*Chiggers In Bed*
Just like any other pest, chiggers are annoying little insects. While they aren’t harmful, they can cause you red bumps and intense itching.
Going forward, we’ll talk about how they get into your house and what attracts them. It’s going to be an eye-opener.
- What are Chiggers?
- What Does A Chigger Look Like?
- Where Do Chiggers Live?
- What Attracts Chigger Into Your House?
- How Long Does Chiggers Live?
- Can Dogs Get Chiggers?
- When Is Chigger Season?
- What Does Chigger Bites Look Like?
- Ways To Prevent Chigger Bites
- Can Chiggers Bite Through Clothes?
- How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Home
- Summary [Chiggers In Bed]
What are Chiggers?
In simple terms, chiggers are tiny red bugs that belong to the arachnid group of insects. They are also called chigger mites, harvest lice, or harvest mites.
One unique thing about chiggers is they’re too small to be seen with the naked eye, a magnifying glass is needed.
As small as they are, chigger bites are quite noticeable. They can be in form of wheals, hives, blisters, or pimples.
Once they latch on to feed, they inject a digestive enzyme into the skin to liquefy it. This is what causes the redness and intense itching.
Additionally, once chiggers latch on human skin, they can stay there for a few days before falling off. Once they fall off, they move to the next stage of development which is an eight-legged nymph.
What Does A Chigger Look Like?
Many times this tiny red bug can be confused with a blood-sucking bed bug. That’s a mistake many people make.
And this little oversight can cost you money during extermination because the wrong methods will be used.
Knowing what a chigger looks like is important if your home is affected. This way you can easily explain your problems to the exterminator and save the unnecessary cost.
To start with, chiggers are not insects, but rather arachnids. Therefore they are closer to spiders than bugs.
Chiggers are the larvae of chigger mites. In other words, chiggers just hatched from the egg and will move on to become a nymph after feeding.
Chigger mites belong to the Trombiculidae family, a family of mites.
When it comes to size, chiggers are microscopic making them difficult to see with the naked eye. They grow up to about 1/50th of an inch. That’s crazy small!
When it comes to appearance, chiggers have bright red to orange bodies. The larva stage (chiggers) has six legs while an adult chigger mite will have eight legs.
Their body is usually covered in hair-like projections.
Where Do Chiggers Live?
Naturally, chiggers are outdoor bugs. However, for one or two reasons they can get into your house. These reasons will be shared later in the article.
Chiggers love moisture, therefore they live in overgrown bushes and shrubs in moist areas.
Vegetations near streams or lakes are also a good habitat for chiggers because of the moist environment.
Additionally, these bugs can live in the lush vegetation in your garden or even lawn grasses.
If they do get into your house, where do they stay?
Once chiggers get into your home, they look for the same conditions they have outdoor – food, shade, and moisture.
The most common places chiggers can hide inside your house are on soft furniture like couches, beds, rugs, etc.
What Attracts Chigger Into Your House?
The habitat of chiggers is thick vegetation, overgrown bushes, and shady areas. They tend to inhabit the base of tall grasses or shrubs.
Whenever you walk through these bushes, they can easily cling to your clothing and follow you back home.
Since they usually live on the base of tall grasses, the ankle part of your clothes will be the culprit.
If you have pets, they can also bring chiggers into your home after running through bushes.
How Long Does Chiggers Live?
Inside your house isn’t the habitat for chiggers, hence it is unsuitable for them in the long term. They only get into your house to feed.
Chiggers can’t survive long without feeding. Therefore they’ll die after about 50 – 70 days of starving.
As said earlier, one of the key necessities of chiggers, when they enter your house, is a source of food. And in this case, that’s your skin.
Once they latch onto your skin, they can feed for about 3 – 4 days straight before falling off. Therefore chiggers don’t live on the human body for more than 3 –4 days.
Once they fall off, chiggers begin to molt into a nymph with eight legs. And in about a month, they fully transform into an adult chigger mites ready to breed.
Can Dogs Get Chiggers?
Of course, they can. After running through bushes or vegetation, chiggers can easily latch onto the skin of your dog.
And it goes the same way as humans. It will feed on your dog’s skin for about 3 – 4 days before falling off to molt.
When Is Chigger Season?
Chiggers become active during the warmer months. Therefore they start becoming a nuisance in the late spring, summer, and early fall months.
During these periods, chigger bites increase.
What Does Chigger Bites Look Like?
