Q:

What are some non-toxic methods for removing chiggers?

A:

Quick Answer

To remove chiggers, take a bath as soon as possible, applying a thick lather of soap to the area. Rinse the area, and then repeat the process, as Clemson University explains. After bathing, apply an antiseptic to the welts to destroy any remaining chiggers.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Chiggers do not burrow into the host's skin, as About.com details, and instead, they secure themselves to a host's hair follicles and pierce the skin. The chigger then releases its saliva, which contains digestive enzymes that liquefy the skin tissue, making it easier for the chigger to feed off of the host. At each chigger bite, a red, raised bump, or papule, forms. The welt's wall, known as a stylosome, provides a site for the chigger to feed. This stylosome begins to itch four to six hours after the chigger bites, and it can itch for up to 10 days.

Chiggers are easy to brush off, according to About.com, and to get a good meal, they need to feed for three to four days, which is usually not possible on a human host, who can quickly remove the creature. Chiggers feed better on hosts with fur, on which they can secure a firmer grip. Although some myths suggest that Vaseline and nail polish are effective remedies for chigger bites, these substances do not speed up the healing process. Keeping the bites clean and not scratching the area are the most effective ways to treat chigger bites.

Scratching the bitten area can lead to infection, and it can also cause a chigger's mouthpart to remain in the skin, as Clemson University describes. However, chiggers in the United States do not transmit any known diseases.

Learn more about Invasive Insects

Related Questions

Explore