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Chigger bites under clothes: 5 Signs and Symptoms of Chiggers Bites & How to Get Rid of Them

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What Do Chigger Bites Look Like?

If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, then you understand one nuisance all too well: There are a lot of insects to ward off. From mosquitoes to ticks, plenty of blood-sucking bugs are looking to get a taste of you—and chiggers are just another pest waiting for their chance, especially in the midwest, south, and southeast parts of the U.S.

Also known as berry bugs, red bugs, and harvest mites, chiggers are so small (think: 1/120-1/150 inch) that they’re hard to see with the naked eye. But if you’ve ever been bitten by one, you know the itch it leaves behind can be intense and incessant.

So, what’s the best way to deal with these parasites once spring hits? Here, we asked experts to break down what a chigger bite looks like, ways to treat and soothe the itch, and how to get rid of these berry bugs for good.

What are chiggers, exactly?

“Chiggers are microscopic mites that are found in grassy areas, edges between lawns and forests, and on small mammals and birds,” says Michael J. Raupp, Ph.D., professor of entomology at The University of Maryland and creator of Bug of the Week. They tend to prefer damp, shady habitats.

Chiggers become most active during the late spring through early fall, and love to hitchhike onto your skin when you walk through an infested area. “On humans, chiggers usually move up to places around socks, tops of your pants, around the stomach and belt line, and under the bra,” Raupp says. Only the teeny-tiny, larval chiggers (a.k.a. babies!) bite humans.

What do chigger bites look like?

Chiggers do attach to and bite the skin, but contrary to popular belief, they don’t burrow into your skin or suck blood. Most commonly, you can find chigger bites around the ankles, wrists, thighs, groin, and waist. While they can be extremely uncomfortable, rest assured that chiggers aren’t known to carry or transmit any diseases to humans.

But the mechanism behind their bite is pretty crazy. Once the mite finds its host, the chigger secretes a digestive enzyme that breaks down your skin cells, causing the skin tissue to form a hardened, raised area that functions as a feeding tube. (This tube allows the mite to gain access to the digested skin cells.) After feeding for up to three days, the mite falls off. Cue the the relentless itching, which begins roughly three to six hours after the initial bite.

“Itching can last for up to two weeks,” says Raupp. “It’s your reaction to the protein secreted into your skin, which your body breaks down over time.”

In addition to the itching, you can identify a chigger bite by the way it looks. “On the skin, you might see either a flat, red patch or a raised, red bump, or sometimes even blisters or pustules,” says Rajani Katta, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist who serves as voluntary clinical faculty of both the Baylor College of Medicine and the McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Houston.

What’s the best way to treat a chigger bite?

The good news is that these pesky bites will resolve on their own after several days. However, you’ll probably be dying for some relief. Here are a few different treatment options for itchy skin:

Cortizone-10 Plus Ultra Moisturizing Cream

OTC topical ointments: “Apply soothing over-the-counter products like menthol or calamine to reduce itch,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

You can also try an OTC hydrocortisone ointment to help reduce the redness and itching, says Dr. Katta. “This can be used twice a day for up to two weeks to the area, although usually the symptoms will resolve before then.”

OTC oral meds: “For some people, taking an antihistamine by mouth, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), can help with the itching, although it does cause drowsiness,” says Dr. Katta.

Cool compresses: This can also reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief from the itchiness, says Dr. Zeichner. Grab a frozen bag of peas if you have to. It’s important to stop scratching at the skin, otherwise you may open yourself up to secondary infection.

Prescription topicals: If it gets really bad, “your dermatologist can give you a prescription for a cortisone cream stronger than what is available over the counter,” says Dr. Zeichner.

Skip these remedies: “We don’t recommend treatments such as rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or apple cider vinegar,” says Dr. Katta, as they can be irritating. Also, there’s a common myth that applying nail polish to a chigger bite will work to “suffocate” the mites, but this doesn’t hold up, as chiggers don’t actually burrow into the skin, says Dr. Katta.

How to prevent chigger bites

The best way to treat a chigger bite? Avoid getting one in the first place with these tips:

OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent

Apply insect repellant: Raupp suggests applying a DEET-based repellent on your boots and clothing if you’re heading out to areas with thick greenery (avoid spraying directly onto your skin). If you’re going to be out for a long amount of time, be sure to reapply your repellent ever two to three hours, Raupp says.

Wear protective clothing: “If you are going to be in grassy fields, make sure to wear long pants and sleeves,” says Dr. Zeichner. Wearing permethrin-treated clothing, which also works effectively against ticks, can also be helpful.

Hit the shower ASAP: Once you get back indoors, “you should immediately take a hot shower and use soap to thoroughly wash your body to remove any remaining mites,” says Dr. Zeichner. If you don’t have access to a shower right way, use a towel to brush off your body–this may help dislodge any that have camped out on your skin.

Throw your clothes in the wash: “Take off your clothing immediately after coming indoors. You should wash your clothing in hot, soapy water to kill any mites that may be living in the seams,” says Dr. Zeichner. Hot is important here, as the mites can survive a wash in a cool cycle.

How to get rid of chiggers in your yard

If you feel like there are tons of chiggers hanging out near your home, the best thing you can do is get rid of their habitat. Mow your lawn, trim your bushes, clear out tall weeds and grasses, and generally cut back any brush. It may seem simple, but this deprives the minuscule mites of the moisture and shade they’re drawn to—and also keeps other animals they like to latch onto, like rodents, away from your lawn.

It’s important to do this landscaping each year as the weather starts to warm up, as adult chiggers will burrow into the soil during winter and lay eggs once spring hits, potentially infesting your yard all over again.


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Emily Shiffer
Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention, and is currently a freelancer writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.

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Chigger Bite

Chiggers are tiny mites that attach themselves to the skin to feed on skin cells. It is only the larvae (babies) of the chigger that bite people. When a chigger bites you, it attaches tiny mouth parts to the skin, usually near a skin pore or hair follicle. The bite is painless. They do not burrow under your skin or suck your blood.

After biting, they inject saliva (spit) into the skin. The saliva has an enzyme that breaks down skin cells into a liquid. This is what they eat. To prevent the saliva from spreading, the skin cells around the saliva harden. This causes the redness, swelling, and severe itching. In North America, chigger bites do not transmit disease. But they do cause significant itching as the bite heals. This may take a week or longer. Chigger bites are most common in the summer and the fall in the U.S.

Boys can sometimes get penile swelling, itching, and painful urination from a hypersensitivity reaction to chigger bites. This is called “summer penile syndrome” and can sometimes last up to a few weeks.

Home care

The healthcare provider may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing antihistamines to help relieve itching and swelling. Use each medicine according to the directions on the package. If the bite becomes infected, an antibiotic will be prescribed. This may be in pill form taken by mouth or as an ointment or cream put directly on the skin. Be sure to use this medicine exactly as prescribed. You should continue using your antibiotic until you are told you can stop, even if you’re feeling better.

The following are general care guidelines:  

  • Symptoms usually go away on their own within 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Wash all the clothing you were using when you were bitten, since there may still be mites in them. The same goes for blankets or sleeping bags. Use hot water.

  • To help prevent infection, avoid scratching and picking as much as possible.

  • To help relieve itching and swelling, apply ice wrapped in a thin towel to the bites. Do this for up to 10 minutes at a time. Be careful not to freeze your skin, as this will damage it.

  • An OTC anti-itch cream like calamine, diphenhydramine, or hydrocortisone may be helpful.

  • Avoid hot baths or showers. This can make itching worse.

  • Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not burrow in the skin. Do not apply alcohol, heat, or other home remedies to the skin in an attempt to remove chiggers.

Avoiding chigger bites

These are things you can do to prevent chigger bites:

  • Wear socks, long sleeves and long pants when you are outdoors where chiggers have likely gathered, such as in tall grass. Also use insect repellent. The most effective repellents contain DEET (10% to 30%). Children should not use more than 10% strength of DEET. Infants and pregnant women in the first trimester should not use DEET.

  • You can spray your clothing with a repellent containing DEET or permethrin. If you do this, you do not need to put repellent on the skin under clothing that has been sprayed. Spray it around the openings of your clothes. This includes the cuffs, waistband, shirt neck, and tops of boots.

