Chiggers are one of the most irritating bugs that you can ever have in your house.
They bite, and they can hide in your bed, giving you sleepless and itchy nights.
In this guide, you’ll find out not just about getting rid of chiggers in the house and yard.
You’ll also get in-depth information on how and why they enter your home, what a chigger looks like, where chiggers live, and much more.
So, keep reading if you want a chigger-free home forever.
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What Does A Chigger Look Like?
Many people confuse chiggers with small blood-sucking bugs like bed bugs and fleas.
That’s a big mistake.
If you can’t identify a chigger, you’ll choose the wrong extermination methods.
That’ll cost you a fortune.
So, you must know what a chigger is and what a chigger looks like.
Chiggers are little red bugs that bite. They’ve six legs.
And how big are the chiggers? Chiggers are tiny. They grow only up to 1/50th of an inch in size.
Chiggers, being so tiny, are very difficult to see with a naked eye, especially in your yard or patio deck. You might need a magnifying glass to see them.
Chiggers are not insects.
They’re arachnids. That makes them a part of the family of spiders, mites, and ticks.
To be more precise, chiggers are the larvae of chigger mites belonging to the Trombiculidae family.
Where Do Chiggers Live?
Chiggers are outdoor bugs that find a way to sneak inside your home.
Outside your home, chiggers live on the overgrown bushes and shrubs near the moist areas of your yard or garden.
In nature, chiggers live on the lush vegetation and tall grasses near lakes and streams.
If you’re a lawn in your yard, then chiggers can hide in the lawn grasses too.
So, how do chiggers get inside your home? You’ll get to know about it in a minute, but for now, let’s look at where chiggers live or hide in the house.
Inside your home, chiggers live on any soft furnishings like beds, couches, accent chairs, and even on rugs and carpets.
They can also hide in the tiny gaps and cracks on wooden floors, furniture, and the bed frame.
Chiggers need moisture and shade and a source of food for their survival. So, inside your home, they look for the same.
That’s the reason you’ll find them hiding in the seams of the beds, couches, and the thin gaps and cracks on the furniture.
In the US, you’ll find chiggers in all the states.
How Do Chiggers get Inside The House?
So, what brings chiggers inside the home?
Chiggers get inside your home in the same way that fleas do.
When you walk through bushes and shrubs infested with chiggers, they’ll latch on to your clothing.
The most common places where chiggers latch onto are below the waist area, especially on the ankles.
Pets can also bring chiggers home. Chiggers can latch onto the bodies of pets.
How Long Do Chiggers Live In The House?
Chiggers can’t survive for long inside the house if they don’t get to feed. If they don’t get to eat then, chiggers will die within 50-70 days.
Chiggers need to feed so that they molt into adults.
And the primary source of food inside the house is your skin.
Chiggers feed on the host’s skin for 3-4 days. After feeding, they drop off the host and start to molt. So, chiggers can’t live on you for more than 3-4 days.
Chiggers molt for 10 days to turn into a nymph (a fully formed baby chigger mite) with eight legs.
But the molting process doesn’t stop here. After a month, the nymphs molt again to turn into an adult chigger mite ready to breed.
Can Chiggers Live On Dogs?
Yes, chiggers can live on dogs and cats for the same reasons and the same duration, 3-4 days.
They will feed on the dogs’ skin for 3-4 days before dropping off for molting into an adult.
When Is The Chigger Season?
In the US, Chiggers are active in the warmer months of the year.
So, their activity increases in the late spring, summer, and early fall months.
You can have chigger bites during this period.
How Do Chigger Bites Look Like?
Chiggers bite by injecting their digestive enzymes into your skin. The enzymes break down the skin cells making your skin edible for the chiggers.
However, unlike mosquito bites, chigger bites are not immediately noticeable.
You may feel the pinch during the bite, but at least for 2-3 hours, you wouldn’t find any noticeable symptoms of bites on your skin.
When bite symptoms occur, you’ll notice a red flag or a little bit bumpy blister on the bitten portion.
Intense itching follows when the symptoms start to appear.
Chigger bites don’t last for months, but they can last for 1-2 weeks.
Chiggers can bite multiple times on your body. These multiple bites can give you the impression that you’ve got eczema.
The most common areas on your body where you can get chigger bites are ankles, wrists, thighs, groin, and waist.
