Home Remedies for Chigger Bites

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It’s amazing that something so small can cause such great discomfort, but chigger bites are a menace, especially to people living in the southern part of the United States. Lurking in berry patches, tall grass, woodland hideaways, and weedy thatches – chiggers lay and wait for your ankles and other body parts to arrive. If you want instant relief for chigger bites, consider home remedies as a possible solution.

ghr-chigger-bites

What is a Chigger?

A chigger is a harvest (or larval) mite that enjoys feasting on the blood out of its victims [1]. Measuring about 1/20 inch long, the chigger is a bright red, hairy critter that has the ability to travel pretty fast. Instead of burrowing in the skin like other mites, chiggers insert their mouthparts into a skin pore or hair follicle [2]. Small, reddish welts oftentimes appear on the skin accompanied by intense itching and irritation. Some victims liken a chigger bite to an acute case of poison ivy or poison sumac.

Chiggers usually target the waist, ankles, or warm folds of skin on humans. If you live close to woody areas, orchards, or berry patches – chances are greater of suffering chigger bites. They also prey on campers, picnickers, hikers, bird watchers, and fishermen. The worst time of the year for chigger bites is early in the summertime, when grass, weeds and other vegetation have started to spread out in growth.

Symptoms of a Chigger Bite


The primary symptoms of a chigger bite include [3]:

  • Severe itching
  • Redness
  • Pimple-like bumps (called papules)
  • Hives
  • Skin rash during sun exposure

Chigger Bite Home Remedies

If you plan on hiking in the woods or picking blackberries in a nearby meadow, keep in mind that what you can’t see will hurt you. Chiggers are so small that it takes a microscope to detect an infestation. Thank goodness for home remedies that can ease the discomfort of an unfortunate encounter with chigger bites, including:

a) Neosporin:

Rub Neosporin ointment or any other antibacterial ointment hidden in your bathroom cabinet on chigger bites to speed up the healing process and prevent infection.

b) Ace Bandage:

To reduce the itching of chigger bites, wrap an Ace bandage over affected areas to cut off the air supply that contributes to itchy skin.

c) Aspirin:

Moisten an aspirin tablet and gently rub over chigger bites to ease pain and lessen the itch.

d) Nail Polish:

When chigger welts appear, dab on a bit of nail polish to keep children (and adults) from scratching at their bites.

e) Elmer’s Glue:

While dabbing nail polish on chigger bites has worked wonders for some victims trying to beat itchy skin, others have turned to an easier-to-remove method – applying Elmer’s Glue to bites.

f) Hair Dryer:

Treat itchy skin by holding a handheld hair blow dryer (on a high setting) a couple of inches away from a bite for a few seconds. Once the heated sensation fades away, hopefully so will your itch.

g) Baking Soda:

Thoroughly clean your chigger bites with soap and water, followed up with an application of baking soda and water paste.
ghr-chiggers

h) Listerine:

Clean infected chigger bites with hot water and soap. Soon after, dab on Listerine mouthwash, which contains hasbenzoic acid and an alcohol/water solution much similar to the chigger bite products found on the market (like Chiggerex).

i) Baby Oil:

While in the shower, gently scrub or use a dry brush on the skin to massage the skin. Follow up with a coat of baby oil after patting dry the skin.

j) Choice of Clothing:

The kind of clothing you choose to wear when enjoying the outdoors can prevent additional chigger bites during the healing process. Since dark colors (especially navy blue and black) are said to attract chiggers, wear light colored clothing. If you’re planning on braving overgrown patches of grass, don’t forget to lace up a tall pair of boots.

k) Castor Oil:

After taking a shower, rub pure castor oil on your chigger bites.

l) Vicks Vapor Rub:

Put an end to itchy chigger bites by rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on affected areas, which contains methanol – an ingredient known to relieve itching.

Resources

[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=chigger
[2] http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2100.html
[3] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001333.htm

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  • tosha brewster

    gently massage some ALOE VERA SKIN LOTION over your bug bites. that will ease the itch… continue to rub on the lotion when it starts itching again…

  • Cheri

    Onion or Scallions; Rub & Hold on wound(s) where bitten. Onion has natural anti-septic/inti-biotic properties works to reduce, inflammation, itching, & infection. Rub directly onto the hive area to remove the heat & provide almost immediate relief! It was almost healed by the next day.

  • Anna Stone

    Put an ice pack on itchy irritated spots! it helps ease the itching.

  • Jackie

    Put cooking flour on the chigger bite.It will help the itch.

  • Pam

    I’ve tried everything (been bitten with over 200 bites several times) and the only thing that seems to help me is the spray burn relief with lidocaine. That numbs the skins a little and takes most of the itch away. Solarcaine also makes an aloe gel with lidocaine, which I keep in the fridge. Nothing is a permanent solution, but both have helped me. Oh yes, I forgot, spray Benadryl. Good luck!

  • Genna W

    I spend my summers in Kentucky and i always end up getting chiggers and what me and my family ha found is that dog shampoo works wonders to get rid of them. Just take a bath with it and scrub your skin with it for 5 minutes maybe once or twice and they are gone.

  • Kevin

    When I was growing up I got into a bunch of chiggersand had them in places I wont discuss here… LOL After suffering for a day or two I finally fess up to mom what was going on. Her simple solution still works today.
    A dab of Vasoline over each bite. It removes the chigger and relieves the itching. You will need to leave the vasoline on for at least 10 minutes. to allow it to smother the chigger.
    Also works on ticks…

  • Erin

    This is by far the best website I have come across for relief!! Thank you 🙂

  • Sherri

    I heard to rub lice shampoo on itchy area , getting ready to try this hope it works .