  • Sulfur powder can also be applied to clothing. But sulfur can have a strong odor, especially when mixed with sweat. It can also irritate sensitive skin.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • Headache, fever, chills, muscle or joint aching, or vomiting

  • New rash

  • Signs of infection, such as increased swelling and pain, warmth, red streaks, or drainage

  • Drainage from the bite area

Call

911

Call 911 or get immediate medical care if any of the following occur:

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Fainting

As chiggers get thicker it’s no time to snicker, entomologist says

July 16, 2001

As chiggers get thicker it’s no time to snicker, entomologist says

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – How do you stop a chigger bite from itching?

“Amputation, sometimes,” humorist Calvin Trillin once said.

As gardeners head out to pick the fruits of their labors, and families head outdoors for a bit of relaxation, they may encounter the hard, red, infuriatingly itchy bites of the chigger.

But Tim Gibb, extension diagnostic entomologist at Purdue University, says you can prevent chigger bites if you know more about them, and chiggers are interesting creatures in their own right.

Although chiggers are best known as a summer pest, they are actually active from spring through fall. “But it is in the summer months that people are out in their gardens or camping and hiking when they seem to get noticed the most,” Gibb says.

This year is normal in terms of chigger populations, but Gibb says that when people call his office to talk about chiggers, they insist he’s wrong.

“Anytime someone gets covered with bites, and begins to itch, that year is worst they’ve ever seen,” he says. “And whatever month they get them becomes the peak time of the year.”

One reason chiggers are thought of as summer pests is that many people are exposed to chiggers while picking fruit, especially raspberries and wild blackberries. “There’s just something about blackberry habitats that chiggers love,” Gibb says.

Chiggers use the blackberry canes, grass and other plants as diving boards to hop onto a passing meal.

“They crawl up to the highest point on a plant and wait for an animal or person to walk by,” Gibb says. “Then they fall onto a person, usually landing on the shoes or lower pantlegs, and then begin crawling up the body looking for a place to bite.”

Gibb says people can prevent bites by avoiding walking through tall grasses or shrubs, and staying on paths.

“A lot of chiggers fall on the shoes and pantlegs, so if you’re going to use repellents I’d concentrate on that area,” Gibb says. “You should tuck your pants into your socks, and then spray repellent on that area. It’s always best to avoid putting insect repellent on bare skin.”

If the bites are severe enough, physicians can prescribe anti-itch creams to ease the suffering.

“Scratching the bite can cause it to become infected,” Gibb says. “Just keep it clean, and avoid scratching it, and in a couple of days it’ll go away. In the meantime, enjoy the blackberry cobbler – it may keep your mind off the itching.”

Here are a few facts about chiggers that you can share with your family as you sit scratching, which might annoy them enough to help them momentarily forget about their own itch:

• Chiggers aren’t insects, but arachnids, just like spiders and scorpions. They are a type of mite related to ticks. “Chiggers is a common name we give to the larvae of several species of mite,” Gibb says.

• Sometimes tiny red mites are seen, especially on light-colored concrete. These are adult chiggers, which don’t bite people, but instead feed on insect eggs and other insects. The chigger larvae are much smaller than the adults– half a dozen of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Chigger larvae can scarcely be been seen without a magnifying glass.

• Although adult chiggers have eight legs, when they are in their biting larval stage they have just six. And unlike ticks, chiggers don’t carry Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

• Chiggers aren’t really good at biting, and can bite only thin skin, which is why they bite children or women more than men. They like to bite in soft, light and moist areas of the body where the sun and weather haven’t made the skin tough and dry. These are places where chiggers are least welcome.

• Chiggers don’t burrow into the skin. Instead they pierce a skin cell with their mouths. Their saliva contains an enzyme that causes the skin cell wall to liquefy. The body’s immune system reacts to the foreign enzyme resulting in a hard, red wall at the spot of the bite. The chigger capitalizes on this – it uses this round wall, which is called a stylostome, as a straw. After the chigger has had its fluid meal, it drops off.

• In medical terms, these hard, red welts are called papules. A bite will begin itching three to six hours after a chigger has bitten the skin. “At that time, the chigger is long gone,” Gibb says. “By the time you begin to itch, it’s too late to prevent the chigger from biting.”

The bite will develop a red circle, or welt, within 10 to 16 hours, and will continue to itch for up to two days or more, depending on the individual’s reaction. For someone with dozens of bites, this is truly an unpleasant experience.

“If you absolutely must call in sick to work because of chigger bites, tell the boss that you have been diagnosed with arachnid papules,” Gibb suggests, tongue-in-cheek. “That is going to sound much worse than saying you have a bunch of chigger bites.”

• Because chiggers cannot hold on well, they are easy to remove. Taking a shower with plenty of sudsy soap will remove them. “They don’t hang on people very well because we don’t have fur. To keep from falling off, they have to get in areas where clothing fits tight, like the tops of socks, the groin area, at the waistband, or in the armpits where shirt sleeves fit tightly,” Gibb says.

“So if you want to avoid chigger bites while picking raspberries, doing it naked may help,” he jokes.

• People often see a red dot in the middle of a chigger bite, and assume that the chigger has burrowed into the skin. However, that red dot is actually the stylostome. “There are mites, such as the scabies mite, that burrow into the skin, but the chigger doesn’t,” Gibb says. “People sometimes resort to strange chigger remedies such as coating their bites with Vaseline or nail polish in an effort to suffocate the chigger. In fact, by the time the bite begins itching, the chigger has long since dropped off. You can’t kill something that’s not there. The itch is simply our bodies’ reaction to the bite.”

• Sometimes the bite forms a white cap, which is the top of the stylostome. Scratching this cap off often causes a drop or two of the liquid inside the bite to ooze out. Scratching the cap off also can result in an infection.

• Chiggers tend to localize in small areas, which means that after a picnic, one person can be covered with bites and another, who was in a different spot, may hardly have any bites at all.

Finally, although the word chigger sounds funny and is easy to rhyme, Purdue’s Tom Turpin, an entomologist and humorist who teaches a course on insects and literature, says to his knowledge, no one has yet penned a poem about the chigger.

He says, however, there is one little limerick written years ago by entomologist H.B. Hungerford:

The thing called a chigger,
is really no bigger,
than the smaller end of a pin,
but the bump that it raises,
just itches like blazes,
and that’s where the rub sets in.

For more information about chiggers, the Purdue Extension publication, “Chiggers and Their Control,” is available online, or at Purdue Cooperative Extension county offices throughout Indiana.

Sources: Tim Gibb, (765) 494-4570; [email protected]

Tom Turpin, (765) 494-4568; [email protected]

Writer: Steve Tally, (765) 494-9809; [email protected]

Purdue Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, Ag News Coordinator, [email protected];

https://persephone.agcom.purdue.edu/AgCom/news/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; [email protected]


To the Purdue News and Photos Page

How to Prevent Chigger Bites

It’s the stuff you can’t see that’s the scariest. Chiggers fit that category. These tiny pests are virtually impossible to see with the naked eye, but their presence creates an unmistakeable rash that’s intensely itchy. It makes poison ivy pale in comparison.

Chiggers are the immature form of a harvest mite. Feeding on you or another animal enables them to develop into adults, which — good news for you — prefer eating mosquito and pillbug eggs to people. They’re most active when temps are in the 70s to low 80s and become inactive with temps over 90 F or below 60 F.

These pesky bugs are most common in the South, Southeast and Midwest, although they also occur in Texas and parts of the Mid-Atlantic. One good thing about U.S. chiggers is that they don’t carry or transmit diseases. They just make you itchy and miserable.

A chigger is so small that you don’t feel it bite — there’s no tickle of something crawling on you. By the time you realize it’s been feeding, it’s too late. The damage is done. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers don’t burrow into your skin or suck your blood. When they bite, they inject enzymes that dissolve skin. Your body’s immune system responds to the bite by forming a hard wall of cells, which creates a straw the chigger uses to sip liquid skin.

Your immune response is basically an allergic reaction to chigger spit, and that’s what causes the intense itching and scabby rash. Chiggers like tight spaces, so they tend to bite where your clothes are snug (think waistband, leg band, socks cuff) — places that create a very uncomfortable itch.

By the time you start to scratch, the chigger is long gone, so there’s no need to paint the welts with nail polish. Your best bet when bitten is to use chigger ointments, anti-itch sprays or creams and antihistamines. Cool compresses also help lessen discomfort.

To get rid of chiggers, it helps to know where they live. Ideal chigger habitat is shady with plenty of moisture and thick vegetation. Tall grass along the edges of a wood is prime chigger habitat, as is a creek bed or a semi-shady planting of English ivy. Knowing where chiggers live is key to getting rid of them.

