiles—don't do. Chiggers are so small, you are unlikely to ever see them. The way you're most likely going to find them is by finding their bites. More than a few chiggers can fit on the head of a pin. The larvae, which are even smaller, do the biting.
Chiggers are tiny larvae members of the arachnid family and are sometimes called red bugs. Although the larvae are extremely small in size, their bites pack a powerful punch. When you eventually do feel them, however, they can be extremely itchy. Chiggers live in tall weeds and grass, in berry patches, and in wooded areas. They may be in your backyard, by the lake, and clustered along your favorite hiking trail. They are most active on spring, summer and fall afternoons, when temperatures are warm and inviting. They can quickly attach to your skin if you walk by and brush up against vegetation where they live.
Townsend says that there are many different species of mites, but only a few types that bite during their larval stage. Instead, chiggers feast on skin cells and tissue, Townsend explains. But much like mosquitoes and ticks, chiggers can induce a nasty skin reaction. But there are bite characteristics that can show up that can help differentiate chiggers from other bugs. For one thing, chigger bites tend to take itchiness to a whole new level.
How Do You Prevent and Treat Chigger Bites?