Chiggers can be found in every state in the nation. However, they are more prevalent in the hot and humid regions of the South and the Midwest. Chiggers are most active from spring to late autumn but are active year-round in the warmest parts of the United States such as southern Texas and Florida.
Chiggers are the larval form of mites. They are extremely small, just 1/150th to 1/120th of an inch in diameter, making them barely visible and able to move about almost unseen.
Chiggers cause swelling, itching and redness with their microscopic bites on humans. Chiggers and mites are not insects but rather close relatives of ticks and spiders. According to Clemson University, chiggers do not transmit disease.
Chiggers can sense the emanation of carbon dioxide, thus drawing them to humans. They like thin skin, such as that in the armpits, ankles or the backs of the knees, and also can be found in areas where clothing fits snugly. Once they have found a spot, they feed by piercing the skin and releasing saliva that dissolves skin cells. They feed on the liquefied skin cells for approximately three days, then drop to the ground and morph into nymphs, the next developmental stage.