Although they do not put your health at risk whatsoever, chigger bites can be really annoying. That’s because they tend to itch like crazy and they stay around anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. Chigger bites can be so uncomfortable that you may have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep. They do not require any treatment as they go away on their own, but some people who cannot stand the itching visit their doctors to get steroid shots.
The creepy crawlers responsible are called chiggers, which are reddish orange mites that can be hard to spot with the naked eye — you will usually need to reach for a magnifying glass just to see them in their full glory. Also known as berry bugs, harvest lice and scrub-itch mites, chiggers do not really spread any disease.
What they spread around, however, is itchiness! Chiggers have very sharp claws that they use to make tiny holes in your skin. Afterwards, they release acid-like saliva to dissolve some of your skin cells, and that’s what they eat for sustenance.
Chiggers can be found all over the planet. Their favorite hanging spots are moist, grassy and wooded areas, especially at the boundaries of forests. They can also be found near lakes and streams, and even in your lawn! When chiggers attach to your clothes, they crawl around until they find a patch of skin — and then it’s mealtime for them!
Chiggers like feasting on your legs and waist, but they can also bite you elsewhere. In fact, there’s even the so-called summer penile syndrome, which is caused by chigger bites in the groin area of males!
By the way, chiggers may already be biting you but still not be aware of it — those bugs are so teeny that you won’t feel their tiny claws drilling holes into your skin. The itchy red bumps tend to make their presence known only after a few hours. From then onwards, the symptoms can last for several days, sometimes up to 3 weeks.
What do you do when those chiggers bite? Here are some of the best home remedies for it:
Take a Hot Shower
Chiggers cannot stand high temperatures, and that is why a hot shower will get rid of any creepy crawler on your body. It’s also something that can keep unfavorable skin reactions to a minimum.
Have a Cool Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda is a versatile home remedy for a number of health and beauty issues. Guess what? Baking soda is also very good at easing the symptoms of chigger bites. Once a day throughout your bout of chigger bites, soak in cool bathwater with a cup of baking soda dissolved in it. Stay there for several minutes until relief is attained.
Daub Baking Soda Paste
Similarly, you may come up with an anti-itch paste out of baking soda. All you have to do is add a few drops of water to a tablespoon of baking soda. Mix and spread on red and itchy bumps left behind by those pesky chiggers.
Count on Cold Rub
After hitting the shower and pat drying your skin, reach for a container of cold rub and start daubing it on those red bites. The mentholated product can help reduce itching and inflammation. In some instances, the red bites may end up as blisters. Such can be prevented from striking with the help of cold rub.
Use Cold Compress
One of the quickest ways to attain relief from chigger bites is by applying cold compress. But don’t place ice cubes directly on those chigger bites; wrap them in a small towel.
Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
You can always count on apple cider vinegar in easing itchiness and inflammation that accompany chigger bites. Dip a clean cotton swab in the sour liquid and start daubing it on those annoying red spots. After half an hour, rinse off thoroughly with cold water. Use raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar for best results.
Opt for Olive Oil
Thanks to the vitamin E content of olive oil, it’s an excellent home remedy for chigger bites and a host of other skin problems. Simply apply olive oil on the itchy spots several times a day.
Rub Some Aloe Vera Gel
Another excellent source of skin-soothing vitamin E is aloe vera gel. Just break off a leaf and place the gel directly on problem areas. After 15 minutes, wash the gel off with lukewarm water. Don’t have aloe vera plant within your easy reach but you got a bottle of pure aloe vera juice? Feel free to use it and get instant relief!