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How to recognise chigger bites

Updated February 21, 2017

Chiggers are the larvae of the harvest mite and if you get bitten by one you'll start to suffer from intense itching within a few hours, often around your torso. A quick examination will reveal weeping red welts characteristic of chigger bites.

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Check the site of the itching. If chiggers have bitten, you will see red welts beginning to form.

Clean the site carefully and apply a hydrocortisone cream to treat the itching. Calamine lotion may also work.

Use a commercial product such as Chigarid or Chigg-away to treat the bites.

Keep the site clean and dry, and watch it carefully for signs of secondary infection.


The discomfort from chigger bites can last up to two weeks, even though the chiggers may have dropped off or been removed. Chiggers are not known to spread any diseases. Other common ways of treating chigger bites include applying anti-lice shampoo to the affected area and leaving it on overnight; brushing clear nail polish over the bites; or smearing petroleum jelly over the bites. These have been used with varying degrees of success, but you should contact your health care professional before proceeding.


If you scratch your chigger bites and don't keep the site clean and dry, you may develop a secondary bacterial infection. If this occurs, apply an antibacterial ointment. See your doctor if the infection does not improve.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hydrocortisone Creams
  • Clear Nail Polishes
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Antibacterial Ointments
  • Soap
  • Anti-lice Shampoos For Normal Hair

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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