The best part is that a chigger’s bite doesn’t transmit any diseases.
But chigger bites can cause allergic reactions to people who’re allergic to bug bites.
Common allergic reactions to chigger bites are skin lesions, intense itching, and dermatitis.
A recent study suggested that chigger bites can cause an allergy to red meat.
How To Prevent Chigger Bites?
You’re an easy target to chiggers if you’re into any outdoor activity like hiking, camping, or even working in your yard or garden.
Chiggers can pick up movement quickly, and the carbon dioxide that you and the pets exhale attracts them.
The best way to prevent chigger bites is to wear skin-friendly natural chiggers and mosquito repelling body sprays made out of citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Chiggers hate the smells of these elements.
Even rubbing some essential oils made of these, especially peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, will do a great job in preventing chigger bites.
Not exposing the skin of your lower body is also an excellent preventive measure against chigger bites.
After spraying chigger repellent sprays on your body, wearing trousers and socks keeps biting bugs like mosquitoes and chiggers away when you’re outdoors.
Avoid walking into dense vegetation near moist areas or sitting in similar places.
Once back to your home, shower asap, and wash your clothes with warm water to kill any chiggers, fleas, or any bugs latched onto the clothing.
Can Chiggers Bite Through Clothing?
Yes, chiggers can bite through clothing. But it also depends on the fabric of the clothes that you’re wearing.
Some fabrics like polyester and synthetic materials don’t have many gaps between the threads. So, chiggers can’t access your skin to bite.
But chiggers can easily access your skin through breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In The Yard Naturally?
Now that you know why chiggers bite you, how they get inside your home, and where chiggers hide in the house and yard, it’s time to get rid of them.
Let’s begin with getting rid of chiggers in the yard.
It’s because if there are chiggers inside your home, then there’s a big chance that chiggers are hiding in your yard.
Here’s a 5 step guide to get rid of chiggers in the yard –
Trim Overgrown Vegetation In Your Yard
A lush green yard or garden always makes a home look great.
But that’s the place where biting bugs like chiggers, fleas, and fire ants hide.
So, trimming those overgrown bushes and shrubs always denies the hiding places to chiggers.
Ensure that you trim the bushes that are close to your home’s foundation. If you’ve got a lawn, then keep the lawn grass short.
Reduce The Dampness In Your Yard
A damp yard is always attractive not just for chiggers but also for many invasive pests like roaches.
All chiggers need to thrive outdoors are moist and shaded areas.
And there’s always overgrown vegetation, including weeds, near the places where there is high dampness.
To fix dampness, don’t over-water your yard. That’ll reduce the chances of waterlogging.
If there’s any water leakage in your yard or garden that keeps your yard moist, fix it.
Trimming and removing overgrown and needless vegetation in your yard and keeping the yard’s moisture under control goes a long way to keep your yard free from bugs.
Keep Your Yard Clean To Stop Chiggers From Hiding
Bugs and chiggers hate a clean yard. For chiggers and many other bugs, trash and organic waste in the yard is a dream place to hide.
Waste holds the moisture, and that makes it a go-to place for chiggers to hide.
So, get rid of any food wastes, including wrappers, papers, plastic and paper bags, foliage, and rotting wood from your yard.
You’ll do a great favor to your home because getting rid of them will make your yard uninhabitable for the chiggers and other bugs like roaches, ants, centipedes, and even termites.
If there’s a mulch in your yard, ensure that the mulch is fresh and not rotting.
Scatter Diatomaceous Earth In Your Yard To Kill Chiggers
Diatomaceous earth is a safe and powerful pest killer that every homeowner must have.
Scatter a generous amount of diatomaceous earth on the places where you’ve chopped off overgrown vegetation, wet areas, and places under the shed in your yard.
Diatomaceous earth penetrates the bodies of chiggers and kills them from inside by soaking the moisture that they need to survive.
And it’s not just a handy chigger killer. Diatomaceous earth kills many pests that hide in yards like roaches, ants, and termites.
Spray Peppermint Oil Spray Mixed With Soapy Water
Peppermint oil has insecticidal properties that keep bugs and chiggers away.
To add more punch after the diatomaceous earth treatment, spray peppermint oil spray in your yard.
Mixing soapy water with it will make the spray more powerful. And peppermint oil spray is safe for plants.
But there’s a catch.
