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Chiggers, like mites, bugs and other tiny insects, tend to find their dwelling place in or around people’s houses.
It is, therefore, our duty to safeguard our house from these creatures or eradicate them if they’ve already infested our home.
Here is all you ever need to know about the tiny animals called chiggers, and how to get rid of them from your bed.
What are Chiggers?
Chiggers are from the family of mites. They are tiny joint-legged invertebrate animals that can be found in grassy or shady areas. Some of these species prefer an area that is damp while others would rather stay in a dry place.
Because these animals are only 0.3 mm long, you can hardly see them with your naked eyes. Their length does not, however, affect their ability to see you. In fact, they can perceive the presence of humans through the carbon dioxide that we release when we breathe.
They live in clusters and wait in ambush for their victims. Once their victim is within reach, they crawl onto the person’s body and leave tiny itchy bites on the skin.
If you sense that Chiggers may be around a place that you want to visit, wearing protective clothing and spraying insect repellent on your body will help prevent them from attacking you. Also, if you’re looking to discourage them from camping around your house, make sure to keep your surroundings tidy and clean.
Checking for Chiggers
It is always necessary to be sure of the presence of Chiggers around your house before launching an attack against them. One way to detect their existence is to thoroughly inspect your body for tiny red dots that look like mark attached to your skin.
Although these dot-like creatures can be on any area of your body, you’ll usually find them around the lower part of your legs, just at the top of your socks, and at other times, around your waist. Sometimes, you may not find the chiggers, but you can watch out for tiny red bites, rashes or hives on your skin.
Usually, the bitten area will itch so intensely that you’ll find it hard to sleep. Chiggers are often common during late spring, summer and early fall. No matter where you go, there’s always the possibility that you’ll find chiggers. However, if you discover that they may be anywhere around your garden, then you need to examine the place.
Prop a few 6-inch by 6-inch pieces of black cardboard up in your garden. Put the cardboard close to a damp or shady area with thick vegetation. Placing your tester in a bright or sunny area will be of no use since chiggers do not like gorgeous places.
After setting the trap, hang around for few minutes and then use a magnifying glass to check the area for chiggers. You’ll find crawling red dots near the cardboard if they’re there.
Treat Yourself First
Once you detect that you have chigger issues, the next thing to do is to treat yourself. Though chiggers do not spread diseases, they can cause your skin to itch intensely. Start treating yourself by taking a thorough shower to get rid of the chiggers that are still clinging to your skin.
Make sure to apply a generous amount of soap on your body. Also, you need to sanitize your bedding as well as clothes that you wore recently by washing them in hot water. This will ensure that there are no hidden chiggers in the beddings, waiting to feast on you.
If you’ve been bitten, you can use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or use antihistamine pills like Benadryl to control the itch systematically. You may need to visit a doctor if you’ve scratched the itching spot open and gotten it infected.
Getting Rid of Chiggers
Right after you’ve made sure to treat yourself and find relief, the next thing you want to do is chase the chiggers out of your lawn. Generally, insecticides can do little to really eradicate these little beasts.
So, as appealing a dropping a pesticide bomb is, it is not the most effective option. As such, you should adopt a more effective approach like environmental control. This includes keeping your bushes pruned, keeping your grass short, regular weed planting beds and getting rid of any brush piles on or around your property.
Make sure to rake off fallen leaves and other wastes in your yard that serve as a cover for chiggers. You can kill chiggers naturally by sprinkling diatomaceous earth over the areas where you find them. Another thing you have to do to rid your lawns of chiggers is to keep pet dishes clean and secure your trash can. This way, you can avoid rodents and other animals that can transport chiggers into your property.
If you do decide to use pesticides, then make sure to exercise caution when using them. Also, use them sparingly. Avoid spreading the treatment onto areas that are not infested or unlikely to be infested. Keep your pets or children away from the areas that have been treated. The chemical can be dangerous to the health of kids, and your pets might unknowingly digest the treated grass or plant.
It will help to visit your local university extension office for recommendations on which pesticide will work best for your situation. Some pesticides that you can use to combat chiggers are Permethrin, cyfluthrin, diazinon, and carbaryl.
Walking Amidst the Enemy
It is only wise that you protect yourself first before treating your garden against chiggers, traveling to a chiggers infested area, or going on a hike. Thankfully, protecting yourself from this little monsters is not such a laborious process.
All it requires is that you wear long sleeves and long pants. For extra protection, tuck the end of your pant legs into your socks. No matter how ridiculous this may make you look, it’ll save you from itching like others when the Chiggers starts feasting on you all.
You can go a step further by spraying yourself with an insect repellent that contains DEET or any of citronella, tea tree, jojoba, lemongrass or geranium oil if you prefer something natural. The sulfur powder can also help repel chiggers, so if the smell does not bother you, dip your socks into a bag of sulfur powder before wearing it. The smell will discourage any chiggers from coming near it.
It is also important to rid your bed of chiggers. Cover your bed with a mattress encasement as they will help prevent bugs, mites, and chiggers.
Also, wash your bedding thoroughly with hot water if you discover the insect around you. Throw beddings that cannot be saved away and get a new one. These are how to get rid of chiggers from your bed.