The first step in preventing chigger bites is knowing what puts you in harm’s way. Anytime you head into tall grass or thick vegetation, you’re walking into chigger territory. Even things like golfing can put you at risk if you slice your ball into a wooded area or thick vegetation. It’s better to leave your ball than to risk chigger bites.

Fishing is another activity that brings you into chigger-laden areas, especially along the water’s edge where tall grass or other vegetation is. One way to escape chiggers is to curtail outdoor activities, but who wants to do that? Instead, keep chiggers from biting with a few of these strategies.

Chigger Bites – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf

Continuing Education Activity

Chigger is the common name for species of the Trombiculid family of mites. Bites from the larva of these mites can cause local pruritus and irritation, formally known as trombiculiasis or trombiculosis. The reaction is usually mild and self-limited, but the bites may rarely transmit disease or result in a bacterial superinfection. While there are many species of parasitic mites in a variety of habitats all over the world, the species most commonly referred to as chiggers include Eutrombicula alfreddugesi in the south of the United States, Trombicula autumnalis in Europe, and species of the Leptotrombidium genus in Asia and Oceania. This activity reviews the presentation of chigger bites and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in its management.

Objectives:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of chigger bites.

  • Review the presentation of chigger bites.

  • Outline the treatment and management options available for chigger bites.

  • Explain interprofessional team strategies for improving care coordination and outcomes in patients with chigger bites.

Access free multiple choice questions on this topic.

Introduction

“Chigger” is the common name for species of the Trombiculid family of mites. Bites from the larva of these mites can cause local pruritus and irritation, formally known as trombiculiasis or trombiculosis. The reaction is usually mild and self-limited, but the bites may rarely transmit disease or result in a bacterial superinfection.[1]

While there are many species of parasitic mites in a variety of habitats all over the world, the species most commonly referred to as chiggers include Eutrombicula alfreddugesi in the south of the United States, Trombicula autumnalis in Europe, and species of the Leptotrombidium genus in Asia and Oceania. [2]The larvae of these species feed on the skin of a variety of animals, including humans.  Adult mites burrow into the soil and feed on detritus while the larvae of these species accumulate on the edges of leaves and grass before hitching on to a passing host.  They then migrate to a preferred feeding site, attach themselves to the host’s skin, and secrete proteolytic enzymes to digest host epidermal cells. [3]This provokes an inflammatory reaction with surrounding erythema, a variable degree of swelling, and intense pruritus.  They are easily dislodged by scratching. They rarely remain attached to humans for more than 48 hours, but the intense pruritus, inflammation, and localized allergic response may last for weeks afterward. Rarely, the light-red to orange colored larva, measuring 0.15 to 0.3 mm in length, may be identified on the skin.  More typically, the diagnosis of trombiculiasis will depend on exposure to trombiculid habitat, the pattern of the lesions, and exclusion of other possible diagnoses.  [1]

Etiology

Trombiculiasis is by definition caused by the bite of the trombiculid mite, and this requires exposure to the preferred habitat of larval mites.  Once bitten, digestive enzymes secreted by the mite cause liquefaction of the host’s epidermis, leading to a localized hypersensitivity reaction.  This causes the papules, erythema, and urticaria that characterize the condition. [1][4]

Epidemiology

Larval mites mature to their parasitic stage between June and September in the Northern Hemisphere. Nearly all instances of trombiculiasis will thus occur in the summer and fall in patients of any age who have a history of exposure to the chigger habitat: overgrown fields, wooded areas, or ground with moist soil near bodies of water.  Trombiculiasis has traditionally been associated with occupational exposure among harvest workers, but it can also occur in suburban or urban areas where the only outdoor exposure has been to a grassy field, an overgrown lawn, or a garden.  In tropical areas worldwide, exposure may occur at any time of the year. [1]

Because the condition is usually benign and self-limited and not reported, the incidence in the general population is unknown. 

Pathophysiology

As the larval mite liquefies epidermal cells, the skin around the bite will become edematous. This forms a papule around the mite, leading to the impression that the mite has buried into the skin. The mite can sometimes be seen on or within the papule, but will usually have become dislodged before the irritation begins. The pruritus usually resolves within a few days but may last for as long as 2 weeks.  Bites are usually erythematous papules that may occur in clusters, surrounding macules, vesicles and rarely, bullae may form later. Because the mites migrate on the host’s body to a protected area with thin skin, they will often accumulate along the borders of tightly fitting clothing.  Several bites in a linear pattern may occur along the waistband, the in-seam of underwear, or above the socks or shoes.   [4]

History and Physical

Chigger bites can occur in any person exposed to the appropriate habitat during the summer months. Patients with occupational exposure will probably be familiar with chigger bites, but even working in a suburban yard, garden, or a casual walk in the park may expose a patient to trombiculid mites. A typical patient will present after a few days of intense itching with a grouped or linear pattern of papules on exposed skin or along a line next to tight-fitting clothes.  The papules may develop surrounding dark red to violaceous macules, or they may develop into vesicles, or rarely into bullae.  [2]

Male patients, particularly pediatric patients are susceptible to a localized hypersensitivity reaction involving the skin of the penis, termed summer penile syndrome or lion’s mane penis.  This involves edema of the penile skin or foreskin, is usually very itchy, and in a minority of patients may cause dysuria. [4]

Itching usually resolves without intervention after 2-3 days but may last as long as two weeks.  [2]

Evaluation

No evaluation other than a thorough history and physical is necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of the trombiculiasis.  As previously described, a history of outdoor exposure during the summer or early fall along with a pattern of scattered urticarial papules can establish the presumed trombiculiasis as the presumed diagnosis. [1]

Treatment / Management

Management and treatment are focused on symptom control with oral antihistamines or topical corticosteroid cream.  Cold compresses may also help decrease discomfort and localized swelling.  The best course of action for someone who is likely to be re-exposed to infested areas is to cover exposed skin, tuck the hem of pants into socks, and use DEET or permethrin repellents. 

Mites can be easily dislodged through washing or scratching and have usually left the skin before the bite begins to itch.  

There is no role for covering the bite in nail polish, vaseline, or cream intended to suffocate the parasite.   [1][4]

Differential Diagnosis

The appearance of scattered papules along exposed skin or clustered around tightly fitted clothing after an outdoor exposure naturally suggests arthropod bites.  Consideration should be given to scabies, bedbug bites, and exposure to mosquitoes or ants. The bites of fleas may sometimes also be in a linear pattern along tightly fitting clothing and should especially be considered if there are animals in the patient’s home. 

Rashes from many other infectious agents, autoimmune conditions, or sensitivity reactions may have a similar appearance.  The history of outdoor exposure, the seasonal nature of symptoms, and the absence of recurrence are important to distinguish trombiculiasis from other causes of rash.  Trombiculiasis should not be the presumed diagnosis in any ill-appearing patient, any patient with abnormal vital signs, any patient who has extensive vesicles or bullae, or whose lesions are painful instead of pruritic.  [1][4]

Summer penile syndrome, as a particular and localized form of trombiculiasis, has its own differential diagnosis, including balanitis, phimosis, and paraphimosis.   Balanitis is a painful inflammation of the glans penis, which may be associated with purulent exudate and erosion of the skin covering the glans. Phimosis is a constriction of the foreskin, preventing it from being fully retracted over the glans.  Paraphimosis is a constriction of the foreskin in which the foreskin is stuck over the glans or shaft of the penis, restricting circulation to the glans. Both conditions may also be associated with penile swelling.  In summer penile syndrome, the edematous skin should be minimally tender and should retract easily over the glans in uncircumcised males. Cellulitis and abscesses must be excluded as well.   [5]

Prognosis

Trombiculiasis will resolve spontaneously within a few weeks as long as there is no re-exposure, and since the serious complications of a super-imposed bacterial infection or rickettsial disease are rare, the prognosis is almost invariably good. If there is there is a possibility of re-infection, the provider should counsel the patient on avoiding chigger habitat, covering the skin when passing through infested areas, or using repellents and insecticides to avoid exposure.   [1][4]

Complications

Notable complications from trombiculiasis include cellulitis from excoriations, summer penile syndrome, and in parts of Asia and Oceania the transmission of a rickettsial disease called scrub typhus.  The bacteria responsible for scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi, causes fever, headaches, myalgias, rashes, and sometimes eschar formation at the site of the bite.  The disease is endemic from Pakistan to the Korean peninsula and Australia.  Symptoms last for a few weeks, and if untreated, can result in multi-organ failure and death.  The disease can be treated with doxycycline.  [6]

Deterrence and Patient Education

Avoiding areas of chigger infestation is the easiest way to prevent trombiculiasis. If exposure is unavoidable, patients can be advised to use elastic bands to close the hems of sleeves and pant legs tightly against the skin, to cover the skin completely, or to tuck the hems of their pants into socks or boots.  DEET repellent and permethrin are also effective deterrents of chigger bites.    [1][4]

Pearls and Other Issues

  • Chigger bites occur during summer and early fall in those with a recent outdoor exposure.

