having chiggers and remaining sane...

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by 3goodeggs, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. It's probably best to get a prednisone dose-pak from your doctor if they aren't much better. I'd still paint them with clear nail polish...or whatever color you have on hand [​IMG] The stinging from the nail polish painted onto raw and bleeding skin is actually a relief from the itching.

    Whatever the s#*t they produce that causes the unbearable itching probably needs a beat down by some steroids. Here's a pic of those bad boys!


    Here some information with which I take some issue: [​IMG] Bold words are MINE!!

    Bad Bugs Slideshow
    Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    What are chiggers?

    Chiggers are the juvenile form (larvae) of a certain type of mite of the family Trombiculidae. Mites are arachnids (like spiders and ticks).

    Chiggers are found throughout the world. They most commonly live in forests, grassy fields, gardens, parks, and in moist areas around lakes or rivers. Most of the larvae that cause chigger bites are found on plants that are relatively close to the ground surface, because they require a high level of humidity for survival.

    What do chiggers look like?

    Chiggers are barely visible to the naked eye (their length is less than 1/150th of an inch). They are red in color and may be best appreciated (I would NOT use this term) when clustered in groups on the skin. The juvenile forms have six legs, although the (harmless) adult mites have eight legs.

    Picture of Chigger Eggs, Larvae, Nymph, and Adult

    How do chiggers bite humans?

    Chigger mites infest human skin via areas of contact with vegetation, such as pant cuffs or shirt sleeves and collars. They migrate on the skin in search of an optimal feeding area. A common myth about chiggers is that they burrow into and remain inside the skin. This is not true. (Again, this cannot possibly be true!) Chiggers insert their feeding structures into the skin and inject enzymes that cause destruction of host tissue (and the host's mental health) . Hardening of the surrounding skin results in the formation of a feeding tube called a stylostome. Chigger larvae then feed upon the destroyed tissue. If they are not disturbed (which is rarely the case because of they cause substantial (mild word being used here) itching) they may feed through the stylostome for a few days. (NOT DISTURBED???? It would have to be a corpse!)

    The chigger's mouth and feeding structures are delicate and are best able to penetrate the skin at areas of wrinkles, folds, or other areas of skin that are thin. Most bites occur around the ankles, the crotch and groin areas, behind the knees, and in the armpits. Barriers to migration on the skin such as belts may be one reason that chigger bites also commonly occur at the waist or at other areas where their migration is prevented by compression from clothing. (Right...I can hear them saying ,"OK if I can't get off of you, I'll just bite you")

    A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. (WTH???) After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms typically begin.

    Pronounced itching is the most common symptom. (Again...such a simple word to describe HELL)

    The area of the bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a pustule or blister. (Usually a bleeding one from all the scratching)

    The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite. (I beg to differ...it is just as intense on day 19 as on day 1)

    The itching persists for several days (HAHA!! Depends on what "several" means to you!!), and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to two weeks. (Not on your life!)

    What is the treatment for chigger bites?

    Many home remedies for chigger bites are based upon the incorrect belief that chiggers burrow into and remain in the skin. (I still think this is errant information!) Nail polish, alcohol, and bleach have been applied to the bites to attempt to "suffocate" or kill the chiggers. But because the chiggers are not present in the skin, these methods are not effective. (Truly, this is correct...nothing cures them...it just makes you have a different kind of pain until they subside)

    Treatment for chigger bites is directed toward relieving the itching and inflammation. (Fo Sho) Calamine lotion and corticosteroid creams may be used to control itching. Oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), may also be used for symptom relief. (Or "none of the above" works in anyway, for more than about 2 minutes)

    What are complications of chigger bites?

    Chigger bites themselves do not produce any long-term complications. (Other than PTSD) However, because of the intense itching, prolonged scratching may lead to skin wounds that may become infected by bacteria. (...or need suturing from the various instruments used to scratch the buggers)
    1 person likes this.
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Chiggers fall under the category of bugs that Yankees an city people think we made up to scare them.... Till they learn the hard way. Others are Seed ticks an No-see-ums. All are very real.







    Seed ticks:



  3. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I haven't had red bug bites in several years but looking at these pictures makes me feel the itch just like it was yesterday! Glad y'all in states that don't have them, well, don't have them...
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    It's true. By the time you're itching, the little things are long gone and they've converted a little tube they've made in your flesh into a 2-week nightmare, using your own immune system against you. Brilliant!

    Here's the best advice we ever got regarding them, and since you get eaten alive by them here if you sit on the ground or walk through tall grass, we have lots of experience:

    Shower immediately following a questionable activity, such as walking through tall grass. If you can't shower, drop all of your clothes off and 'dust off' your body, and either put on clean clothes or shake out your previous clothes WELL.

    It works.

    Once you've got them, you have to wait for your body to resorb the tube they've made- THAT'S what's itching! Your body is rejecting it. I find the highest percentage of lidocaine is in Oragel max, so that's where I go!

    Nasty little critters. This makes me freak out when I see the news saying bedbugs are back- If a microscopic critter can make you itch like this, what does one of those nasties feel like - eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Ain't it the truth! [​IMG]
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Oh oh oh! Trying having your foot in a cast and getting chiggers! That might explain why I am the way I am. [​IMG]
  7. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    Ranchhand....that scenario just gave me a new reason for nightmares!!!!!!!

    Anyone who has had poison ivy knows its a misery; itchy, goopy and sore. Chiggers itch a thousand times worse, and when your poison ivy has cleared up, your chigger bites still itch. Horribly!!!

    I think if I was ever so unfortunate to get the hundreds of chigger bites that folks here are talking about, I would end up permanently disfigured from the scratching and wearing a close-fitting jacket provided by those nice fellas with the psychiatric degrees.

    I have never actually seen a chigger. Has anyone else? They are beyond tiny.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  8. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Pinesol [​IMG]
  9. Use Chiggerid... Gets rid of them every time.
  10. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I had a doctor's appointment after my blackberry-pickin, chigger-scratching episode and told my doc about my misery. She said if it happens again to make an appointment and get a shot for them (may some kind of prednisone or something?); says she has to do it at least once every summer for some patient.

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