How to Get Rid of Chiggers on the Body

By Rebekah Richards

Chiggers are the larvae of a type of mite. Chiggers measure about 1/20 inch and appear bright red. They bite humans, causing an extremely itchy rash. Chiggers often live in tall grasses, berry patches and the edges of woods. They usually bite in the summer and fall, and often bite the ankles, waist, back of the knees or inside the elbow. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin. If you wash or rub chiggers off your skin soon after exposure, you can avoid getting bitten.

Chiggers are the larvae of a type of mite. Chiggers measure about 1/20 inch and appear bright red. They bite humans, causing an extremely itchy rash. Chiggers often live in tall grasses, berry patches and the edges of woods. They usually bite in the summer and fall, and often bite the ankles, waist, back of the knees or inside the elbow. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin. If you wash or rub chiggers off your skin soon after exposure, you can avoid getting bitten.

Wash your entire body with soap and hot water as soon as possible after exposure. Soap and water washes away chiggers.

Rub your skin with a towel to dislodge and remove chiggers if bathing is not possible.

Wash any infested clothes in hot water before wearing them again. Chiggers may survive being washed in cool water.

Apply a corticosteroid cream or an antihistamine to reduce itching if you get bitten. Avoid scratching the bites, which may cause a skin infection. See a doctor if over-the-counter ointments do not effectively reduce itching or if you suspect your bites are infected.

Tip

Sulfur and mosquito repellent help prevent chigger bites.

Warning

Do not use kerosene, ammonia, gasoline or other hazardous products on chigger bites.

References

About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

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