You might have to scatter diatomaceous earth and use the peppermint oil spray at least twice a week.
It’s because some of the chiggers can hide in the soil and escape the treatment. Doing it only once might not kill all the chiggers in your yard.
Chigger may show up again.
So, it’d be best if you follow the process twice a week, at least for two weeks, to get rid of chiggers in your yard.
And always maintain your yard and keep it clean. Don’t let the shrubs overgrow, mow the lawn, and don’t let the dampness in your yard increase.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers In The House?
Chiggers are outdoor bugs, and they don’t survive inside your home for long.
Unlike other little biting bugs, say bed bugs and fleas, chiggers don’t bring any infestation risks in your home. It means indoors chiggers don’t breed and spread as fast as they do.
But if chiggers are biting you often, which means they’re feeding on your skin, then they will molt into adults.
And that’s not something that you’d want inside the house.
Now that you’ve taken care of chiggers in your yard getting rid of chiggers in the house will be a cakewalk.
But before that, you’d need to be eagle-eyed for the signs of chiggers in the house.
As chiggers are microscopic, they can’t be as clearly visible as other tiny biting bugs.
The only sign that you’ll come across is chigger bite marks. But, if chiggers are on your bed, you’d see them crawling on the bedsheet and the bed frame.
But how do chiggers get on your bed?
There are two ways that chiggers reach your bed.
The first way is when your pets with chiggers on their body spend time on your bed. That’s also one of the ways that fleas get to your bed.
And the second way is through your chiggers-infested clothes.
Coming from the outdoors and sitting on the bed or keeping clothes on the bed with chiggers latched onto them transfers the chiggers on the bed.
So, chigger bite marks and physical sightings of chiggers are the only two signs of chiggers in the house.
To get rid of chiggers in the house, follow two simple steps.
Vacuum Clean Your Home To Remove The Hiding Chiggers
Vacuum clean all the furniture, especially soft furnishings like sofa, accent chairs, chairs with cushion, and most importantly, the bed.
While vacuum cleaning the bed, ensure that you vacuum underneath the mattress, the bed frame, box springs, headboards, and footboards.
Vacuum clean slowly and cover all the tight corners and gaps. That will get rid of hiding chiggers in the bed.
Chiggers can also hide in floor furnishings like rugs and carpets, so don’t skip vacuum cleaning them too.
If there’s a pet bed, then cover that as well.
A wooden floor can harbor both chiggers and fleas. So, while vacuum cleaning the wooden floor, make sure you cover the corners and the gaps between the beams.
Vacuuming will remove most of the chiggers.
Spray White Vinegar And Peppermint Oil To Kill The Remaining Chiggers
But to ensure that all chiggers are dead, spray a mixture of white vinegar and water on the hard furniture of your home.
Don’t spray the mixture on the soft furnishings because it’ll leave behind a pungent smell which you wouldn’t like.
On the soft furnishings, use a peppermint oil spray.
On the bed, use peppermint oil spray on hard surfaces like bed frames and headboards. Then wipe off the surface with a disinfecting cloth.
As an alternative, you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth inside the house, wait for a few minutes, and then vacuum clean.
That’ll also work against chiggers.
Pro Tip – Do not dispose of the vacuum dust bug inside your home or property. The live chiggers can escape the dust bug and enter your home, again.
Does Lysol Kill Chiggers
Yes, Lysol kills chiggers. You can use Lysol liquid mixed with water or Lysol disinfecting wipes to kill chiggers hiding inside your home.
But don’t use Lysol on soft furnishings and clothes. Lysol may damage them.
In this guide, you’ve found out everything that you should know about chiggers.
Now you know where chiggers come from inside your home and what are the best ways to get rid of them inside your home and yard.
Chiggers are little red bugs that bite. They can’t live on you like ticks, but your skin is a source of nutrition that helps them grow.
So, what are the other tiny bugs that live inside your home and make your life itchy?
To know more, check out our post on microscopic bugs that bite.
Dr. Thomas Orbert, the Microbial Maestro, dances with the tiniest of creatures as an entomologist extraordinaire! With a PhD in entomology, his passion lies in unraveling the secret symphonies of insect-microbe interactions. From minuscule marvels to captivating complexities, Dr. Orbert unveils the hidden world of bugs, igniting curiosity one buzz at a time!