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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    376

    Angry Chiggers/jiggers/red bugs

    Anyone have a surefire method of controlling the itch from these !@##!@ little creatures?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,080

    Default

    The only sure way is shave the hair near the area where they are.
    Set fire to the hair where they are.
    Stab them with an ice pick when they try to get away from the fire.


    Other than that, iodine works as well as anything I have tried.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    I remember folks used to take sulfur tablets to keep the chiggers and ticks away. I never had a problem with em personally. So what gets rid of em?? I don 't know. Here's a site with loads on em. If nothing else you can keep yourself entertained with all these remedies until they clear up

    http://www.howtogetridofstuff.com/pe...d-of-chiggers/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,406

    Default

    Fought with the buggers constantly when I lived in Florida. We used to cover the site where they had burrowed into the skin with clear nail polish and it would suffocate them. Still would itch for a while but it shortened the duration, which can seem endless at times.
    To everything there is a season....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    Somebody remind me of this next time I start thinking about moving to Florida...!
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

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    I don't have a cure for the itch, but to keep them from burrowing once you've been out in the grass where they are, immediately upon coming indoors, strip down and sponge off with rubbing alcohol and a washcloth. Thoroughly. It seems to kill them before they can get to a tight spot where they want to burrow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    We just let the fire ants naw em off

    You know, I just found out this year that what we grew up calling chigger weed ain't chigger weed. It's Queen Ann's Lace! Now I can't figure why the queen would want to have a weed named after her that stays covered up in chiggers?!?!

    ahhhhh chigger weed sounds better anyway

    dumb ole hill billy, cain't teach em nothin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    mike gillmore adds:
    We used to cover the site where they had burrowed into the skin with clear nail polish and it would suffocate them.

    tecumseh replies:
    but, but, but... red nail polish looks sooo much more attractive, don't you think?

    once bitten it is the only remedy that works for me...

    as a preventative: dust your shoes and pants legs with powdered sulphur.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Newark, Ohio USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Nail polish does work, and also a rubbing alcohol bath works great as well

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    We had a "Tick Tolk (talk)" at work for a safety meeting. The presenter told us that chiggers cling to a hair and build a ring of nasty, nasty stuff around them like a fortress wall. By the time we notice their presence, they're gone (according to him). The itching then comes from the resulting infection from the bite and the nasty, nasty stuff (poo, perhaps). It is more irritated when the "fortress wall" is rubbed by clothing. Think of it like a splinter or shard of glass. He said that fingernail polish might work simply by putting a coating on the wall of goo there by keeping us from irritating it.

    True or not, I make it a strict policy to begin an anti-infection battle. Reducing the infection reduces the itch. So far, a very few days of antibiotic ointment (could use honey) clears it right up. I don't go the days to weeks that I'm used to.

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,399

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayacoyote View Post
    The presenter told us that chiggers cling to a hair and build a ring of nasty, nasty stuff around them like a fortress wall. By the time we notice their presence, they're gone (according to him). The itching then comes from the resulting infection from the bite and the nasty, nasty stuff (poo, perhaps). It is more irritated when the "fortress wall" is rubbed by clothing.
    "Chiggers attach themselves to the skin, hair follicles or pores by inserting their piercing mouthparts. When chiggers attach to humans, they are not usually noticed for some time. During feeding, they inject a fluid into the skin which dissolves tissue [nasty stuff around them?]. Chiggers feed by sucking up the liquified tissues. The human immune reaction to a bite prevents the chigger from obtaining adequate nourishment. They rarely survive long enough to complete a meal."

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IG085

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Kingston Springs, Tennessee
    Posts
    32

    Default Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    I'm chigger bait. If there's a chigger within 100 miles of me, they're coming to me as soon as I go outside. Here's how I fight 'em with a great deal of success - but I do these steps every single time I go outside during chigger season (which is mid summer to late summer in my area).

    1. Spay insect repellent around the places chiggers like to bite - sock tops, waistbands, bending parts (behind knees, elbows, armpits, etc.). They like to hang out anywhere your clothes will be tight against your skin.

    2. Never walk in tall grass or weeds. Keep grass and fields mowed/bushhogged.

    3. Take as hot of a shower as you can stand when you go back into the house. Don't stop to do anything else until you do this step. Wash every inch of your body with soap and a washcloth; be sure to focus on those areas that chiggers like. I don't know how long the time is between when a chigger gets on you and when they bite and dig in but I know you can wash these critters off you if you don't wait more than 8 - 10 hours before you shower. The sooner the better though.

    4. If one of 'em gets to you before you can wash them off, the benadryl gel is especially good since it leaves a sort of thin, rubbery type residue on the bite that protects it from getting rubbed and aggravated while it's healing.

    If you have too many of these bites, they can just about make you go crazy. Itch, itch.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Polk Co.,North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    I live on about 5 acres of open yard, garden and forest. There is not a place that I can go that does not have chiggers. I have tried all defenses and remedies.

    nutso, above has good tips. I will add a few. First a few points about chiggers (harvest mites) (Trombiculidae - see Wikipedia) .

    They do not burrow into your skin. After the chigger egg hatches there is a little tiny larva which is typically about .3 mm - very difficult to see. It must have a meal of partially digested skin soon, so it climbs to something tall in the hopes that you will brush by. It crawls around till it finds a tender spot. It latches on with its mouth parts, staying on top of your skin. It injects some digestive fluid into the top layer of your skin which does two things - 1. it partially digests some of your skin; 2. it helps form a hollow tube (stylostome) that goes deeper into your skin so that more fluid can be injected deeper. This fluid is what causes the itching. The chigger hopes to stay attached for a couple of days so that it can finish it's meal. It only gets one chance. If it is detached before it finishes slurping up your liquified skin, it will die. The itching usually starts before it finishes so we scratch it and it dies. (Some animals are not sensitive to the fluid and don't itch, so wont dislodge the chigger.) But we can still itch for days. How severe the itching is, is dependent on how long the chigger was attached. If the bite weeps a clear yellowish fluid, its the meal that the chigger missed out on.

    This is the only thing that I can do to avoid chigger bites: I wear thin very tightly knit socks, such as support hose. My long sleeve shirt and pants are thin tightly woven cotton. I use hospital scrubs for the pants. I tuck the pants into the socks and the shirt into the pants and cinch the drawstring tightly. Then I can go outside and immediately spray myself with water from a garden hose from head to toe. Yep, I am dripping wet. Chiggers do not like wet things. Wet cloths help me deal with the 90 degree heat that chiggers seem to like. You could try your luck with not getting wet. (If you know that you will not be near anything higher than knee high then wetting just the pants might work.) As soon as I finish outside and take the clothes off I shower thoroughly and dry myself with a normal towel but rubbing quite hard.

    If I get chigger bites, this is how I fix them: I do not scratch the itch - that will make it worse. I put a dab of 5% lidocaine gel (probably online order only) on the bite. This will help stop the itching for a couple of hours. Right after I put the dab of lidocaine on the bite, I dip my fingertip into some powdered diphenhydramine (benadryl antihistamine). Zyrtek also works. I take the capsule of antihistamine and break it open and pour the powder into a little container. After I dip my finger tip into the powder, I rub the bite which is wet with the lidocaine for about a minute - this feels good because it is slightly abrasive and satisfies the scratching urge. I never do more than 5 or 6 bites this way, because the skin could absorb enough antihistamine to make me drowsy. For even better itch reduction I mix the lidocaine gel with a prescription strength topical corticosteroid gel like fluocinonide - that reduces inflammation. I rarely need to treat a bite more than once.

    None of the typical over the counter remedies work for me.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    Garlic or garlic tablets. Funny thing is though you have to take them until you start smelling a little garlicky. This also helps keeps other pests away too like mosquitoes (I lived in Jacksonville florida at one time and I KNOW the mosquitoes are a nightmare there)... Essentially garlic doesn't just offend someone trying to snuggle with ya... heheheh.. a lot of outdoorsmen use it too you can find so called "Specialized" garlic tabs at bass pro

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    I hate chiggers with an ever burning fiery hatred. One thing that works well for me, especially when I get a whole bunch of bites, in the sensitive areas behind the knees and, well you know, is to sit in a bath of the hottest water I can possibly stand, just a couple inches deep, enough to cover them. It will itch like crazy for a few seconds, but the heat treatment will get rid of the itch for 12 hours or so. Very effective (if you have the constitution) and totally medication free.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,668

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    Bushhog is the best preventative.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    576

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    Witch Hazel

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    652

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    Many years ago when we kept bees in Virginia I had two issues. Poison ivy and chiggers. They didn't call me the chigger kid for nothing. The old timer we purchased bees from laughed when I asked him what they did to prevent them from biting and he said just rub kerosene on your legs and britches before you walk in the grass. Well we had one yard named the chigger yard and I purchased a pair of fishing hip waders and rubbed kerosene on the outside of the waders. It not only created a barrier from the poison ivy but it also seemed to repel the chiggers. Funny as I recall the bees never seemed to mind the odor, but they always made me ride in the back of the pickup when I was suited up. As much as I hated poison ivy, I always said that the chiggers were 10x worse.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    Up until this year, I hadn't been bitten by a chigger since I left the farm over 30 years ago. I live in the suburbs and have a small backyard full of pine trees and not much else. This year I started keeping bees in a hive in the backyard and have been bitten by chiggers all summer. Could there be some connection between the two?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Chiggers - the basics to keep from going insane

    There seem to be plenty around my hives. Could they be attracted to the CO2? Insects produce a lot of CO2.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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