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How to Recognize Chigger Bites

By Contributor ; Updated July 27, 2017

How to Recognize Chigger Bites. Chiggers are the larvae of the harvest mite and if you get bitten by one you'll start to suffer from intense itching within a few hours, often around your torso. A quick examination will reveal weeping red welts characteristic of chigger bites.

See "How to Avoid Chigger Bites" under Related eHows. It's always better to prevent bites than to deal with their aftermath.

Check the site of the itching. If chiggers have bitten, you will see red welts beginning to form.

Clean the site carefully and apply a hydrocortisone cream to treat the itching. Calamine lotion may also work.

Use a commercial product such as Chigarid or Chigg-away to treat the bites.

Keep the site clean and dry, and watch it carefully for signs of secondary infection.


The discomfort from chigger bites can last up to two weeks, even though the chiggers may have dropped off or been removed. Chiggers are not known to spread any diseases in the United States. Other popular ways of treating chigger bites include applying anti-lice shampoo to the affected area and leaving it on overnight; brushing clear nail polish over the bites; or smearing petroleum jelly over the bites. These have been used with varying degrees of success, but you should contact your health care professional before proceeding.


If you scratch your chigger bites and don't keep the site clean and dry, you may develop a secondary bacterial infection. If this occurs, apply an antibacterial ointment. See your doctor if the infection does not improve.

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