Chiggers are tiny mites that latch onto the skin and inject saliva (digestive enzymes) into the host. It’s the saliva that causes the severe and intense itching. Chiggers are nearly impossible to see and often the only sign of them may be the numerous itchy red bumps that appear on the skin of the victim. Chiggers brush off quite easily and will rinse off with a quick shower or bath.
Remedies for Chigger Bite Itch
Here’s a handy tip for those itchy bites from chiggers that may have hitched a ride home from an afternoon of hiking: take a nice long soak in a bath of warm epsom salts to take the itch right out. Another home remedy involves dabbing a bit of clear fingernail polish over the site, but the epsom salt bath seems to work the best. Benadryl gel is also good to have on hand.
Preventing Chigger Bites
Always remember to spray on an insect repellent before heading outdoors and to shower immediately upon returning home. Avoid long grass or brush and, if hiking along local nature trails, be sure to stay on the trail to reduce the risk of running into these annoying creatures. A few simple precautions will make the outdoors much more inviting.