Just as I’ve said earlier, chiggers inject digestive juices into your skin as they bite. This helps break down your skin, making it easy for them to eat.
You might feel it when they bite you, however, unlike many other insects, the bites of chiggers are not noticed immediately. It will take a few hours, about 2 – 3 for you to notice anything significant.
However, when the bite becomes noticeable, it appears as a red bump or raised blisters. Following this appearance, intense itching follows.
Therefore the major signs that show you’ve been bitten by a chigger are red bumps on your skin that itch like crazy.
Just like bed bugs, chiggers can bite you in multiple locations at once. No rule says it can only bite once!
Many people can confuse chigger bites with eczema. This is because of the multiple red bumps that itch, just like eczema.
Chigger bites don’t last forever. However, it’ll take about 1 – 2 weeks for full resolution.
While these tiny bugs can bite anywhere, there are certain areas they love more. Such areas include the wrist, ankle, groin, waist, and thighs.
Fortunately, chigger bites are not known to transmit any disease. Although, it’s still best to avoid it if possible.
While they don’t transmit any known disease, chigger bites can cause serious allergic reactions to those that are allergic to bug bites. These allergic reactions might include intense itching, dermatitis, and skin lesions.
On the extreme end, it might lead to an anaphylactic shock. This is a situation where an allergen (in this case, the digestive juices of chiggers) goes into your body and causes massive expansion of your blood vessels.
This causes the person to faint, as blood isn’t getting to the brain and other organs.
Now, that sounds dangerous. What can you do to prevent chigger bites?
Ways To Prevent Chigger Bites
Some people are more prone to chigger bites than others. As a hiker or camper, you’re more likely to move around vegetation and bushes. Chiggers might cling to you and you take them home unknowingly.
As a mode of prevention, it is advised to always wear clothes that completely covered your lower body. This is the most basic step to take when it comes to preventing chigger bites.
Another functioning way to prevent these big bites is by wearing skin-friendly and natural chigger repellants. They are usually made of elements that chase chiggers away such as eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, etc.
Even using an essential oil that contains any of these elements works. This is to show how effective these elements are when it comes to repelling chiggers.
While you’re trying to prevent chigger bites, it’s not sensible to go and stay in their habitat. Therefore dense vegetation in moist areas should be avoided.
Moreover, when you come home, make sure you wash your clothes with warm water to kill any bugs on them. Taking a shower as soon as possible will also be beneficial.
Can Chiggers Bite Through Clothes?
The answer is yes and no.
Well, it depends on the type of fabric the clothing is made from. Chiggers can access your skin through breathable fabrics like cotton, wool, and linen. This is because of the gaps between each thread.
However, chiggers can’t bite you through clothes made of polyester or synthetic materials.
The real question becomes, how do you eradicate these annoying bugs?
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Home
At this point, you already know a great deal about chiggers. You now know what they look like, why they get into your house, and what attracts them, and others.
It’s time to eradicate them.
If you have a chigger problem in your home, then it’s very likely that they’re also hiding in your yard or garden. To completely get rid of chiggers, it’s ideal to start from outside to inside.
Therefore, we’ll start with getting rid of chiggers in your yard or garden.
How To Get Rid Of Chigger In Your Yard [What Kills Chiggers]
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to get rid of chiggers in your yard.
1. Trim Overgrown Bushes In Your Yard
Overgrown bush is the habitat for chiggers and many other bugs like fleas, fire ants, etc.
As you know, rule number 1 of pest elimination is to destroy their habitat. In this case, that’ll be to trim overgrown bushes or shrubs.
Evergreen flowers and vegetation in your yard make your house fancy and warm. However, leaving this vegetation unkempt can lead to an infestation.
Trim the overgrown bushes, remove unnecessary vegetation and you’ll be off to a good start.
2. Eliminate Excess Moisture
Besides overgrown bushes, chiggers love areas with dampness and shade. The damp and moist area is the ideal living place for chiggers and many other bugs.
So how do you solve this problem?
You’d have to stop watering your yard excessively. Just water it enough to provide moisture for the vegetation. Waterlogging is the last thing you want in your yard.
For many, there are pipes in their yard. Therefore if there’s any water leakage through a burst pipe or something, make sure to fix that.
In addition to trimming overgrown bushes, reducing the dampness of your yard will go a long way in reducing chigger infestation.
3. Clean Up Your Yard
A dirty environment breeds lots of insects and bugs. Chiggers love a dirty yard/garden with numerous hiding places.
