You may get an itching rash when you go outside to enjoy the outdoors, such as playing soccer, running in the park, or even tending to your garden. Chigger bites are the source of this annoyance. Chiggers are also known as red bugs, berry bugs, harvest bugs, or mites by certain people. Chiggers, despite their common name, are arachnids, similar to spiders and ticks, rather than insects. Furthermore, it is the larval chiggers, not the adults, who bite.
Chiggers are so little that they can only be seen using a magnifying lens. When they are clumped together, though, you may be able to see them. They are most often seen in woods and grasslands. As people and animals walk by, chiggers attach themselves to them. You may unintentionally invite chiggers into your house since they are difficult to detect. When they wind up in your bed, it’s an aggravating situation. It is possible that the bites will keep you awake at night. There are, fortunately, techniques to get rid of chiggers in bed.
How do I get rid of Chiggers in my bed?
- Sprinkle/dredge Sulfur – Sulfur is a typical insect and arachnid repellant that also works well against chiggers. Sulfur may be purchased as a powder and sprinkled on chigger-infested areas. It’s also available as an aqueous emulsion that you may spray. But be cautious, as sulfur can irritate the skin, eyes, and throat in certain people. When applying sulfur, use safety equipment such as gloves, masks, and goggles. The scent, on the other hand, is a side effect. Sulfur is what rotting eggs smell like. After you’ve gotten rid of the chiggers, though, a good wash can help.
- Try Hot Washing and Drying – Wash all of your pillows and linens, as well as any other fabric that has been exposed to chiggers, at the highest temperatures possible. Bleach should only be used when absolutely necessary. All of the textiles should be dried at the highest temperature feasible. The chiggers should be killed and washed away by the high temperatures, as well as the water, soap, and bleach. If your shoes are also washable, provide them.
- Essential Oils – You can exchange essential oil combinations for sulfur if you don’t want to use it. Lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, and citronella are among the essential oils that naturally repel pests. These essential oils are the active component in many commercial repellents. Besides from your bedding, you may also use these repellents on your skin, which is safer than using sulfur.
- Steaming – Steam can kill and wash away chiggers in the same manner that hot soapy water does. It is recommended that you use an industrial steam cleaner to get rid of chiggers in your bed. A regular portable steam cleaner may not be powerful enough to complete the task. Slowly move the steam cleaner over your bed, linens, pillow, and any other areas where chiggers may be present.
- Shower and wash your clothes – When you get home, wash your clothing in hot, soapy water right away. If your shoes are washable, provide them as well. After that, take a hot shower and clean the places where chiggers are most likely to bite. Chiggers prefer readily penetrated places, such as creases and folds. Many bites occur in the regions of the ankles, crotch and groin, behind the knees, and armpits.
- Use pest repellents – DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) and Permethrin are two repellents that can be used. You may use these items on your skin and even your clothing, but always read the instructions first. As previously indicated, you can also utilize sulfur and essential oils.
Can Chiggers infest your home?
You’ve probably already been bitten by chiggers if you’ve spent enough time outside in warmer regions of the nation. These red, orange, yellow, and straw-colored tiny parasites attach onto passing people and animals. Chigger larvae are the ones that cling to your clothes and skin. When these animals reach adulthood, they are known as mites. Chiggers are the larvae of harvest mites, which are little arachnids that dwell on the surface or just beneath the soil’s surface. Some pests, such as bed bugs, can infest your house, but these terrible little parasites cannot. Chiggers generally lay their eggs in a single location, which is why you might get a complete cluster of bites in a single excursion. Because several larvae can be on you at the same time, you can go on a hike or camping with friends and receive what appears to be 100 chigger bites while your friend has none. Typically, the eggs are deposited on plant tips and other plants, where they might adhere to a host. Each female is capable of laying up to 15 eggs each day. With that, it is possible to get chiggers in your home if you acquire them outdoors. However, chiggers cannot survive without a host.
How do I know if I have chiggers or bed bugs?
