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Chigger Bites Home Remedy Comments

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Anonymous

Chiggers are related to ticks
Chiggers are not bugs or any other type of insect. Chiggers are the juvenile (or larval) form of a specific family of mites, the Trombiculidae. Mites are arachnids, like spiders and scorpions, and are closely related to ticks.

Chigger mites are unique among the many mite families in that only the larval stage feeds on vertebrate animals; chiggers dine on us only in their childhood, and later become vegetarians that live on the soil.

Chiggers are tiny--less than 1/150 of an inch in diameter. More than a thousand of them could line up across this page and still leave room for two or three hundred more. At this size, chiggers are almost invisible to the unaided eye. However, when several chiggers cluster together near an elastic waistband or wristwatch they can be seen because of their bright red color.

Chiggers are born red; they do not become red from feeding on blood as some believe. An engorged, well fed chigger changes to a yellow color.

Under the microscope, you can see that the chigger is an ugly little creature (if it was larger, it could star in any science fiction movie). Although adult chigger mites have eight legs, the troublesome young chiggers have only six.

Like ticks, they bite and hang on
One of the greatest misconceptions about chiggers is that they burrow into our skin and eventually die within the tissues, thus causing the persistent itch. This widespread myth has its origin in the southern states where pests with similar names such as jigger flea or the chigoe do attack by burrowing under skin. Chiggers are not equipped to burrow, and they are much too large to enter through the pores.

If chiggers do not burrow under skin or drink blood, what are they doing that itches so much? Chiggers do bite us, much like ticks do. Chiggers attach by inserting minute specialized mouth parts into skin depressions, usually at skin pores or hair follicles.

The chigger's piercing mouth parts are short and delicate, and can penetrate only thin skin or where the skin wrinkles and folds.

That's why most chigger bites are around the ankles, the back of the knees, about the crotch, under the belt line and in the armpits. The insertion of the mouth parts is not perceptible. The bite alone is not the source of the itch.

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Anonymous

After reading pages of home remedies and comments, I find you entry most informatve and helpful!

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