My high school science teacher would be so proud

*several people asked if Staples is the only place that offers binding. Definitely not! Office Max, Kinko’s – any office supply store large or small should offer this service. I just have no idea what they would charge.*

After spending a summer in Missouri one year, and having my first encounters with chiggers ever, I was renamed a Chigger Magnet. Everyone else could run around barefoot and nary a bite… I could have myself covered in head-to-toe clothing and end up covered in bites.

But WOW! My site meter shows that I am a new kind of Chigger Magnet! I never thought mentioning chiggers on my blog would bring so many people to it! But it did! When I was scanning my site meter, over and over and over were referrals from search engines from people looking for info on chiggers.

Last year, we went through a day of chiggers, but it was nothing like this year. I learned a lot about my misconceptions on chiggers. So, I thought I’d mentioned them. ‘Cause if people are gonna be dropping in for chigger info, I certainly don’t want to disappoint!

Truth #1 – “Chiggers” is actually the name of the larvae of the harvest mite. In fact, the adult chigger is harmless.

Truth #2 – Chiggers do not burrow into the skin. Thank goodness! – the idea of this has always gagged me; what a relief it was to find out this was not true! However, I reckon the alternative isn’t much better. What does happen, is that the larvae deposit an enzyme that digests skin cells so they can eat those up… a sort of skin-cell smoothie. (okay, that makes me gag too…) The reaction causes the intense itching and welt.

Truth #3 – Because the chigger is not at the site of the itch (by the time you are aware of it), covering the itch with nail polish or Vaseline does not suffocate the chigger. It may help relieve the itch by keeping air from getting to it. But that is it. Mr. Chigger, aka, Skin Cell Drinkin’ Fool, has long moved on.

Truth #4 – The best way to get rid of them is to take a hot shower using a gentle soap as quickly as possible after becoming aware of them. A shower will wash them away. The downside to this suggestion is that most people are out in the woods or at a get-together/picnic type activity when they get around chiggers, making a shower impractical.

Truth #5 – Go ahead and shower though, and wash clothes in HOT water. Chiggers can stay on you for several days and continue feeding during that time, until they are full and fall off. (again, GAG)

So there you have several facts and truths about the nuisance known as the chigger. For those of you who were not aware of such a menace, consider yourselves lucky. Although, you may have some other annoying bugger you have to deal with?

Any other topics you would like me to research? Just let me know in comments. It will be like a Continuing Education class… or not…


  1. I feel itchy just reading this.

  2. http://Suzanne says

    Ugh. :::shudder::: I got about 25 chigger bites once in college after raking some leaves that had probably been there for a year.

    They were so bad I had to go to an e-care place, see a doctor, and get a cream to put on them. I had to apply that cream every day for about a week and go to a summer class. That was cute.

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