Chiggers and bedbugs both bite people and leave red, itchy bumps on their skin, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. Bedbugs feed on the blood you give them, but chiggers make a fatal error when they bite humans. Bed bugs and chiggers have vastly different taxonomy, habitats, size, and breeding behaviors.
a. Diet – According to with National Pest Management Association, bedbugs gorge themselves on human blood in 5 to 10 minutes (chiggers can take up to four days) before withdrawing and hiding for 5 to 10 days. Bedbugs usually feed during the night when a person is asleep, although they can also feed during the day. Chiggers need the tissue fluids of specific animals to molt into nymphs and adults, such as birds, rodents, and lizards. Nymphs and adults do not require hosts; they feed on insects and arthropod eggs, according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Chiggers would probably not bite humans, despite their proclivity for doing so. The larvae generally die quickly after latching on because of the human body’s reaction to chigger bites. Bedbugs, on the other hand, are a whole other issue. They live on blood rather than tissue fluids, unlike chiggers.
b. Taxonomy – Chiggers are larvae that hatch from eggs deposited by female mites of the Trombiculidae family. They’re the adult mites’ first stage of development. While chiggers are parasitic, the mite family as a whole is not because later species lack parasitic abilities. The Cimicid family of insects includes bedbugs. The adult and nymph stages of the bedbug species are referred to as bedbugs. Bedbugs are parasitic in both phases.
c. Habitat – Chiggers prefer living in the vast outdoors. The small larvae like thickets, open meadows, and other places with a lot of tall grass and vegetation. They also like it when it’s wet. These surroundings completely disguise them, allowing them to attach to the animals that provide them with the tissue fluids they need to thrive. Bedbugs, on the other hand, like to dwell inside, in dark nooks and crannies and places where they may be near to their next meal. Mattresses, box springs, bed frames, baseboards, and even wallpaper are examples.
d. Identification – Chiggers are small insects with a diameter of 1/150 of an inch and a length of 1/50 of an inch. They’re not completely invisible, but you won’t see them amid a thicket of grass and bushes. Bedbugs aren’t huge by any means, but in comparison to chiggers, they’re massive, measuring a quarter-inch in length. Chiggers turn a bright red color. Bed bugs have a rusty brown color with a hint of crimson. Chiggers resemble spiders, whereas bed bugs are round in form. Both creatures have six legs.
e. Removal and Prevention – The easiest method to avoid chiggers is to stay away from places where they cluster, such as tall grass, meadows, and moist regions near rivers, or to wear long pants and shirts if you must pass through those areas. Regularly mowing your lawn and pruning or eliminating bushes and weeds are recommended by the University of Missouri Extension. When traveling, place your bags and clothes on luggage racks and search for indications of a bedbug infestation in locations where the insects usually hide. You’ll probably notice their excrement, which appear as dark spots, or shell casings if they’re there. Buying used furniture is not a good idea. Contact a pest control professional if you discover an infestation in your house.
f. Reproduction – Chiggers do not reproduce since they are larvae. Males and females mate when they molt into adulthood, the female lays eggs in the spring (typically in tiny clusters), and the chiggers hatch. In bedbugs, mating generally happens after a meal. A female may produce five to seven eggs each week and up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, according to the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program. The nymphs that hatch eat five times, molting into a bigger, more mature stage after each feeding. They reach adulthood after the sixth molt.
How long do chiggers live on you?
Chiggers may be found in tall grasses and weeds, berry patches, and forested regions. They might be growing in your garden, along the lake, or along your favorite hiking route. They are most active in the afternoons of spring, summer, and fall when the weather is warm and pleasant.
If you go by and brush up against the foliage where they reside, they can swiftly adhere to your skin. Chiggers become dormant when the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). When the temperature drops below 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius), they perish. Eutrombicula chiggers like to feed on birds, reptiles, rodents, and other small animals. Chiggers will readily bite humans if given the opportunity, but humans do not make excellent hosts. Because of people’s negative skin responses and scratching, chiggers seldom live more than 1 or 2 days on humans.
Can chiggers live in my bed?