  • Patients display pruritic papules, sometimes clustered around tightly fitting clothes.

  • Itching usually lasts for a few days, sometimes as long as two weeks.

  • Lesions can sometimes form vesicles or rarely bullae, and may have surrounding violaceous macules

  • Treatment is usually restricted to oral antihistamines, cold compresses, and topical corticosteroids.

  • Prevention in those with recurrent exposure can be achieved by completely covering the skin, or using DEET or permethrin.

  • Notable complications include secondary cellulitis, summer penile syndrome, and in parts of Asia and Oceania, the rickettsial disease scrub typhus.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Trombiculiasis is easy to diagnose in the right clinical scenario, but may the condition may be unfamiliar to physicians who have never lived in endemic areas. Other members of the interprofessional care team should feel free to suggest a diagnosis to ensure that patients can be treated appropriately. 

All members of the health-care team are motivated by trying to achieve the best outcome for patients.  Diagnostic anchoring on the diagnosis of trombiculiasis should not deter physicians, nurses, and pharmacists from considering potentially life-threatening cellulitis and underlying abscesses that may accompany chigger bites. All members of the health care team should also take care to avoid harm caused by treatment, in this case, the potential overuse of steroid cream for long-lasting irritation.  Steroid creams are more effective on the thin skin of the genitalia and may be more likely to cause adverse outcomes if used to treat summer penile syndrome.   [1][4]

Figure

Image of the use of a stylostome during chigger feeding. Image in public domain
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:File-Chigger_bite.svg

Figure

Dermatological findings from multiple chigger bites. Image in public domain
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chigger_bites.jpg

Figure

Eschar over the right chest produced after the bite of a chigger in a farmer. Contributed by Prasan K Panda, MD

Figure

Fig 1: Eschar over the right chest produced after the bite of a chigger in a farmer. Contributed by PK Panda, MD

References

1.
Jones JG. Chiggers. Am Fam Physician. 1987 Aug;36(2):149-52. [PubMed: 3618452]
2.
Woloski JR, Burman D, Adebona O. Mite and Bed Bug Infections. Prim Care. 2018 Sep;45(3):409-421. [PubMed: 30115331]
3.
Shatrov AB. Stylostome formation in trombiculid mites (Acariformes: Trombiculidae). Exp Appl Acarol. 2009 Dec;49(4):261-80. [PubMed: 19370394]
4.
Hohenberger ME, Elston DM. What’s eating you? chiggers. Cutis. 2017 Jun;99(6):386-388. [PubMed: 28686755]
5.
Smith GA, Sharma V, Knapp JF, Shields BJ. The summer penile syndrome: seasonal acute hypersensitivity reaction caused by chigger bites on the penis. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1998 Apr;14(2):116-8. [PubMed: 9583392]
6.
Luce-Fedrow A, Lehman ML, Kelly DJ, Mullins K, Maina AN, Stewart RL, Ge H, John HS, Jiang J, Richards AL. A Review of Scrub Typhus (Orientia tsutsugamushi and Related Organisms): Then, Now, and Tomorrow. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2018 Jan 17;3(1) [PMC free article: PMC6136631] [PubMed: 30274407]

Chiggers and no-see-ums: How to avoid or treat the bites

You likely won’t see chiggers when they are biting you, but they leave clusters of itchy red bumps on your skin. You can encounter the teeny red bugs while walking in wooded areas or on trails with tall grass, but also in a park, on a golf course, or just standing in your own yard.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

It’s summer. You’re in the South.

When you go outside — if you can stand the heat and humidity — bugs are going to bite you.

It’s the price of convening with nature.

But those red bites all over your ankles, legs and arms could be from lots of things: mosquitoes, chiggers, spiders, fleas, no-see-ums or any of a number of North Carolina’s other hungry insects.

Is there hope for survival?

We can’t avoid bugs

Avoiding bugs entirely will be difficult if you’re out in nature.

Wooded areas and patches with tall grass or weeds will bring you much closer to bugs, of course, but you can be attacked by chiggers, fleas, no-see-ums or mosquitoes in a park, on a golf course, or just standing in your own yard for even a few minutes.

Your best defense against this assault may be a chemical one.

To repel bugs like chiggers, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, a spray with DEET works best. Don’t just spray it on your skin, but also on your clothing.

DEET has been approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for use on people of all ages, including kids. Just keep it away from your eyes and discontinue use if you get a rash, says the Cleveland Health Clinic.

▪ If you want a more natural solution, you can spray yourself with distilled white vinegar, or use an essential oil such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree, citronella or thyme as a repellent. Be sure to follow instructions for the specific oil you use, and be aware that some essential oils are harmful to pets.

HGTV recommends a repellent created by mixing 2 teaspoons of witch hazel with 5 drops of an essential oil and 4 tablespoons of water, then applying that directly to your skin.

For chiggers, fleas and ticks, pay special attention to your feet, ankles and calves.

Researchers at Wake Forest University say chiggers, small red bugs that inhabit rocks and other outdoor areas, may also cause allergies to meat, similar to the alpha-gal allergy spread by some ticks. W.J. Wrenn, University of North Dakota

Other defenses against chiggers (insert side-eye)

There are other suggestions out there for keeping biting bugs off your skin.

▪ One is to cover up. Many prevention sites recommend wearing long sleeves, thick trousers, multiple pairs of socks and even pantyhose to keep insects such as ticks and chiggers off your skin. (We side-eye this advice, as we sit inside in the air conditioning looking out at our cucumber plants sizzling and wilting before our eyes in the 97-degree August heat.)

▪ Same for this suggestion to “avoid shade,” since chiggers apparently hate the hot sunshine. (We have something in common with chiggers!)

▪ You could also get super stinky. That’s right, it’s suggested that since chiggers hate strong odors, you should make yourself as stinky as possible — to the extent of taking a sulfur supplement (PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DOING SOMETHING LIKE THIS) or eating garlic cloves. So whatever outdoor activity you’re enjoying, we hope you can enjoy it alone. Also, maybe consider some essential oils instead.

What is a chigger, anyway?

It came to our attention during the reporting for this summer bug bite story that some people in our community (i.e. office) have no idea what a chigger is.

First of all, welcome to the South.

Here are some facts.

▪ Chiggers are teeny-tiny, hard-to-see red bugs that are essentially “biting mites.”

▪ Chiggers go by a lot of different names, including harvest mites and red bugs. Chiggers are often confused with jiggers, but they are not the same thing. A jigger is a type of flea not found in North America.

▪ Chiggers are in the arachnid family, along with spiders and ticks.

▪ Chiggers don’t care who you are, they will also bite your cats and dogs and make them miserable. PetMD.com has advice for helping them.

▪ Adult chiggers don’t bite, it’s the babies (or larvae) that will come for you.

▪ Chiggers like warm, moist areas of the body, which in the summertime means they like your body.

▪ Scientists at Wake Forest University believe that for some people, chigger bites may cause a rare allergic reaction to red meat known as alpha-gal allergy. Also known as No More Cheeseburgers.

▪ How does a chigger bite you? We found this explanation of a chigger bite from a website called Kidshealth.org on a page that helps parents explain chiggers to children. This is not bedtime story material:

“After hatching, baby chiggers wait on plants for people or animals to pass by. When they do, the chigger attaches to them using tiny claws. Once attached, it pierces their skin and injects its saliva (spit). The spit contains digestive juices that dissolve skin cells. The chigger then eats the dissolved cells, which provide the protein it needs to grow into an adult. After a couple of days the chigger falls off, leaving a red bump on the skin.”

▪ Chigger bites usually appear in clusters. They will start to itch a few hours after you’ve been bitten and will itch for days.

▪ There is a very dire sounding condition called “summer penile syndrome” that occurs if chigger bites happen on the penis. It can cause swelling, itching and painful urination.

Chiggers are also known as redbugs, and the larvae of these insects gorge on tissue fluid, and the can cause an allergic reaction and the angry welts on the skin. FILE

If you have chigger bites

▪ Head straight to the shower when you come in from a place where you think you encountered chiggers. Scrub everywhere with soap and water to remove any of those little chigger babies clinging to your skin. You may not even see them, just scrub, scrub, scrub. (Also, wash your clothes in hot water. )

If you definitely have bites, the treatment is essentially the same as bites for fleas or mosquitoes.

