Larva of some 10,000 mite species, ranging in length from 0.004 to 0.6 in. (0.1–16 mm). Some are terrestrial; others live in freshwater or salt water. They may be predators, scavengers, or plant feeders, and some are pests of humans, either as parasites or as carriers of disease. In North America, the common chigger that attacks humans is found from the Atlantic coast to the Midwest and Mexico. The larva penetrates clothing and, once attached to the skin, injects a fluid that digests tissue and causes severe itching. After feeding, the larva drops to the ground and begins to mature.
Learn more about chigger with a free trial on Britannica.com.
On April 3, 1974 during the Super Outbreak tornado event, two violent tornadoes including one F5 struck the community within 30 minutes of each other. Most of Harvest, along with nearby communities such as Tanner was destroyed. 50 people were killed by the tornadoes.
Capshaw Mountain is the only notable geological feature in the area. It extends upwards about 800 feet above the general elevation in the area. The top of this small mountain is the site of several very substantial communications towers used by local radio stations. Capshaw Mountain forms a watershed that provides the water supply for the community.
There were 1,092 households out of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.5% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.7% were non-families. 15.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the community the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 102.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.
The median income for a household in the community was $61,319, and the median income for a family was $64,519. Males had a median income of $46,813 versus $30,114 for females. The per capita income for the community was $23,322. About 6.8% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.2% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
The Madison County Sheriff's Department administers law and order in Harvest.
The Harvest Volunteer Fire Department is a large volunteer fire department of approximately 40 members serving the residents of West Central Madison County. The fire department has 3 stations that house 5 engines along with other assorted rescue vehicles. Harvest is assisted by Toney Fire to the north and Monrovia Fire to the south.
The Huntsville Madison County Public Library maintains a branch, the Monrovia Public Library, in the Monrovia Community Center on Allen Drake Dr. near Phillips Park. This branch library is part of a very well supported community library system in Madison County.
The Madison County School System runs several schools in Harvest. Sparkman High School is the largest public high school in the county, with over 2300 students. A ninth grade "academy" was constructed in 2007 across the street from Sparkman. Middle school students in Harvest are zoned for either Monrovia Middle in the Monrovia community, or Sparkman Middle in Toney. There are also four elementary schools in Harvest/Monrovia- Harvest, Monrovia, Endeavor, and Legacy.
Retail trade is rapidly expanding as of 2008, with the construction of new stores and restaurants which coincide with continuing residential growth. The area's businesses serve a wide area, encompassing much of Northwest Madison County and Northeast Limestone County.