Chigger bites come with an annoying yet irresistible itch. To avoid getting into an ugly encounter with them, it is best to learn how to get rid of chiggers in the yard and garden which are their habitats. We explore how this can be achieved as well as how to get rid of chiggers fast on your body, clothes and dog. You will also get to know their symptoms and if the bugs are contagious.
How to Get Rid of Chiggers
Chiggers are tiny little bugs which are invisible to the eye. Human beings will normally pick them when they walk around infested vegetation. They tend to attach themselves to the host while at the larvae stage. They then feed on the skin cells and while full detach themselves so they can develop into adults. Before looking at various methods on how to get rid of chiggers, let us look at the symptoms of chiggers. These will help you identify the bugs and thus get rid of them to avoid the itchy chigger bites.
Chigger Bite Symptoms
When a chigger attaches itself on you, you will not feel the bite immediately. However, within a few hours, you are likely to exhibit some chigger’s symptoms.
- The most obvious chigger bite symptom is intense itching which gives the victim some endless desire to scratch.
- Since chiggers occur in clusters, it is likely to experience rashes at the point of the bite. These will be in the form of red umps that are itchy. They may take the appearance of blisters, tiny hives or pimples.
- In cases where the chiggers bite on the penis, it might cause painful urination in addition to the pain and itch.
These symptoms will mostly be experienced around the ankles, waist and skin folds. They get itchier and bigger with time. Itching will stop within a few days while the bumps will take one to two weeks to heal.
Are Chiggers Contagious?
When people are seeking to know what chiggers are and how to get rid of them, another common concern usually is “are chiggers contagious?” Another common one is whether chiggers spread in the body.
Chiggers and the after effects of their bites are not contagious. They also do not spread within the body but it may appear like they do due to the spreading itch as they continue to latch on you. As such, they should not stop you from undertaking your regular duties unless the itching is severe. Remain at ease as none of these are transmittable to other people or pets.
To help eliminate them and avoid the annoying symptoms, below are various methods on how to get rid of chiggers that you can apply.
Treatment for Chiggers
While getting rid of chiggers, there are different approaches you can use to help rid your environment the stubborn bugs. These include:
Cultural Control Methods
Chiggers get attracted to shady, moist and well vegetated areas. To eliminate them, it becomes important to make the surrounding less attractive for their survival. This will call for clearing up vegetation, pulling out any weeds and getting rid of long grasses.
These will help to keep the landscape dry since sunlight will penetrate the area easily. As a result, the chiggers’ breeding grounds are eliminated. While pruning, ensure you treat your tools with chlorine to avoid spreading the chiggers to areas that do not have them.
Some bug repellents can work in driving chiggers away. Sulphur powder is an effective bug repellant. If you do not mind its smell, dust it around areas infested by chiggers. You could also dust your socks and shoes with it when going into areas that could harbor them.
Repellents containing diethyltoluamide commonly referred to as DEET are also effective. These have a less pungent smell and can be used instead of sulphur.
Permethrin to Get Rid of Chiggers on Clothes
Where you are dealing with chiggers on clothes, permethrin is quite effective. It acts as a repellent but should only be applied to your clothes and not directly to your skin. This treatment lasts for a number of days on the clothes and it is recommended that you use it to treat what you will be wearing a day before in cases of prevention.
- Apply this repellent on cloths and ensure you focus on the neck, cuffs and waist bands.
- Leave the repellent to dry before putting on the clothes.
- To gain the most benefits from it, ensure you follow manufacturer instructions. Where an allergic reaction is seen, visit a doctor immediately.
How to Get Rid Of Chiggers on Skin and on Your Body
In case you venture out into areas of infestation, how do you get rid of chiggers on skin and on your body? To help keep these bugs away from you, ensure that you brush any exposed skin after every 30 minutes. This way, you are bound to get them off your body before they latch on your skin. This gets rid of any that may be hanging on your body. The same method can be used to get rid of chiggers on clothes.
Where you are certain that there are chiggers on your skin or any other part of your body already, ensure you wash off immediately.
- Use some hot water and soap and lather, rinse and repeat procedure a number of times.
- The sooner you do it the better as the chiggers take a while to attach to their host once on them. A perfectly timed bath can make a whole lot of difference.
- In case this does not help and the bugs get to latch on you, apply the various methods on how to get rid of chigger bites
How to Get Rid Of Chiggers in Your Yard
Before settling for on any method on how to get rid of chiggers in your yard, it is necessary to identify the hotspots first. Since the bugs appear in clusters, one point can have a lot of them and a distance away have none. This becomes important in the elimination of chiggers so that you can pay more attention to areas that have them. To do this:
- Lay tick papers or cardboards on the vegetation to help in identifying the hotspots.