▪ For itchy bites, try cool cloths over the areas or anti-itch creams (calamine lotion or cortisone creams). You can also take an antihistamine allergy medication, which will help with the itching.

▪ While we’re here, let’s debunk a common myth about using clear nail polish to suffocate chiggers. Since chiggers do not bury themselves in the skin, using something like nail polish to suffocate them is useless. Nail polish will also not help stop itching.

Is it a chigger bite, mosquito bite or no-see-um bite?

No-see-ums (also called biting midges) are teeny-tiny, biting (blood-sucking) gnats. Like chiggers, you likely won’t know you are being attacked by a no-see-um until the red spots and itching hit.

Like chiggers, no-see-ums will leave bites in clusters.

In North Carolina, no-see-ums are more prevalent along the coast, but can be found inland.

Mosquito bites are puffy and itchy, but usually don’t happen in clusters, and they will usually go way quickly if you don’t scratch and irritate them.

▪ A no-see-um bite will last much longer than a chigger or mosquito bite.

▪ If you think you’ve been bitten by no-see-ums, wash the area as soon as possible with warm water and antibacterial soap.

▪ You can help relieve the pain and itching with very cold wet compresses or even ice packs.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and keeps track of changes in the local grocery landscape.

Parasitic Mites of Humans | Entomology

ENTFACT-637: Parasitic Mites of Humans  |  Download PDF

by Michael F.

Potter, Extension Entomologist
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture 

Mites are very small arthropods which are closely related to ticks. Mite larvae have six legs whereas the nymphal and adult stages have eight. Most species of mites are pests of agricultural crops. However, certain types of mites are parasitic on humans. 

Chiggers

Chigger

Chiggers are the larvae of a family of mites that are sometimes called red bugs. The adults are large, red mites often seen running over pavement and lawns. Chiggers are extremely small (0.5 mm) and are difficult to see without magnification. The six-legged larvae are hairy and yellow-orange or light red. They are usually encountered outdoors in low, damp places where vegetation is rank and grass and weeds are overgrown. Some species also infest drier areas, however, making it difficult to predict where an infestation will occur. 

Chiggers overwinter as adults in the soil, becoming active in the spring. Eggs are laid on the soil. After hatching, the larvae crawl about until they locate and attach to a suitable host. The larvae do not burrow into the skin, but inject a salivary fluid which produces a hardened, raised area around them. Body fluids from the host are withdrawn through a feeding tube. Larvae feed for about 4 days and then drop off and molt to nonparasitic nymphs and adults. Chiggers feed on a variety of wild and domestic animals, as well as humans. The life cycle (from egg to egg) is completed in about 50 days. 

Most people react to chigger bites by developing reddish welts within 24 hours. Intense itching accompanies the welts, which may persist for a week or longer if not treated. Bites commonly occur around the ankles, waistline, armpits, or other areas where clothing fits tightly against the skin. Besides causing intense itching, chigger bites that are scratched may result in infection and sometimes fever. Chiggers in North America are not known to transmit disease. 

Persons walking in chigger-infested areas can be protected by treating clothing (cuffs, socks, waistline, sleeves) or exposed skin with tick repellents. Some repellents should only be used on clothing; and it is important to follow label directions. People who suspect they may have been attacked by chiggers should take a soapy bath immediately and apply antiseptic to any welts. A local anesthetic will provide temporary relief from itching. 

Regular mowing and removal of weeds and brush make areas less suitable for chiggers and their wild hosts. Mowing also enhances penetration and performance of miticides, should they be required. Chigger populations can be further reduced by treating infested areas with residual miticides. Applications should be thorough but restricted to areas frequented and suspected of being infested. 

Human Scabies

Scabies Mite

The sarcoptic itch mites, Sarcoptes scabei, infest the skin of a variety of animals including humans. The types of Sarcoptes inhabiting the skin of mammals are all considered forms of Sarcoptes scabei and can exchange hosts to some degree. (For example, Canine scabies can be temporarily transferred from dogs to humans, causing itching and lesions on the waist, chest and forearms.

Human scabies mites are very small and are rarely seen. They commonly attack the thin skin between the fingers, the bend of the elbow and knee, the penis, breasts, and the shoulder blades. The mites burrow into the skin, making tunnels up to 3 mm (0.1 inch) long. When they first burrow into the skin, the mites cause little irritation, but after about a month, sensitization begins. A rash appears in the area of the burrows and intense itching is experienced. 

Scabies mites are transmitted by close personal contact, usually from sleeping in the same bed. Bedridden individuals in institutions (e.g., nursing homes) may also pass the mites from caregiver to patient. The adult fertilized female mite is usually the infective life stage. She adheres to the skin using suckers on her legs and burrows into the skin where she lays her oval eggs. In 3 to 5 days these eggs hatch into larvae and move freely over the skin. Soon they transform into nymphs and reach maturity 10 to 14 days after hatching.  

A scabies infestation should be handled as a medical problem and is readily diagnosed and treated by most physicians. (Confirmation requires isolating the mites in a skin scraping.) The first step to control a scabies infestation usually involves softening the skin with soap and water to make sure the pesticide treatments can penetrate well. An evening bath followed by overnight treatment works best. A total body (neck- down) application of topical pesticide medication should remain for 8-12 hours before showering in the morning. Commonly used products include lindane (Kwell ™), permethrin (Elimite ™) and crotamiton (Eurax ™). Follow directions on the product package carefully. 

Because the symptoms of scabies mite infestations are delayed by about a month, other members of the household besides those showing symptoms may be harboring the mites. It is important that everyone in the infected family or living group go through the treatment regime. A second treatment may be necessary to eliminate an infestation of scabies mites, but patients should avoid overzealous pesticide treatment since itching may persist for a week or more after treatment and does not necessarily indicate treatment failure.  

Scabies mites cannot live off of a human host for more than 24 hours. Therefore, insecticide treatment of premises is not warranted. It is recommended, however, that coincident with treatment, the clothing and bedding from infested individuals be washed in hot water or dry cleaned. 

Bird and Rodent Mites

Bird Mite

Parasitic mites that occasionally infest buildings are usually associated with wild or domestic birds or rodents. Bird and rodent mites normally live on the host or in their nests, but migrate to other areas of the structure when the animal dies or abandons the nest. Rodent mites often become a nuisance after an infestation of mice or rats has been eliminated. People usually become aware of the problem when they are attacked by mites searching for an alternate food source. Their bites cause moderate to intense itching and irritation. Rodent and bird mites are very tiny, but usually can be seen with the naked eye. They are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.  

The first step in controlling bird or rodent mites is to eliminate the host animals and remove their nesting sites. Often, the nests will be found in the attic, around the eaves and rafters, or in the gutters or chimney. Gloves should be used when handling dead animals. A respirator should also be worn when removing nest materials to avoid inhaling fungal spores and other potential disease-producing organisms associated with the droppings. 

After nests are removed, the areas adjacent to the nest should be sprayed or dusted with a residual insecticide such as those products labeled for flea control. Space or ULV treatments with non-residual materials (e.g., synergized pyrethrins) can be used in conjunction with residual sprays. Space treatments are especially useful when the mite infestation has dispersed widely from the nesting site. In this case, more extensive treatment with residual and non-residual insecticides may also be necessary in other areas of the structure where mites are observed. A vacuum cleaner or cloth moistened with alcohol can be used to eliminate mites crawling on open surfaces. 

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication. 

Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE! 

Photos: M. Potter, University of Kentucky Entomology

90,000 Sore: chiggers: yoginka – LiveJournal

Scientific name – Trombicula alfreddugesi.

“One thing worse than self-hatred is chiggers.”
Edward Abbey

I repeatedly mentioned them on various occasions, and I discovered that many do not know what they are.
I did not find information about them in Russian, but in English there is a lot, but it is not always true, there are a lot of legends and myths among the people, and some other creatures are also called the same word. Here is more or less true, although not all the details are reflected:
http: // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombiculidae (in English, but there is a photo). Type of “bites” on the skin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombiculosis.
I read a lot about them in different sources in order to “know the enemy”. So I’ll write something (this is not a translation of the Wikipedia article). Maybe someone who lives in America and who has faced this problem for the first time will read me. It took me a long time to understand the mystery of the mysterious summer skin rashes in the most secluded places, seemingly well protected by clothing.

