All the Things To Know About Chigger Bites And How To Avoid Them
Chiggers are little monsters that may attack you any time you go for a walk in your garden or for a hike. That is why it is so essential that you are fully aware of what chigger bites are and how to avoid them, not to mention how to treat them. All this information we have compiled together in this article. Once you read through it, you will become a real chigger-bite pro!
Chiggers – What Are They?
To begin with, before identifying chigger bites, you need to be able to distinguish between chiggers and other bugs. Chiggers are very small red bugs, which turn yellow when they get some of your bodily fluids. They inhabit all the grassy areas and can even get inside your house. Very often, we do not notice them until our skin becomes red and itchy from their annoying bites. Chiggers are inactive if the temperature is lower than 16°C when the temperature goes as low as below 6°C chiggers die.
How Do Chiggers Bite Human?
Now, when you know what chiggers look like, it is time to learn how to identify chigger bites on humans. The fact is that chiggers attach themselves to human skin with the help of their claws. After that, they inject their saliva into the skin through their mouths. The enzyme in their saliva breaks the human cells into liquid form. In response, human body hardens the skin cells around the saliva, and that is how chiggers get the body fluids. The thing is that chiggers can feed off you for up to 5 days, after that they fall off on their own. One of the first symptoms that you should pay attention to is itchy skin. However, that is not the only symptom; there are more of them to distinguish. Read on to learn more.
Signs And Symptoms Of Chigger Bites
It is time we discuss what do chigger bites look like. These are the most common signs that you need to be aware of:
- Red bumps on your skin with a bright red dot in the center
- Groups of bumps that tend to grow with every day
- Bumps around your armpits, crotch, ankles, waist, or behind the knees
To tell you the truth, chigger bites themselves do not cause any serious conditions. However, as you tend to scratch your skin, this may lead to bleeding and even skin infections, which is already a serious condition. That is why you should be ready to treat bites the moment you spot them.
Prevention Of Chiggers Bites
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Chigger bite is the most expected during spring and fall months. Some areas highly contaminated with them. They are:
- High grass in fields and gardens
- Areas around lakes and rivers
- Berry patches
- Beneath rocks
- Rodents infested areas
- Areas of high humidity
Of course, the best way to prevent chigger bites is to stay away from the mentioned above areas. However, that is not always a possibility. That is why it is advised that you use bug sprays that contain DEET when you are certain that you are going to visit chigger-infested areas. You need to use the spray on your skin as well as on the clothes.
Permethrin is proved to be the best spray suitable for clothing. It kills not only chiggers but also mosquitoes and ticks. However, you need to make sure that you spray your clothing with permethrin one or two days before putting them on.
There are also some other preventive methods that you can use. When you are about to go into areas with tall grass, make sure you wear trousers and high boots, besides, you should not forget to tuck your trousers into your socks. A long-sleeved shirt is a nice option too.
After you get out of the possible contaminated area, you should take the clothes off and wash them immediately. Besides, you yourself need to take a hot shower with a lot of scrubbing involved. If you follow these instructions, you can escape chigger bites and all the itchy aftermath that follows.
Treatment Chigger Bites
In case the prevention methods didn’t help, and you got yourself bitten, then it is essential that you know how to treat chigger bites. The fact is that many useful remedies can come in more than helpful when you are dealing with the issue.
- Anti-itch medication – it is available at any drug store and can help you greatly when it comes to dealing with the itching.
- Ice – in case you do not have access to the medication, try to place ice over the area to reduce the itching.
- Shower – hot showers will help you get rid of the chiggers that are left on the skin.
You can use these types of treatments as your anti-chigger bite first aid. However, there are also some home remedies for chigger bites as well. Read on to learn more!
As you may already know, baking soda is simply irreplaceable when it comes to all sorts of inflammation that is why it great to treat chigger bites as well. Here is how you shod use it to reduce itching:
- Fill in a bath with warm water.
- Add a cup of baking soda to water.
- Let it dissolve.
- Take a bath for about 20 minutes.
- Repeat the process at least once a day for three days.
You can also make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to affected areas.
Vicks Vapor Rub
Vicks Vapor Rub can be used in treating chigger bites too. The thing is that it contains menthol, which in its turn possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help you to reduce the swelling, inflammation, and itchiness. Here is how you should use it:
- Combine some Vicks Vapor Rub with a pink of salt.
- Mix well.
- Apply over affected areas.
- Repeat nightly.
Another chigger bites treatment involves bleach. The fact is that chlorine in bleach can make the bites dry faster as well as kill the remaining chiggers. Here is how you should use it:
- Fill in a bath with warm water.
- Add 1/4 cup of standard household bleach to the water.
- Take a bath for about 15 minutes.
It is best if you take such a bath right after you have been to chigger-infested areas.
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