Here, we’ll be discussing chigger habitats as well as their mode of feeding.
Chiggers also referred to as harvest mites or red mites are parasitic arachnids known to cause pain. These mites are infamous for the level of discomfort caused including diseases spread such as scrub typhus.
Where To Find Chiggers?
The latter shouldn’t be difficult to figure out for persons who’ve dealt with chiggers in the past or currently do.
By the end, you should have a clear idea of what they’re about and how best to control chiggers from the knowledge of where they live.
So, are you ready? Because we are!
Surprisingly, Adult Chiggers Don’t Bite!
If you’d thought that chiggers at all stages of development bite, you’ll need to reconsider your stance. Adult chiggers actually don’t bite.
It’s the larvae or nymphs that do the biting. Most people won’t notice the bites immediately. It’s the itch and rashes that result from such bites that become evident.
Chigger larvae are very tiny and will be difficult to see with the naked eye.
You might have to use a magnifying glass to find them. These pests will cluster around an area while being totally absent around areas nearby.
So, does that mean they live on humans?
Chiggers Don’t Live on Humans
Due to chigger bites, it’s common to assume (although erroneously) that chiggers live on humans. The truth is, chiggers don’t live on humans.
They only position themselves to get on a host to feed temporarily. So, what do they feed on, blood? More about this will be discussed shortly.
Asides from humans, chiggers also attach themselves to animals for the same reasons. Here, it’s clear that although these pest larvae won’t live on humans, they find humans and animals a temporary feeding source.
To learn more, you only need to read further for details.
This is the crux of our discussion.
Chiggers are mostly found in wild settings ranging from long grass fields, gardens, trail edges, lawns, dense shrubbery, and pollinator habitats.
Other locations you can find chiggers include woods and brush, forests, and wild plantings.
While these pests can be found in the habitats mentioned, they’re not restricted to these areas as they can be found just about anywhere. However, the above-mentioned are primary habitats where you’ll find these pests.
So, how then do they get onto humans?
How Chiggers Get to Humans
You’re likely to make contact with vegetation especially if you have a lawn and other plants growing around your home. Because chiggers live on vegetation, it isn’t difficult to figure out how they came about.
Your skin gets infested by these pests once your skin establishes direct contact with these pests.
Contact points usually include shirt sleeves, collars, and pant cuffs among other areas. When they get onto a suitable host, chiggers won’t feed immediately but will find a suitable feeding spot.
When one is found, feeding commences immediately. Do they burrow into the skin? You’ll want to read on for more on that.
Chiggers Burrowing Through Skin: Fact or Myth?
You might have heard a lot being said about the living habits of chiggers. False accounts of chigger feeding habits have it that these tiny arachnids bore through the skin to feed on blood.
According to such accounts, chiggers then live underneath human skin to feed.
That’s totally a myth. Chiggers do not live underneath human skin. As a matter of fact, they don’t feed on your blood. Surprising right?
Well, that’s what it is! You might want to stop using unreliable treatments that seek to “suffocate” chiggers buried underneath human skin.
First, that isn’t possible. Chiggers will not burrow underneath your skin to live and feed there. This revelation should enable you to ditch ineffective treatment procedures.
What Do Chiggers Feed on?
If you’ve been surprised about the fact that chiggers don’t feed on blood as commonly circulated, you’ll naturally want to find out what they feed on. These parasitic larvae feed on extracellular fluid from the dermis.
This is what attracts them to humans and animal hosts.
Although your blood isn’t fed on by these pests, they still manage to transmit diseases like scrub typhus. There’s nothing beneficial leaving chiggers untreated.
With the knowledge of where they live, you’ll need to take immediate steps to prevent their presence.
Symptoms of Chigger Bites
When you begin to experience itches, it’s important to first identify its cause. By looking out for the symptoms, you’re able to differentiate between chigger bites and those of other pests.
Common symptoms of chigger bites include itchy reddish bumps found around bite areas.
Such itchy bumps usually have bright red dots in the middle. These are mostly in the form of hives, welts, or pimples. They can also be said to resemble blisters.
So, where are common areas such as bites happen? You’ll find these behind the knees, around ankles, crotch area, and waist as well as armpits.
The problem with such bites areas is that instead of immediately subsiding after a while, it only gets large and this can continue for a few days or a few weeks.
With all of these symptoms identified, it’s left for you to take urgent action.
Chigger control is tied to identifying areas they live. Suitable habitats have been mentioned above. So, you’ll need to take immediate steps towards making such habitats unlivable for them.
Thinning out and trimming bushes, shrubs, and trees is a great way to start.
Other control methods to adopt include getting rid of accumulated debris and leaves from your surroundings. Is there any ground cover apart from trees providing shade?
You may want to have these removed. For lawns consider having them trimmed low enough.
Weed removal is also another way of making your surroundings uninhabitable to chiggers. You may want to use any herbicide too.
With these out of the way, animals like rodents and other possible chigger hosts won’t come around. This helps in making your surroundings chigger-free. Chiggers love vegetative environments but will feed on human and animal extracellular dermis fluids.
To prevent this from happening, we provided several control methods to keep these pests at bay.