These photos were taken last summer on my back porch (deck):

Pic.1. On a mint leaf (adult).

Pic. 2. On a flower pot (adult).

Chiggers are most dangerous for “white people”, especially for children, women and people with thin, delicate skin. Probably the native Indians were not particularly worried about them. Some white men are also not sensitive to them, I know at least one such.

I think that it is the chiggers who guarantee the observance of the rule “do not walk on the lawns”, although this is not written anywhere.In parks and other recreation areas, people dignifiedly walk along the paths, without stumbling, without being tempted by ripe blackberries along the sides, which you can reach with your hand. Common ticks and poison ivy also contribute, but they can be seen, you can try to avoid – unlike chiggers.

Chiggers are related to ticks and spiders. They have 4 stages of development, and only at one of them they feed on animals for 3-4 days (and it is to this stage that the name “chigger” belongs, but for simplicity I call other stages so).The rest of the time they feed on decaying plant debris, insect eggs, etc. Adults are of the order of a millimeter, bright red-orange “spiders”, very fast running about their business, but not touching anyone. But their offspring are very nasty little creatures, about 1/10 mm in size, they are almost invisible and you do not know that they are already on you. They are looking for places with thin, delicate skin for a long time, thick ones are not suitable for them. (And where we have thin delicate skin – under the arms and in the most intimate places :)) They also love places where clothes, elastic bands fit tightly to the body, flattening and softening the skin.When found, they attach (usually near a hair follicle) and begin to secrete a special liquid that dissolves the surface scales of the skin, and feed on this solution. They do not bring much harm, they do not spread diseases (on this continent), but most people have an immune (allergic) reaction to this liquid. Many animals, birds, on which chiggers usually feed, do not feel them at all, although some dogs may suffer. For those who are sensitive, the meanness is that you don’t feel them right away, you can pick up a lot of them without noticing them. Several hours pass before they crawl to a suitable place. And when I felt them, it was already too late, the reaction began. Chiggers are very fragile and usually die immediately after the first scratch, but this does not help. “Bites” look larger than mosquitoes, itch stronger and last for 2-3 weeks (for comparison – I personally forget about mosquitoes in half an hour, even the place of the bite is not visible). Because of the chiggers, I hardly ever go out into the garden from June to the end of September. I only do “sorties” once a week – mow the lawn, weed the weeds.The rest of the time, I admire the garden without leaving the back porch.

Another unpleasant property – if they are brought from the yard, they can live for weeks in clothes (“infecting” the adjacent clothes), upholstered furniture, etc. and wait in the wings if the house is hot and humid enough. Although, of course, not in such quantity as in the yard, and weaker “bites” from them. They tolerate normal washing, although not all, only a small amount. Having discovered this, I began to take everything off myself and immediately throw it into very hot water, trying not to touch the upholstered furniture.Even if I went out to pick dill for dinner for a minute. Just a couple of years ago, I got the idea to try the freezer and it worked! Now I put my clothes and shoes in plastic bags and put them in the freezer for several hours. Then you can wash it normally or not wash it at all. Much less hassle than boiling. And this thought came to my mind, because I noticed that in the fall, after the very first night frosts, they disappear until next June.

According to the Wikipedia article, chiggers are found almost everywhere, except for the far north and deserts.Even if this is so in theory, practically everything is not so bad. The fact is that they need special conditions (warm and humid, warm nights), therefore they are found locally, in spots. In the Moscow region, I did not come across them, in the Crimea and the Caucasus, too. Maybe I was just lucky. And in America, they do not cover the territories as widely as we do in eastern Kansas.

At my site they started up in the second or third year, but the first time they were not. Not all of them live and breed on plots, if they do not exist, then this is an additional plus when selling a house.I see two explanations for their appearance with me:
1. The previous owners could well have used pesticides, but I don’t. Many times in two to three weeks they call specialists to spray the area, otherwise the children cannot play in the yard. Although, in my opinion, there may be no less harm from pesticides, only this is not immediately visible.
2. Almost immediately after moving into the house, I started compost heaps and did not remove the leaves in the fall, creating ideal conditions for wintering chiggers (and not only them). I decided to quit last summer, but the chiggers were still there.Let’s see if there are fewer of them this summer.

More about the distribution of chiggers, from personal experience. I have been a lot in the wild forests of the northwestern states of Washington and Oregon, climbed into thickets, reached for wild berries, but never noticed chiggers there. Mosquitoes – yes, there are many of them, but no more problems. Likewise with Colorado and California. I myself did not wander there in wild places, but I know from friends.

There is an explanation for this. In scientific sources, it came across somewhere that chiggers begin to breed only when the air humidity is constantly high, and night temperatures do not fall below 20 degrees for a long time.And in these states, it is dry in summer, even in rainy Washington, July-August is very dry, and at other times of the year the nights (and days) are cold. Just in case, I remind you that it is the larvae that annoy us, not the adult chiggers, and they are dangerous only for 3 days. Therefore, in climatic zones where conditions for breeding are rare and in small isolated areas, a population of chiggers can exist, but not particularly noticed by people – you never know who can bite sometimes in the summer. But we have such conditions continuously from June to September inclusive, so chigger larvae are constantly and almost everywhere where there is vegetation that is not sprayed with pesticides.Further to the south and southeast, the season of chiggers lengthens, to the southwest, west and northwest the season is shortened, and their presence becomes more localized, focal.

UPD:
Scientific research of chiggers is of little interest to anyone (they do not threaten the harvest), therefore they are not funded. Mostly they are dealt with by the American army. Perhaps it is no coincidence that a huge collection of chiggers was located on the Hawaiian Islands:
The National Chigger Collection, the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Doctors told how people who have a rest in nature not to suffer from ticks

According to Platonov, you need to remove the tick by twisting it slightly. Eyebrow tweezers are suitable for this. You can also use a regular thread for this, throwing on the loop and gradually twisting it. In this case, you should not try to pull out the tick sharply.

“Experts do not believe in all kinds of folk remedies to worsen the life of a tick. For example, they say that if you smear it with oil, it will suffocate and fall off. Firstly, it will not suffocate, because it is tenacious, and secondly, part of its head is already placed in the human body, and there is oxygen.So, by smearing the tick with sunflower oil, alcohol, iodine or brilliant green, you most likely will not scare it. We must take it out, “the doctor noted.

Malyshev added that it is advisable to place the removed tick in a small jar, put paper there and slightly wet it. Then – take the insect to the Rospotrebnadzor laboratory or any private laboratory for research.

If specialists determine that there is an infectious agent in the tick, treatment will be prescribed to the affected person.

“If it is not possible to hand over a tick for examination, you should never just leave it. The insect must either be burned or destroyed in another way,” Malyshev said.

Consequences of outdoor walks

After a tick sucking, you need to carefully monitor your health, doctors remind.

“The tick bite itself is unpleasant, there may be an allergy, inflammation at the site of the bite. And at the same time, we know that ticks are a carrier of a number of unpleasant infectious diseases,” said Malyshev.

Platonov added that ticks mainly carry two diseases: borreliosis and tick-borne viral encephalitis.

“Borreliosis is manifested by a red spot on the body – an area of ​​about five centimeters. A ring of different sizes diverges from the place where the tick is sucked. Moreover, this spot is migratory. It may appear not at the place where the tick is sucked. If you notice such redness, you should immediately go to the doctor.” , – he said.

Tick-borne viral encephalitis mainly manifests itself in a febrile form, Platonov said.

“In 80-90% of cases, there is a high fever, weakness, headache, pain in muscles and joints. The incubation period – that is, the time between the tick’s attachment and the manifestation of the disease – can be from one to three weeks. If during this period the temperature rises , you have to go and be checked, “he explained.

According to Malyshev, the most terrible consequences are encephalitis: an infected person can become disabled, fall into a coma, or die.

What are chiggers and how do they bite?

If you have ever been in the woods or in an open field in the spring, summer or fall, you may have chiggers on your belt or ankles.They leave red itchy bumps on the skin.

Chiggers are larvae of mites belonging to the suborder of Prostigmata , commonly referred to as commercial mites or bush mites. Like ticks and spiders, ticks go through three biological stages in their life cycle: they start as eggs , hatch as larvae , develop into 90,082 nymphs , and finally become 90,082 adults. . Nymphs and adult mites feed mainly on plants and do not bother humans or other mammals, but many species in the suborder Prostigmata parasitize during the larval stage.After hatching, the parasitic chigger finds a good spot on tall grass or other vegetation to jump on a passing animal. When he finds an animal, he attaches to it to collect the protein needed to grow to the nymph stage.

