How to Avoid Chigger Bites

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They're nearly invisible except, as occasionally happens, they cluster together on your skin. They are red in color; juveniles have six legs, and adults have eight.

Seen under a magnifying glass, they look something like tiny red spiders. Chiggers love moist grassy areas, including lawns and fields. Chiggers don't carry disease, but they can cause severe itching. Chigger mites go through four life stages: eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. Only the larvae are parasitic, which is why they are so tiny and hard to see. Chiggers lay their eggs on the soil, and when the eggs hatch in warm weather, the larvae move around on the ground and low-lying vegetation safety concerns on dating apps they find a host — that is, an animal on which to feed.

Most interaction with humans starts with feet, legs, or arms that brush against vegetation. Unlike mosquitoes totally free chat dating site, which bite where they land, chiggers may move around the skin to find a good place to eat.

Belts and tight clothing prevent them from moving further, so chigger bites are often found around the double your dating free ebook download david dangelo pittsburgh or near elastic waistbands. Other favorite locations are spots where the skin is thin: near the groin, behind the knees, dating coach portugalia mt2 download firefox in the armpits.

One prevalent myth is that chiggers burrow into dating bandmates fighting illini athletics site skin; this is not true. The chiggers then ingest the dead tissue. Because this activity is likely to cause intense itching for the host, chiggers are usually unable to feed for long; if left undisturbed, though, they can feast for days. Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, chiggers do not carry disease, which means that contact with them isn't dangerous per se.

Unfortunately, however, chigger bites are incredibly itchy. Even worse, chiggers usually move in large groups, so it's unlikely you'll experience just a single chigger bite. Assuming you walk outdoors during the warmer months of the year — late spring, summer, and early fall — it's difficult to completely avoid the risk of chigger bites. You can, however, minimize risk by following these tips. Apply DEET liberally to your shoes, socks, and pant legs.

Treat your waist area and shirt if you'll be in tall vegetation. Carefully apply the repellent by hand to your face, neck, and ears; you don't want DEET in your eyes or mouth.

Adults should apply DEET products to young children. You may need to reapply DEET after several hours. It is important, however, to wash hands and avoid the use of DEET on the face. Permethrin is sold under the names Permanone and Duranon. The treatment lasts through up to 70 washings. Permethrin is generally safe to use, but some people are allergic.

If you're not sure, test a small area of skin before using permethrin-treated clothing. Tuck your pant legs into your socks, and keep your shirt tucked into your waistband. In areas where chiggers are abundant, you might even want to wrap some duct tape around your ankles, over the top of your socks. You may look a little silly, but it works.

Because chiggers are so tiny, they can actually work their way through your clothing to get to your skin. If you know you'll be exposed to chiggers while outdoors, wear the tightest woven fabrics you can find. The smaller the space between threads, the harder it will be for chiggers to penetrate your clothes and bite you.

Chiggers hang out in vegetation, waiting for a passing host. When your leg brushes the vegetation, the chigger transfers to your body. Walk on designated trails and avoid blazing your own through meadows or other high vegetation areas.

You'll avoid chiggers and leave a minimal impact on the wild places we love. In some places, chiggers may be too abundant to avoid, even with the best repellents and long pants. If an area looks like prime chigger habitat, avoid it.

If you think you may have chiggers in your yard, do a sampling test to find out. If you wander into a chigger patch by mistake and can actually see the chiggers on your skin, the best thing you can do to avoid bites is to wash the chiggers off your body immediately. Take a hot, soapy bath or shower right away.

Chiggers usually take a little time to settle on a place to feed, so just washing them off quickly can make a big difference. If you've picked up chiggers while hiking or working in the yard or even suspect you've attracted chiggersstrip down quickly and put all of your clothing in the wash. Launder the clothing in hot, soapy water.

Don't wear that clothing again until it has been washed and dried. Chiggers live in moist, shady areas with thick vegetation. You can effectively eliminate almost all chiggers in your yard by simply minimizing such habitat from your landscape. If that's not possible, of course, it's best to stay out of thickly vegetated areas.

Share Flipboard Email. Debbie Hadley is a science educator with 25 years of experience who has written on science topics for over a decade. Continue Reading.

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