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Information on Chiggers

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

Chiggers Causes

A chigger mite is usually barely visible because it is nobigger than a 1/150th of an inch. Its juvenile form which isassociated with the annoying bites has only six legs, unlike their adultcounterparts which have eight legs. They can be characterized by a red colorand they need to live in a humid environment, near the ground level.

The mitescan 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 feedingarea. The bites usually occur in the areas where the skin is thinner and themost common places include skin folds and wrinkles. The most common areas ofthe human body affected by chigger bites are usually the crotch, the groin, thearmpits, folds behind the knees and the ankles.

Clothing compressions whichpresent barriers to the migration of chiggers may also be a common place forchigger bites. In order to bite the skin, a chigger mite has to insert itsmouth parts and feeding structures into it. It injects certain types of enzymeswhich are very efficient in destroying the host tissues. A sylostome getsdeveloped at the area of the bite. Chigger mite can feed on the skin forseveral days if left undisturbed.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites

A person cannot notice the actual chigger bite. The symptomscan 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 usuallyinclude itching, redness, blisters and skin lesions. Most symptoms usually resolve themselves within a few days.

Treatment for Chigger Bites

Corticosteroid creams, Calamine lotion and Diphenhydraminecan be used in order to relieve the annoying itching and the inflammatoryconditions. It is always a good idea to wear proper clothing in order toprevent chigger infestations. Chiggers can be repelled by most mosquitorepellents.

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