Chiggers do not hide under the skin, as many believe, and do not feed on animal blood. They actually feed on the fluids in the skin cells. To obtain fluids, they attach to a skin pore or hair follicle and inject a digestive enzyme that destroys cells.The enzyme also strengthens the surrounding skin tissue, forming a sort of straw for the absorption of fluids from skin cells. The whole process irritates the skin, causing an itchy red bump that continues to cause discomfort for several days. Chiggers are only about 1/50 of an inch (0.5 mm) in diameter and are therefore too small to be seen with the naked eye. This invisibility is the reason many people believe that chiggers hide under their skin.

You can find chiggers in any number of environments, but they are especially concentrated in wet areas with lots of vegetation.They are also attracted to the hidden wet conditions on their hosts, so they tend to attach to the skin under tight clothing, such as socks and underwear, or in hidden areas of the body, such as the groin and armpits. One way to reduce the chance of chigger bites is to wear loose clothing when you are in the woods or other infected areas. You should also shower as soon as you get home from your outdoor hike to remove any chiggers before they stick to your skin.

In North America, chiggers do not transmit any disease to humans, but chigger bites can be infected. You should keep the irritated area clean and refrain from scratching if possible. In other parts of the world, chiggers can pose a greater threat. For example, in some parts of Asia, some types of chiggers carry the disease – typhus . If you spend a lot of time outdoors, consult your insect and spider handbook to find out which mite species are found in your area.

One well-known remedy for chigger bites is to apply nail polish to relieve itching. This does not in any way kill the chigger or heal the bite. It simply isolates the affected area from the air, which prevents severe itching in the ulcer. If you want to apply something to relieve itching, it is much better to use an ointment or cream containing antihistamines (caladril or hydrocortisone ointments are the most common). Like nail polish, these products will protect the bite from the ambient air, but will also help prevent infection.If the scars continue to irritate you for more than a couple of weeks, they may become infected and you should see your doctor.

90,000 Chigger Bites: Treatment, Prevention and Symptoms – Health

Contents

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What are chiggers?

Chiggers are tiny larvae of the arachnid family sometimes called red beetles.Although the larvae are extremely small in size, their bites are powerful. They’re so tiny you probably won’t notice when they jump from a tall blade of grass onto your skin. You won’t feel it when they drive right up to your house. However, when you do finally feel them, they can itch a lot.

Chigger Habitat

Chiggers inhabit tall weeds and grass, berry plots and woodlands. They can be in your backyard, by the lake, or grouped along your favorite hiking trail.They are most active in spring, summer and autumn when temperatures are warm and pleasant.

They can quickly attach to your skin if you walk past and stumble upon the vegetation where they live. When the temperature drops below 60˚F (16˚C), chiggers stop working. They die off when the temperature drops below 42˚F (6˚C).

Pictures of chigger bites

Chiggers are very tiny and usually require a magnifying glass to see them. Adults are about 1/60 of an inch tall and have eight legs.The larvae are red, wingless, six-legged creatures less than 1 / 150th of an inch in size. Because of their red color, you can spot the larvae when they come together. After eating, they become yellowish on human skin.

How chiggers bite

Only maggots bite people. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. Chiggers have claws that help them cling to skin. The chigger then puts his mouth to the skin and injects saliva. Saliva contains an enzyme that converts skin cells into a liquid form.

Your body reacts to this by strengthening the skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube or stylostom through which the chigger absorbs the host’s body fluids. Chiggers can remain attached and feed for several days. They usually last about 4 days before disappearing.

Chigger Bite Symptoms

Usually, several chiggers are able to hook onto a person walking through an infected area. When the chigger falls off, reddish bumps remain. You may notice a bright red dot in the center – this is the remainder of the tube your skin formed in response to the chigger’s saliva.The bumps can look like scars, blisters, pimples, or hives.

Chiggers can remain attached to the same spot for several days and are usually bitten by more than one person. Thus, bites usually appear in clusters and increase from a few days to a week.

Many insects can bite open areas of skin that are easy to reach. Chiggers love to bite into folds of skin as well as tight-fitting clothing. Most chigger bites occur in the ankles, waist, underarms, perineum, or behind the knees.

You won’t feel it when the chigger grabs, and you probably won’t feel anything when it bites. However, most people report symptoms within hours of being bitten. The most problematic symptom of chigger bites is severe itching and scratching. Chigger bites on the penis can cause severe itching, swelling, and painful urination.

How to treat chigger bites

Chigger bites can take one to three weeks to heal. If you suspect you have chigger bites, wash immediately with soap and water.This will rid you of all the chiggers left on your body. Then apply

Health risks from chigger bites

Chigger bites cause discomfort, itching, irritation and can make it difficult to sleep. In most cases, chigger bites are not harmful to your health. Chiggers feed on skin cells, but not blood. They do not tolerate or transmit disease.

However, chigger bites can be infected from excessive scratching. Tell your doctor if you have swelling, fever, or other signs of an infection.

How to avoid chigger bites

Spring, summer and fall are the best times for chigger bites. When you are in a wooded area that can be infested with chiggers, try not to pick up the vegetation. When hiking, walk along the center of the trail, not along the sides.

Wear long sleeves and long trousers that can be tucked into socks or shoes. Use insect or mite repellent, especially on the tops of shoes, shirt collars, cuffs, and waistband. Take a shower as soon as you enter the house.Wash clothes in hot water.

90,000 10 tips to avoid a bee sting

Being stung by a bee or wasp is never fun, and for people allergic to bee stings, it can be deadly. Fortunately, most bee stings are avoidable. Bees, wasps and hornets burn primarily to protect themselves, so the key to avoiding bee stings is to ensure that the bees do not feel threatened by you.

1. Do not wear perfume or colognes

In other words, don’t smell like a flower.Bees can detect and monitor strong odors, and wearing perfume or colognes will attract nectar-seeking bees and wasps from a distance. Once they locate the source of the flower scent (you), they will likely investigate by landing on you or buzzing around your body.

2. Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, especially floral prints.

This is consistent with # 1 – also does not look like a flower. There is a reason why beekeepers wear white.If you are dressed in bright colors, you simply ask the bees to land on you. If you don’t want to attract bees, wear limited outerwear in khaki, white, beige, or other light colors.

3. Be careful what you eat outdoors

Sweet foods and drinks will surely attract bees and wasps. Before taking a sip of soda, look inside the can or glass to make sure the wasp hasn’t tasted. Fruit also attracts a searing crowd, so be careful when snacking on ripe fruit outdoors.Don’t leave your peach pits or orange peels unattended.

4. Do not go barefoot

Bees can nest clover flowers and other small flowers on your lawn, and some wasps nest in the ground. If you step on or near a bee, it will try to defend itself and bite you. But if you wear shoes, it will hurt yourself, not you.

5. Avoid wearing loose clothing

Bees and wasps can simply sneak up the leg or shirt if you give them easy access.Once inside, they will be pressed against your skin. And what is your first impulse when you feel something crawling inside your clothes? You hit him, right? This is a recipe for disaster. Choose clothing with tighter cuffs and keep baggy shirts tucked in.

6. Stay where you are

The worst thing you can do when a wasp flies around your head is to hit it. What would you do if someone swayed at you? If a bee, wasp, or hornet is approaching you, just take a deep breath and remain calm.He is just trying to determine if you are a flower or some other useful object for him, and as soon as he realizes that you are just a person, he will fly away.

7. Keep your car windows rolled up

Bees and wasps have the supernatural ability to catch themselves in cars, where they panic in a panic, trying to find a way out. If you are driving during this time, it can certainly be a cause for concern. But wasps and bees cannot get into a closed car, so keep the windows rolled up whenever possible.If you catch yourself driving up an unwanted stinging insect, stop when it’s safe to do so and roll the windows down. Don’t try to hit him while driving!

8. Rinse the trash and discard the jars and keep the lids on them

Wasps love an empty bottle of soda and beer, and will check all food waste in your trash. Don’t let food debris accumulate in your trash cans. Rinse them out from time to time and always cover with tight-fitting lids to keep the wasps out of the trash.This can dramatically reduce the number of wasps hanging around your yard.

9. Don’t hang out in the flower garden

If you’re really worried about bee stings, don’t hang out where the bees are most. Bees spend most of their time and energy collecting nectar and pollen from flowers. Don’t bother them. If you are muffling flowers or collecting them for an arrangement, keep an eye on the bees and wait until they move to another flower.

