Chiggers

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chiggers are tiny, six-legged organisms that grow up to become a type of mite. Their bite causes severe itching. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about chiggers in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Chiggers, commonly called red bugs, are found in grassy fields, along lakes, streams and in forests.

Chiggers have tiny claws that allow them to attach to the skin and inject their saliva. This saliva contains digestive juices that liquify skin cells. This is very irritating to the skin. After a few days, the chigger will be done feeding and fall off a persons skin, leaving behind a red bump.

The best way to avoid getting bitten by a chigger is to use an insect repellent that contains DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outside, especially if youll be hiking or playing in fields.

Once you come in from an outdoor area that may have chiggers, take a shower and use plenty of soap. Also, be sure to wash your clothes in hot water to kill any chiggers that might be living there. There is no benefit from adding Clorox to your bath.

Should you get a skin infection from scratching, you may need antibiotics.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.