Chiggers are a kind of tiny red mite that can cause severe itching and swelling when bitten. If the bites are not adequately handled, they can result in complications. Continue reading to learn how to avoid them.
Chiggers are a type of six-legged, wingless red mite that cannot be seen from the naked eye. They belong to the Trombiculidae family of fleas. It is a member of the arachnid tribe. Despite its small scale, it can cause a great deal of pain in humans. Their bites will hurt a lot and cause a lot of swelling. The wounds created by scratching may cause infections or fever, even though the bites are not normally severe with proper care. However, it is unknown if they will spread diseases.
How Do the Chiggers Bite Humans?
Chiggers can stick to the human body, so they can attach to the skin and insert saliva. Chigger saliva contains an enzyme that can break the human cells into the liquid form. And the human body reacts by hardening the cells of the body surrounding the spit, forming a tube from which the chiggers will ingest the body fluids. The chiggers eat our skin for about 4-5 days before they leave by themselves.
After a chigger bite, you can experience some other symptoms besides the constant itching. The following is a list we research.
Symptoms of a chigger bite
There are adult chiggers and young chiggers, but only the young chiggers can bite humans. These tiny arachnids feed on human skin cells by piercing small holes in the skin and attaching themselves to it. According to the United States Department of the United States, if chiggers bite humans, all body areas are susceptible.
The chigger bite is painless, and people would not feel sick for at least 24 hours after being bitten.
They inject their saliva, which includes digestive juices that liquefy the cells and cause them to be swallowed by the chigger mite after making the bite. The chigger mite bite is painless; in particular, people will not have any symptoms for at least 24 hours. So after that, the infected individuals will experience severe scratching, which will intensify as the red welts get bigger. They look like blisters or pimples and grow in clusters, with scratching that can last up to a week.
Chigger bites can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Bumps in the waist, ankles, crotch, armpits, or behind the knees
- Bumps that appear in clusters and can last up to a week
- Skin bumps with a light red spot in the middle that are reddish in color.
Though chigger bites have few severe health risks, one of the most significant issues is the strong itching. You can also begin to bleed due to your excessive scratching. This can lead to skin infections, exacerbating the bites’ appearance. Then, it is preferable to deal with the problem.
How to Get Rid of Chigger Bites Naturally
Chiggers do not stay on the skin indefinitely; after completing their feeding, they normally leave the body, leaving a red welt as a souvenir. You should do the following to relieve the itching as soon as possible:
- Take a warm shower and use soap and water to scrub the bitten spot. This is an effective method of removing any remaining chiggers from the body.
- To stop itching, use anti-itch drugs.
- If the drug isn’t available right away, apply ice to the bitten area to relieve the itching.
- Bites from this well-known red mite can usually heal after a week. However, if the discomfort persists longer, it is recommended to consult a professional who can prescribe steroid injections to relieve the swelling and itching.
How to prevent chigger bites
Chiggers are very widespread in the spring and fall, and all wet areas are the most likely to be infested with these pests. They’re also present in woodland, near lakes and ponds, under logs, and in places where there are many rodents. Therefore, the only way to avoid being bitten by chiggers is to avoid going to these areas.
If you don’t have any other options, use an insect repellent with a high concentration of DEET and spray it all over the body. It is also recommended that you apply it to your clothes, but you can do about one or two days before you have to enter places where chiggers may be present. It is important to remember that insect repellent isn’t safe for babies under two months of age.
To avoid touching the chiggers, you need to wear clothes that protect your body as much as possible. So, the safest option is to wear high boots, long socks, and a long-sleeved shirt. When you leave the infested place, you can remove and wash your clothes as soon as possible and take a hot shower.