- After a while, check them out after a while chiggers will start crawling on the paper and congregating on its top.
- Use a magnifying glass to identify them. You should see some orange, red or pink dots.
- Use a marker of your choice to indicate the hotspots in readiness for treatment.
Once you have identified the hotspots, you can go ahead and use any of the methods discussed below to get rid of chiggers in the yard.
This is a natural and organic remedy for chiggers that is formed from sedentary rocks. It can help in getting rid of severe infestations.
- For huge and severe chigger infestation, use broadcast application of the product. This will not only ward off chiggers but other pests in your lawn and garden as well.
- Get some diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it along the perimeter of your yard.
- Give close attention to environs that are likely to be breeding grounds for chiggers such as moist places, shady laces and areas with dense vegetation.
Mowing the Lawn to Eliminate Chiggers
Mowing your lawn and yard regularly will ensure that any lengthy vegetation is eliminated. This gets rid of breeding grounds for the chiggers. Ensure you keep your grass short and keep pulling off weeds regularly. This method though simple is quite effective in eliminating the bugs as it helps to get rid of moisture and shade which are part of a habitable environment for chiggers.
Where your yard has bushes and trees, ensure you keep them well pruned so as to increase sunlight penetration and reduce humidity.
Since chiggers can stay dormant and return when the weather is favorable. Ensure you put these practices into place all year round.
Discourage Hosts to Drive Chiggers Away
Chiggers love to latch on amphibians, reptiles and small mammals. As such, it is important to keep your yard and gardens uninhabitable for them. To discourage their presence, get rid of stagnant water. Apart from discouraging them to breed within your home, this will force chiggers to go where these hosts are and thus get them off your property.
How to Get Rid Of Chiggers on Dogs and Cats
Outdoor pets are vulnerable to a lot of bugs. These attach themselves on them when they venture into the woods and as they play in vegetation. Chiggers on dogs and cats mostly attach themselves on their abdomen, legs and head. These cause serious irritation, itching and scratching which can lead to opportunistic infections. What choices on how to get rid of chiggers on dogs and cats do you have?
In most cases, by the time you realize that your dog has chiggers, you will notice them scratching. This means that treating your dog for chiggers should concentrate on relieving the itch. To accomplish this:
- Start off by cleaning up the dog thoroughly. This will eliminate any chiggers that have not latched on the dog.
- Apply calamine lotion on bitten areas. Antihistamines could also help to ease the itching.
- Where the itching is extreme, you could ask your vet for injectable steroids to prevent the dog from breaking the skin.
How to Get Rid Of Chiggers in the House and Bed
Chiggers in the home will rarely be found inside places and when they do, they cannot reproduce. In most cases, chiggers will be brought inside the house when people and pets visit infested areas and carry them on their skin and clothes. This though will not prevent them from biting. This being the case, what options are there on how to get rid of chiggers in the house?
To best deal with this, it is important to eliminate the bugs as soon as you realize they are present. This will involve giving specialized attention to areas where chiggers could have been transferred to.
- Getting rid of chiggers from a bed is hard but possible. Start by stripping off all bedding and pillows. Soak and wash them in the hottest water they can stand without getting spoilt, use bleach on appropriate fabrics and dry them off on high temperatures.
- To get rid of chiggers on furniture, rugs, carpet and mattress, use a steam cleaner. Go for those that come with a brush and hose attached. Fill its reservoir and follow manufacturer instructions on heating.
- Use the steam cleaner over areas of concern without letting the steam sit on one place for too long.
- Clean any other areas within the house that are appropriate for steaming and do so thoroughly. Once done with getting rid of the chiggers in the house allow room for it to dry for half an hour.
How to Get Rid Of Chiggers Fast
In case you are wondering how to get rid of chigger bites fast, the quickest means may not be the best way to kill them especially when it comes to getting rid of chiggers in the yard and garden. However, in case there is an urgency in eliminating the bugs, there are different methods you can try. These include:
- The fastest and best way to get them off your body is by getting a hot soapy bath. This should get off any chiggers that are on the skin but which may not have attached themselves.
- To get rid of them fast in the outdoors, you can purchase various chemical products designed to eliminate them.
To further help understand how chiggers bite, the symptoms of their bites and how they get on their host, below are chiggers pictures.
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