Chiggers, also known as red bugs, are tiny mites that can cause extremely itchy bites on humans. While they are found worldwide, chiggers are most common in grassy, overgrown areas in warm climates. Getting rid of chiggers requires breaking their life cycle and making your yard less hospitable for them. If you are wondering how to get rid of chiggers, this write-up will assist you along with the treatment of chigger bites.
How To Get Rid of Chiggers?
1. Keep your lawn mowed
Chiggers thrive in tall grass and weeds. Mow your lawn regularly, keeping the grass less than 3 inches tall. This removes the protective habitat chiggers need. Mow along fence lines, around ornamental plants, and under trees where grass grows tall.
2. Clear brush and debris
So, how to get rid of chiggers? Removing any rotting wood, leaves, or other debris from your yard is a good way to start. This takes away chiggers’ hiding spots. Rake under bushes, trees, and yard edges. Dispose of excess brush or leaves far from your property.
3. Use barrier sprays
Products containing permethrin, bifenthrin, or cyfluthrin create barriers fatal to chiggers. Treat along the perimeter of your yard, under decks, and around ornamental plants. This provides ongoing protection by killing chiggers before they reach your lawn. Reapply after heavy rains.
4. Apply diatomaceous earth
Sprinkle this powdered compound along fence lines, under decks, around foundations, and in landscaped beds. The sharp edges cut and dehydrate chiggers. Reapply after rainfall or watering. Avoid inhaling it.
5. Encourage natural predators
If you are looking for how to get rid of chiggers, many experts suggest that letting Birds, chickens, dogs, and deer range in infested areas might help because they feed on chiggers, disrupting their life stages. Install birdhouses and bat boxes. Maintain habitat for insect predators like beetles and spiders.
6. Remove vegetation chiggers like
Chiggers prefer bushes, ornamental grasses, ivy, and weeds. Remove or relocate these plants away from living areas. Replace with chigger-resistant ground cover such as turf, mulch, clover, or rocks.
7. Use desiccant dusts
Dusts like silica aerogel physically destroy chiggers’ outer protections, killing them. Apply along the perimeter of yards, in landscaping, and under decks. Reapply after rain or watering. Avoid breathing in the dust.
8. Employ chigger predator mites
Release predatory mites such as chigger chasers or parasite attacker mites. These mites only feed on chiggers, interrupting their life cycle. Apply near chigger problem areas.
9. Discourage wildlife
Chiggers ride on birds, rodents, and deer into your yard. Limit food sources like fallen fruit or seeds. Use repellents, fencing, and noise makers to scare off deer and rabbits. Trim overhanging branches squirrels use.
10. Wear protective clothing
When working in chigger infested areas, wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots. Apply repellent containing DEET to clothes. Remove and launder clothing promptly after exposure.
11. Shower and scrub skin
Showering and scrubbing is very effective for those who want to know how to get rid of chiggers from skin. Upon returning indoors, wash exposed skin thoroughly with soap and water. Pay extra attention to skin folds and creases. This washes away chiggers before they can attack and bite.
12. Eliminate chiggers from your home
Use desiccant dusts along baseboards, under furniture, and in cracks. Wash pet bedding regularly. Treat cats and dogs with anti-chigger medication. You should always use a vacuum cleaner to clean the carpets and curtains.
Chigger Bites Treatment
Now that you know how to get rid of chiggers, it is also very important to know how to treat chigger bites because it can cause intense itching and discomfort. While the bites themselves are not dangerous, improper treatment and scratching can lead to infection. Here are the main steps to quickly treat chigger bites and alleviate symptoms:
- Wash with soap and water: Scrub the area with a washcloth or loofah to help dislodge any remaining chiggers. Pay special attention to skin folds and creases where chiggers tend to cluster.
- Apply a cold compress: Wrap an ice pack or a cold, wet washcloth over the affected area for 10-15 minutes. Your swelling will be reduced. Repeat if needed.
- Try a baking soda paste: Make a thick paste with equal parts baking soda and water. Apply to bites and let dry for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Baking soda helps neutralise the acids in chigger saliva.
- Use hydrocortisone cream: Apply a topical hydrocortisone cream containing 1% hydrocortisone. This helps relieve itching and swelling. Apply 2-3 times per day until symptoms resolve.
- Take an oral antihistamine: Antihistamines like Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton block your body’s histamine reaction. This alleviates overall itching and discomfort. Avoid sedating antihistamines if operating vehicles or machinery.
- Apply a sting relief product: Sprays or gels containing lidocaine provide a cooling sensation and temporary itch relief. Products like AfterBite and Chiggerex are designed specifically for bug bites.
- Try home remedies: You can use calamine lotion or an oatmeal bath to ease itching and irritation. Just avoid scratching as this can worsen symptoms and increase risk of infection. Scratching can break the skin, exacerbate swelling, and increase risk of bacterial infection. Trim nails and have children wear gloves or socks over hands to discourage scratching.
- Keep the area clean and dry: Wash the area daily with mild soap and water. Avoid harsh scrubbing. Apply antibacterial ointment if you notice signs of infection like pus or swelling.
- Allow bites to heal naturally: Most chigger bites resolve within 1-2 weeks. If itching and swelling last longer than a few days or you notice signs of infection, see your doctor for evaluation and possible prescription medication.
Knowing how to get rid of chiggers is important because their bites cause severe itching and discomfort. Scratching the bites can lead to infection. Chiggers can also spread to pets and throughout your home if not controlled. If nothing is done, chigger bites could soon develop into illnesses and even result in fever.