If a chigger hitches a ride on your pet and your pet leaps into your bed before the chigger can latch onto something to feed, the chigger may become dislodged and fall onto your bed. It would then search for a host to latch onto and start eating. However, this is extremely rare to happen, and the chigger will feed on you rather than your bed in order to grow into a nymph. Chiggers can’t survive in your bed because they require a warm body to eat their three- to four-day diet and transform into nymphs before becoming adults. Adult mites hibernate in the soil over the winter before producing eggs in the spring. The three-legged chigger larvae crawl onto plants so that they may leap onto a host and eat. Those hosts can sometimes be pets. Scientists have discovered them on snakes, turtles, birds, and other creatures. Humans are not their favorite hosts since they are frequently removed before they can finish the food they require to transform.
Do I need to wash my sheets if I have chiggers?
Chiggers are unlikely to remain in your bed for more than a day or two because they can’t survive in an enclosed space for long. If you believe you have chiggers in your bed, though, you may eliminate the problem by simply washing your bedding. Any stowaway bugs will be killed by the hot water.
Can you feel chiggers crawling?
One of the most common chigger fallacies is that they can burrow beneath your skin and drain your blood. This leads to the typical chigger therapy of suffocating the chiggers by applying transparent nail paint on the bites. This ‘therapy’ isn’t essential because chiggers don’t truly burrow under your skin. Chiggers, also known as harvest mites or red bugs, are extremely tiny and may only be seen under a microscope or with a magnifying glass. They are parasitic mites, similar to scabies. Interestingly, you won’t feel anything when they “bite” you, which is why you generally don’t realize you’ve been in the presence of chiggers until you start itching and discover the rash 12 or 24 hours later.
Can chiggers live in furniture?
Chiggers can be found in unexpected locations, such as your sofa or bed, but they won’t stay for long. They breed and dwell in the open air. If you find them in your house, it’s because someone from outside brought them in.
It doesn’t take long to detect whether you have a chigger infestation in your area. They readily attach themselves to pets and people. They can also deposit eggs under your scalp, similar to lice. There’s no need to be concerned if you find chiggers on your sofa or see a weird rash on your leg.
How do I know if I have a chigger bite?
Chigger mites pests human skin in places where it comes into touch with plants, such as the cuffs of pants or the sleeves and collars of shirts. They move around the skin in quest of the best eating spot. Chiggers pierce the skin with their feeding mechanisms and inject enzymes that kill the host tissue. The development of a feeding tube known as a cyclostome is caused by the surrounding skin hardening. Chigger larvae then feed on the tissue that has been damaged. They may feed through the cyclostome for a few days if they are not disturbed (which is unusual because they cause severe irritation). The majority of bites occur in the regions of the ankles, crotch, and groin, behind the knees, and in the armpits. The chigger’s mouth and feeding mechanisms are fragile, and they can only penetrate the skin in regions where there are creases, folds, or other thin skin. Barriers to migration on the skin, such as belts, may be one reason why chigger bites are more prevalent near the waist or in other locations where garment compression prevents their movement. Chigger bites differ from mosquito bites in that chigger bites occur in exposed regions of skin where mosquitoes can settle.
The bite of a chigger is undetectable. Symptoms and indications usually appear after the chigger has started injecting digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after approximately 1-3 hours).
Here are five symptoms and signs of chigger bites
- The most frequent symptom is severe itching.
- The bite area may be reddish, flattened, or elevated, and it may resemble a pustule or blister.
- The itch is caused by the presence of the stylostome and generally appears 1-2 days after the bite.
- Itching might last for several days, and skin lesions can take up to two weeks to heal completely.
- If there are many bites, the disease might be misdiagnosed as eczema or allergic contact dermatitis. Itching and distinctive skin changes may be caused by chigger bites if you have a history of outdoor exercise.
Treatment for chigger bites
Chigger bites do not result in any long-term consequences. Prolonged scratching, on the other hand, can produce skin wounds that can get infected with germs as a result of the extreme itching. The goal of chigger bite treatment is to relieve irritation and inflammation. Itching can be relieved with calamine lotion and corticosteroid lotions. Symptom alleviation can also be achieved using antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl).