To add insult to injury, after a tough day trying to requeen a nasty hive, I discovered that I had gotten a really bad batch of chigger bites - I'll skip the gory details for those familiar with chiggers. I've been bitten by chiggers before (much worse than a bee sting IMHO) but this was the worse case I've ever gotten. Any advice on how to rid an area of chiggers (near bee hives), and any advice on how to minimize the effects of a bite?
If your can't cut the grass because of the closeness of the hive try spraying the grass with rubbing alcohol it will kill the grass and the chiggers. Also find some old carpet and lay on the ground in these areas.
The grass doesn't seem to be an issue. I have wood chip mulch around my hives. Even the access path to the hives has very short grass. Cutting the grass really keeps the ticks back, but I haven't noticed much difference at all with the chiggers.
To prevent it from happening again:
Put a tablespoon of vinegar in about an 8 oz. glass of water and drink it one half hour before going out. I've used this method before when going hiking and before going blackberry picking. It's more palatable if you use very cold ice water. It makes your skin more acidic and the chiggers want nothing to do with you usually.Works good for mosquitoes too.
To kill the chiggers after you have been out in the yard, strip down and rub down with plain isopropyl alcohol and a washcloth. I always just suit up from head to toe, pants tucked into socks, usually boots, and throw the clothes into the washer on the way back in. You can use sulfur (regular garden variety) in the area around the hives to at least keep the numbers down. I doubt it kills them, but it does repel them. As far as I know, it doesn't have any negative effect on the bees.
Some people call's them red bug's.Re-read Astrobee's at the top.When He said>>I'll skip the gory details for those familiar with chigger's.also down below when I joking tell how to kill them.that will give you an ideal where they show up most of the time on you.(ha ha)>>>>Mark
As a former resident of Northern Michigan I appreciate your confusion. I never saw a tick or a chigger before coming to Virginia. I now understand that ticks are more common in Michigan, but when I was a child (early-70's) we'd play in the woods all day and never found a tick.
Chiggers are very nasty creatures, which are basically invisible to the naked eye. They crawl down a hair shaft inject a fluid that breaks down skin cells then they feed on the liquefied skin. The fluid they inject causes intense itching lasting three to four days. I also get localized blistering in the area of the bites, which is a nice added bonus to the whole experience.
Are these the same little red specks I see crawling around on stones, bricks or pavement when the season is right? They are very small and almost unseen.
Astrobee is right about growing up in the woods and never hearing about ticks. Now I can pick 3-4 on a daily basis when in the garden or checking hives. I try to comb my cats nightly and always get a few that way. They seem like they are everywhere.
Last year I was doing a guy thing and picking the lint out of my bellybutton. Out came a tick. Long story short - lyme desease and never wnat it again. Nasty crap. Take the flu and multiply by at least 4.
After living in GA for several years--I know that chiggers are a terible problem! We used hair spray on our socks and shoes--the really cheap sticky kind! They don't seem to be able to crawl through it! But we also tucked pants into the socks and tucked our shirts in and wore long sleeves. My mom always made us pick the wild blackbeeries and plums from the side of the road because she couldn't "deal with the red bugs"!!!!
there is a red bug, kind of a mite, that will live in the soil and under rocks and stuff. I believe it is different from the chiggers. I have those red bugs in my garden dirt and my compost pile. Chiggers would be comperable to swimmers itch.
This is the worse year for chiggers I can ever remember in almost a half century of living!
Also talked to a lady beekeeping friend of mine (who's even older) and she told me the same thing. My semi-outdoor cat seems to even have problems with them this year!