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Information on Chiggers

Chiggers are the juvenile form of a species of mite which belongs to the family of trombiculidae. They can be found virtually everywhere around the world and they commonly live in forests, parks, fields, yards, grassy areas, near the rivers and all areas of vegetation. Chigger bites are accompanied by intense itching and tiny red sores. There are certain species of chiggers in Asia which transmit a disease called scrub typhus. It is a febrile illness triggered by a certain type of bacterium.

Chiggers Causes

A chigger mite is usually barely visible because it is no bigger than a 1/150th of an inch. Its juvenile form which is associated with the annoying bites has only six legs, unlike their adult counterparts which have eight legs. They can be characterized by a red color and they need to live in a humid environment, near the ground level.

The mites can infest a human being by touching the skin or the clothes of a human being. They migrate towards the skin because they search for an appropriate feeding area. The bites usually occur in the areas where the skin is thinner and the most common places include skin folds and wrinkles. The most common areas of the human body affected by chigger bites are usually the crotch, the groin, the armpits, folds behind the knees and the ankles.

Clothing compressions which present barriers to the migration of chiggers may also be a common place for chigger bites. In order to bite the skin, a chigger mite has to insert its mouth parts and feeding structures into it. It injects certain types of enzymes which are very efficient in destroying the host tissues. A sylostome gets developed at the area of the bite. Chigger mite can feed on the skin for several days if left undisturbed.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites

A person cannot notice the actual chigger bite. The symptoms can only be noticed a few hours after the injection of the digestive enzyme. The most common symptoms can be noticed at the affected areas and they usually include itching, redness, blisters and skin lesions. Most symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few days.

Treatment for Chigger Bites

Corticosteroid creams, Calamine lotion and Diphenhydramine can be used in order to relieve the annoying itching and the inflammatory conditions. It is always a good idea to wear proper clothing in order to prevent chigger infestations. Chiggers can be repelled by most mosquito repellents.

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