chigger

chigger

[chig-er]
chigger, minute, six-legged, reddish larva of the harvest mite, one of various red bugs widely distributed throughout the world and common in the S United States. Attaching itself by its mouthparts to the skin of its vertebrate host, the chigger injects saliva that destroys cells and may cause an intense irritation known as red-bug dermatitis. The food of the chigger consists of the cellular contents and tissue fluid of the host. Certain Asian species carry minute organisms (rickettsias) that cause scrub typhus, a disease of humans. Chiggers are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida, order Acarina, family Trombidiidae.
Chigger may refer to:

  • Harvest mite, mites in the family Trombiculidae that live in North American forests and grasslands
  • Chigoe flea (Tunga penetrans), a parasitic arthropod found in tropical climates, especially South America and the West Indies

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