First of all, make sure to clear all the waste in your yard. This waste creates a moist area, making it ideal for chiggers to settle.
Therefore you should properly get rid of all the waste that comes out of your house. This includes papers, wrappers, paper bags, and even food waste.
Bugs hate a clean environment. It deprives them of a hiding place and an ideal living condition. Therefore you’ll be taking a huge step towards chigger eradication just by cleaning up your yard.
If you use mulch in your yard/garden, make sure it’s always fresh. Rotting mulch is likely to harbor bugs like chiggers.
4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth All Over Your Yard
If this isn’t your first rodeo with bugs, then you’ve heard about diatomaceous earth before. It is an efficient but safe pest killer that is important for every home to have.
Scattering diatomaceous earth in your yard will kill the chiggers present. However, to be more effective, you’ll have to scatter them generously on target locations like wet areas, places you cut off vegetation from, and places covered by shade.
Fortunately, while diatomaceous earth kills chiggers, it’s also effective on several other bugs. This wonder substance kills these bugs by drying them out.
5. Spray Peppermint Oil (Mixed With Soapy Water)
Why peppermint you say?
Peppermint is one of the most researched natural elements. It has been proven that peppermint has insecticidal properties too, among others.
While diatomaceous earth is effective in killing bugs, additionally spraying peppermint oil over your yard will increase the punch.
However, doing these just once won’t do the trick. You’d have to make it a routine for some time.
Chiggers can hide in the soil or under surfaces. Therefore doing it once won’t cut it.
It will be ideal if you can maintain this twice a week. After the first session, some chiggers might still survive. This is what the subsequent sessions are there for.
In summary, it’d be best to use these substances in your yard twice a week, for at least two weeks. This will enable you to get rid of chiggers for good.
Once you’re able to carry out all these steps, you’ll be able to eradicate chiggers in your yard. However, what about your house?
What about the chiggers already in your house?
Ways To Get Rid Of Chiggers In Your House
While chiggers can be persistent, they don’t survive long inside the house. They are outdoor bugs.
As previously said, chiggers don’t carry any known risk of diseases. Additionally, chiggers are not sexually active therefore the risk of infestation is low.
However, one might wonder, how do chiggers get on the bed?
Many times, pets climb into our beds to spend time with us. Pets are known to like playing around in the yard or garden. This will predispose them to easily catching chiggers on their skin.
On more occasions than you can count, you probably sit on your bed once you come home. This can be the route by which chiggers got into your bed.
In most cases, the only signs of chigger infestation are bite marks and physical sightings. Therefore it becomes difficult if you’re not observant enough.
Now, let’s delve into the main issue. How do you eliminate chiggers in your house?
There are two simple steps to accomplishing this.
1. Vacuum Clean Your House Frequently
As chiggers get into your home, they find suitable hiding places. And this includes furniture, bed frames, mattresses, floor furnishing, etc.
It is of utmost importance that you vacuum clean all furniture in your home. While vacuuming, go slowly and make sure to target all tight corners and gaps.
Floorings like carpets and rugs can also be a hiding place for chiggers. So you shouldn’t skip them while vacuum cleaning.
Vacuuming removes a lot of chiggers that have gotten into your home. Therefore it is a very key factor when it comes to eradicating chiggers from your home.
PS: If you have a pet bed or cushion, don’t forget to vacuum clean that as well.
2. Spray Peppermint Oil And White Vinegar
While vacuuming will take care of most of the chiggers that invaded your home, there might still be some remnants. And this is where white vinegar and peppermint oil come in.
A mixture of white vinegar and water should be sprayed on all the hard furniture in your house. Do not use it on soft furnishings because it’ll leave a bad smell.
Rather you should peppermint oil spray on soft furnishings.
As an alternative method, you can scatter diatomaceous earth all over your house. Then vacuum clean after waiting for a few minutes.
PS: Never dispose of the vacuum dust inside your house. There might still be live chiggers inside the dust bag and they can easily escape back into your house.
Summary [Chiggers In Bed]
At this point, you probably have good knowledge about chiggers.
These tiny bugs live outside and get into your house in a few ways. Either on your skin or your pet’s.
Fortunately, chiggers are not known to transmit any disease. Additionally, they’re not known to live on your skin for long, like some other bugs.
To prevent or eradicate chiggers from your home, we’ve laid out stepwise methods you can use.
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