In this article, we will discuss different methods to get rid of chiggers. Chiggers are one of the annoying pests which live in tall grass and dark and moist areas. Chiggers are also known as harvest mites. These are microscopic which can’t be seen with the naked eye. Their larvae (or babies) hatch in grass and foliage. They stick themselves to anyone who passes close enough by them. After finding an apt host, the larvae sticks itself to a pore or hair follicle. They inject some enzymes into the pores which quickly dissolve the nearby skin cells, which they use for nourishment. Once they’ve eaten sufficient they move away from their hosts. They grow into adults and feed on grass and plants and lay more eggs.
If you play a game of golf between early autumn and late spring or go out for a hike in the country, there are high chances of you coming in contact with chiggers. These irritating, red critters don’t carry any diseases with them, but they do bite, which can cause severe irritation and itchiness.
The bites themselves becomes super-itchy. Your skin gets raised red welts which can take about 2 weeks to heal. Below you can find some instructions for eliminating and preventing chiggers.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Chiggers:
1.) Avoid Tall Vegetation and Cut Lawn Frequently
Weeds, Briars, and tall grass are the well-known spots of chiggers for hiding. Shortening your grass and weeds is an easy, simple and effective method to get rid of chiggers living in your yard.
- Getting rid of these grasses and vegetation removes the moisture and shade chiggers preferred.
- A good air circulation and proper sunlight give a discouraging environment for chiggers to thrive in.
- You should regularly trim your bushes, trees and other shrubs to reduce the humidity around plants and let more sunlight come in.
- Follow this process all year round. This is because these annoying chiggers can return again once the weather warms up. So, avoid them completely.
- You just need to make the habitat as unfriendly as you can.
2.) Avoid Chigger Hosts from Entering Your Area
Small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles are some of the hosts for chigger infestation. Avoiding such animals from hanging around your lawn or yard may also force chiggers to leave as they will automatically want to follow their source of food.
- Get rid of sources of water, which attracts amphibians and reptiles.
- Remove dense foliage or shrubbery as it will also discourage small mammals.
- Keep trash cans covered and set up fencing around the area of your garden or yard.
3.) Keep Yourself Covered
If you can’t avoid going into an outdoor area with tall vegetation, you can prevent chiggers from attaching themselves to your skin by covering your skin as much as possible.
- Wear long pants, long sleeves, and high ankle boots.
- Chiggers are small and smart enough to find their way in the gaps found between the threads of loosely-woven fabrics. So, wear tightly-woven fabrics instead of airy, loosely-woven.
4.) Sulfur Powder to Get Rid of Chiggers
Some strong odors, like sulfur powder, have a tendency to drive chiggers away. So, you can sprinkle some sulfur powder into your shoes and even socks to get rid of chiggers lurking in the grass and weeds around your feet.
- You can also sprinkle a light dusting of sulfur powder inside your shirt and pants, for even better protection.
- If you have a sensitive sense of smell, using sulfur powder can be problematic as it has a potent odor.
5.) Brush Exposed Skin to Get Rid of Chiggers
As chiggers are known to bite exposed skin, they do not latch immediately when they come into contact with your skin. Therefore, a quick brushing over the exposed skin area every 30 minutes or so can help get rid of chiggers hanging out on your body. Similarly, you can also brush off your clothes to remove chiggers from your garments.
6.) Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Chiggers
If you are looking for a natural, organic pesticide to treat severe chigger infestations, you can use diatomaceous earth to help you ward off chiggers and other lawn and garden pests.
- Diatomaceous earth is a natural product made up of soft sedimentary rock, produced by small, fossilized creatures known as diatoms.
- It is easily available in the form of a fine white or off-white powder.
- Sprinkle a sufficient amount of diatomaceous earth over your yard and over any areas which may be offering an ideal conditions for chiggers to thrive in. Such areas include anything which may be overgrown or offering a good hiding place, moisture and shade.
7.) Wash Clothes to Avoid Chiggers
If you are in doubt that you may have carried some chiggers through your clothes while you were outside, you can get rid of them by washing the garments in hot, soapy water.
- Make sure the water has a minimum of 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 degrees Celsius).
- Wash your clothes for 30 minutes or more to be sure of extermination.
- After washing clothes, dry them in a drying machine or in the sunlight.
- Avoid wearing chigger-infested clothes without washing them first.
- Do not wash such clothes in cold water, as it will not help get rid of the chiggers.
8.) Repellent With DEET to Get Rid of Chiggers
DEET or diethyltoluamide is among the most effective bug repellents to get rid of chiggers and several other mites. Simply, apply the repellent on your exposed skin, such as hands, arms, and legs.
- DEET treatments last for about 2 to 3 hours only.
- Avoid spraying it near your mouth or eyes.
- Do not spray on skin covered by clothing, as doing so may lead to skin irritation.
- Follow the directions on the label carefully before application.
- Seek emergency medical treatment if you face any allergic reaction.
9.) Take Hot Water Shower to Prevent Chiggers
If you spend some time outside in an area which is usually infested by chiggers, you must take a hot bath or shower quickly after coming back inside.
- To be sure of extermination, you should lather, rinse, and repeat a few times when taking a shower. Make sure the water is hot, rather than lukewarm.
- Scrub your skin strongly with a washcloth to remove any chiggers which may have attached themselves to your flesh.
10.) Permethrin Treatments For Clothes
Permethrin repellents (0.5%) are another very useful remedy against chiggers. However, this should be applied only to your clothes and not straight to your skin.
- Permethrin repellents can last for a few days after the application.
- It remains on your clothes even after you have washed them once or twice.
- It is suggested to treat your clothes one day before you wear them.
- Apply this repellent on the both sides of your clothing. Apply it mainly on openings such as necks, cuffs, and waistbands. Allow the repellent to dry before wearing the clothes.
- Follow directions given on the labels carefully before applying the repellent.
- Immediately seek emergency medical treatment if you suffer an allergic reaction.