10.Call a professional to remove unwanted bees, wasps or hornets

Nothing annoys stinging insects more than when someone breaks or destroys their home. Professional beekeepers or pest control specialists can safely remove wasp or hornet nests or bee swarms without putting you at risk of stings.

90,000 Is It A Chigger Bite Or A Mosquito Bite? 💡 Cleaning | RU.HomeInteriorz.com

You know you got bitten because those red bumps are itching like crazy.You think it’s a mosquito, but your friend thinks it’s a chigger. How do you know?

What are chiggers?

Before we get to the bite, let’s talk a little about chiggers. Chigger is very small, so tiny, in fact, that it is almost impossible to see him unless you look directly at him – and for – one. And seeing a small creature in some detail will require the use of a microscope or at least a magnifying glass.

This is the larval stage of the shigger that bites when it feeds on blood.Adults don’t bite people; rather, they feed on plants and small insects. Ticks:

  • Available about 1/60 inch as adults, less than 1/150 inch as larvae.
  • Like larvae, have only six legs, but adults have eight legs.
  • Are red in color but turn yellowish after feeding on blood.
  • They can be confused with ticks due to their appearance and size.
  • It is actually a very tiny arachnid, similar to spiders and ticks.
  • Scientifically, this is the family Trombiculidae, in the order Actinedida, in the class Arachnida.

The Difference Between Chigger Bites and Mosquito Bites

Since chiggers are so hard to see, you will most likely know that you came across chiggers because of the itchy skin scars from their bites. Differences between chigger bites and mosquito bites:

  • Chiggers will also hit under clothing to get to areas where the skin is thin, so the bites are likely to be on the ankles, waist, back of the knees, armpits and crotch.Mosquitoes will grow on any exposed skin surface.
  • Bites of chigger leave red pimples at the edge of the bite, similar to bumps. Mosquito bites are one color without pimple bumps.
  • Chigger bites are usually painless when they occur, but itching will begin after a few hours. Mosquito bites usually tend to itch shortly after a person bites.
  • Chigger bites are not known to transmit disease, but mosquito bites can transmit malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and other encephalitis viruses.

Where the huts live

Chiggers are most commonly found in tall or dense grasses and weeds, berry patches and the edges of woodlands. However, they can be numerous in one part of the area and absent from another (meaning that if you pick berries with a friend, one of you may suffer from chigger bites, while the other is left without a bite). They are especially common in areas that remain damp during the day. Chiggers are most active at lower temperatures in the summer of the 70s to the low 80s, becoming inactive below 60F and above 99F.

Like mosquitoes, chiggers will also use exposed skin, with a rash indicating that bites are more likely from the Higger than from the mosquito. As explained in the National Institutes of Health publication Medline Plus, “Skin rashes can appear on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun. It can stop when the underwear meets the legs. This is often the clue that the rash is due to predatory bites. ”

If you get bitten by a chigger

If you are going to be in an area where there are likely to be higgers, or even possibly, you can help protect yourself with the following steps 1 through 4.

If you get bitten, follow steps 4 through 6.:

  1. Protect your skin by wearing tightly woven clothing that covers as much of your body as possible with minimal openings.
  2. Apply insect repellent to clothing before entering potential areas.
  3. When you feel or see chiggers on your skin, remove them immediately. The longer the chiger feeds, the more intense the itching will be.
  4. Bathe shortly after exposure – whether you are bitten or not.
  5. Do not scratch. This increases the chance of infection and keeps bite open, preventing it from healing.
  6. Help relieve itching and pain by following Medline’s guidelines for antihistamines and corticosteroid creams or creams.

Video Instruction: Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes Bites Scars & Allergies – Natural Treatments.

90,000 CHIGGER BITES: TREATMENT AND PREVENTION – MEDICAL

Chiggers are a juvenile form of ticks belonging to the Thrombiculida family.They attach to humans and feed on skin cells, which can cause itching. According to the Department of Entomology of the University of Kentucky

Contents:

Chiggers are a juvenile form of ticks belonging to the Trombiculids family. They attach to humans and feed on skin cells, which can cause itching.

According to the Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky, these mites usually attach to thin, wrinkled, or delicate skin.They are also usually attached in places with tight clothing.

What are chiggers?

Chiggers are very small and almost impossible to see with the naked eye. At about 1 / 50th of an inch, most people need a magnifying glass to spot them. These mites resemble tiny spiders, are red in color and tend to gather in groups on human skin. They are really only visible in groups.

Prevention

Chiggers are most common in the spring and fall months.While chiggers can be found throughout the United States, they are more common in the warmer southern and midwestern states.

Common places to find chiggers:

  • long overgrown grass in fields and gardens
  • forests
  • lawns around lakes and rivers
  • berry spots
  • under rocks
  • among weeds
  • where there are large numbers of rodents humid areas

The easiest way to avoid chigger bites is to simply avoid walking in tall grass, bushes, or other areas where chiggers may be.However, this is not an option for everyone.

People who do go to infested areas should use insect sprays containing DEET. The chemical should be sprayed on both skin and clothing. People should not apply DEET to babies under 2 months of age, or let them apply repellents on their own.

Permethrin is a good insect spray to apply to clothing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It kills chiggers as well as mosquitoes and ticks.

When using permethrin, people should cure their clothing 1 or 2 days to allow it to dry before being worn in the wild. Users should be sure to follow label instructions for any pesticide they may be using.

If you go out on tall grass, it is recommended to wear high boots. Pants should also be worn and tucked into socks. People are also advised to wear a belt and long-sleeved shirts. This prevents chiggers from directly accessing the skin.

As soon as a person leaves the contaminated area, they must immediately take off and wash their clothes. Then it is recommended to take a hot shower or bath, wiping the body with soap.

The less time you spend among the infected vegetation, the less chance of getting caught on human skin.

Care

If a person touches grass or other vegetation where chiggers are present, these mites can quickly attach to their skin. If chiggers have bitten someone, there are several things they can do.

  • Over-the-counter itching medicine : They are good at preventing bite scratches. These medications include hydrocortisone or calamine lotion.
  • Ice : If a person does not have access to medication right away, applying ice to the bite is a good way to ease the urge to scratch.
  • Bath or Shower : A person should take a bath or shower when they realize they have been bitten by a chigger. Cleaning with soap and water is a good way to remove any other pests that may remain on your body.This will prevent further bites.

Chigger bites usually take about a week to heal. However, if the bite persists for an extended period of time, people are advised to see a doctor.

A doctor may prescribe steroid shots to soothe itching and swelling, but this is rare. If the bites become infected, your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics.

Chigger bites

Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not burrow into the skin, do not feed on human blood, and do not carry disease.However, they do feed on human skin cells, although only juvenile forms of these mites do this.

When chiggers bite a person, they insert their nourishing structures into the skin. Before they can eat, chiggers inject an enzyme into their skin that liquefies tissue. This action makes a hole in the skin, and then the skin around this hole hardens to form a feeding tube called the stylostom. The chiggers then feed on the shattered tissue through this stylostom. If not disturbed, chiggers can feed for several days.

Chiggers have a delicate feeding structure. This means that it is easier for them to penetrate human skin where there are wrinkles, folds, or where the skin is thinnest.

Symptoms

As the skin around the feeding site hardens, most people develop reddish scars within 24 hours of being bitten, followed by intense itching.

These bumps can resemble blisters, hives, scars and pimples and tend to appear in clusters. They will often grow in size over the next 7 days.

If left untreated, itching may last a week or longer.

Are there complications?

It is known that chiggers in the United States cannot and do not tolerate disease. However, they cause severe itching. Scratching the bites can lead to infections, which sometimes lead to a rise in temperature.

Other biting insects and insects to watch out for

In addition to chiggers, there are a number of other biting insects to be aware of. Here is a small selection that people may come across:

  • Ticks : Ticks are often found on plants and hands and can bite people.Although their bites are often considered harmless to humans, they can carry diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Scabies : These mites invade human skin and cause severe itching. Scabies can spread when a person comes into close contact with someone who is infected with ticks.
  • Bed Bugs : Bed bugs, which are commonly found in beds and old furniture, have a slight bite and are less than 1 millimeter in length.They usually leave a small red itchy bump after being bitten.
  • Fleas : Fleas aren’t just biting pets; they also bite people frequently. These insects suck the blood of their hosts to eat and leave small, itchy lumps.
  • Mosquitoes : Mosquitoes cause itchy hives on a person’s skin after eating. They are often harmless, but some species can carry serious illness.
  • Fire Ants : These ants, found primarily in the southern United States, have a stinging and painful bite.