There’s no shortage of insects that the average homeowner has to face, and for every insect that won’t bother you, several more will go out of their way to feed on your resources and build their home right inside yours, including chiggers.
We’ll answer these questions in regard to chiggers:
- What are chiggers or berry bugs?
- Are chiggers dangerous?
- How do you know if you have chiggers?
- Do chiggers go in your body?
- Can chiggers live in your bed?
- How do you prevent chigger bites?
- What kills chiggers instantly?
What are Chiggers or Berry Bugs?
Also known as “berry bugs” or “red bugs,” chiggers are tiny, bright red insects belonging to the family of mites. They’re found throughout the states but are most common in the South, Southeast, and Midwest. Chiggers tend to be active in the warmer months between early spring and early fall, nesting in humid, grassy areas like fields, forests, and lawns.
Are Chiggers Dangerous?
Chiggers aren’t dangerous, nor do they transmit diseases, but their bite can cause an itchy or painful bump on the skin. The chigger bite injects saliva into the skin, breaking down skin cells, causing itching and irritation.
The most common scenario where chiggers attach to a person or animal is when brushed up on tall grass and vegetation. Like mosquitoes, they’ll remain attached to a host until they finish feeding and then let go. Their bite resembles a small, red welt with a central blister or bump. The best way to treat chigger bites is with anti-itch cream or lotion like calamine lotion.
How Do You Know If You Have Chiggers?
Chiggers end up in homes after being carried in on a host, including humans and pets, and infested soil or vegetation. Unlike other parasites like bed bugs and fleas, chiggers cannot survive indoors for long. Without a host, they usually die within two months.
The most obvious way to tell if you have chiggers is if you find speckled lines of red dots on your skin. These bites may also resemble pimples, blisters, or small hives. Chiggers bite their hosts on the waist, ankles, or warm skin folds. If you suspect you have chigger bites, wash with soap and water to remove any remaining chiggers on your body.
Do Chiggers Go in Your Body?
Chiggers won’t go inside your body or under the skin. They’ll attach to the skin and unattach after feeding. That said, chiggers can stay on a host for up to four days if they’re not removed.
Can Chiggers Live in Your Bed?
Chiggers need to attach to a warm body to feed and survive. While they may attach to a host whose in bed, they cannot survive in bed sheets, pillows, etc., because of the lack of food sources.
How Do You Prevent Chigger Bites?
You’re most vulnerable to chigger bites when spending time outside. Chiggers may attach to wild animals and end up in your backyard or be brought in on plants and vegetation. The best way to protect yourself against chigger bites is to take the following precautions:
- Use bug spray/insect repellent.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants.
- Use insecticides and regular pest control in your yard.
- Avoid grassy, wet, and wooded areas in the warmer months.
- Wash your clothing in hot water to get rid of any chiggers that have attached.
- Brush off your clothing with your hands before going inside. If a chigger falls off your skin or clothes indoors, they may attempt to reattach.
What Kills Chiggers Instantly?
If you find chiggers in your home or yard, there are several approaches you can take to eliminate them.
- Applying diatomaceous earth to infested areas of your yard is an effective way to kill chiggers. Always wear gloves, glasses, and a facemask while using diatomaceous earth and spread it by hand or with a lawn spreader.
- Insecticides are another form of pest control commonly used by professionals to ward off infestations. If you buy over-the-counter products, always read labels and understand how to use them properly.
- Soap and water can instantly eliminate chiggers you find on your skin. Scrubbing your skin with a washcloth in a hot shower with soap will wash away and kill the chiggers.