Chiggers are almost microscopic larvae of Trombicula mites, better known as harvest mites, red bugs, or harvest lice. These miniature arachnids resemble spiders or crabs and can be colored from yellow to red.
While they are often impossible to spot with a human eye, they can be felt if they decide to make holes in your skin in order to feed on your skin cells. As a result, the affected area can look red and irritated and feel itchy for several days.
If you think that you have chiggers in your yard, we have some useful tips to spot them, help protect yourself from their bites, and get rid of them entirely.
You should wear long sleeves and pants, tuck your pants in your socks and cover as much of your skin as possible, as well as use a repellent if you experience continuous itching from chigger bites in the summer season.
Tips on how to get rid of chiggers in your yard
Chiggers are usually found in moist and shady areas with overgrown grass and thick vegetation. In order to determine whether you have chiggers in the yard, place several black cardboard or other square pieces around such areas and leave them on the ground for a few minutes.
If you have chiggers in the yard, they will climb on top of the boards, where you will be able to see them with or without a magnifying glass.
If you do have chiggers in your yard, you should prepare yourself for some yard work if you want to get rid of these pests.
The best way to rid your outdoor space from chiggers is proper maintenance of the yard, which includes:
- Regular lawn mowing;
- Weeding and removing leaves, twigs, and other green waste;
- Pruning and trimming the plants to prevent them from overgrowing;
- Getting rid of brush piles;
- If possible, get rid of the objects which create shade;
- Contact your local pest control;
- Apply pesticide only on the areas where the chiggers live, and remember to follow the instructions on the labels;
- If you are using pesticides, make sure to wear protective clothing, masks, and goggles, and keep the kids and pets, as well as wild animals, away from the treated area.
How to get rid of chiggers that are on you
The problem with chiggers is that they feed on human skin cells, so you will likely get bitten by these tiny pests. The bites cause itching, irritation, and bumps on the skin.
If you notice such bites, wash the affected area with water and soap, take a shower or bath and throw all of your clothes in hot water.
Treat the bites with allergy medication and hydrocortisone cream. You may need to contact your doctor for antibiotics, steroid injections, or other treatment of the allergic reaction or possible infection in more severe cases.
To prevent the chiggers from infesting the indoors, clean the floors, especially the entrances, with very hot water and soap, and deep clean the carpeting with shampoo or steam regularly.