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wikiHow to Avoid Chiggers

Chiggers are mites that you may encounter during outdoor activities throughout the spring and summer months. These mites may only be 1/150th of an inch in diameter, but they can cause quite an impact through the itching they cause their victims. Chiggers, which enter the skin at openings provided by skin pores or hair follicles, cause bites that may itch for more than a week. Here are some suggestions for how to avoid chiggers.


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    Avoid chigger habitat areas. These include overgrown grass, weeds, briar patches and brushy areas. Shady spots with these types of brush and weeds are often areas where thousands of chiggers may wait, looking for their next meal. Additionally, if you walk through these areas, do not sit, kneel or lay down in the grass or weeds.
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    Wear loose-fitting clothing. Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when venturing outside. Tuck pant legs into boots to prevent chiggers from getting into your clothing and onto your skin. Chiggers tend to accumulate at tight-fitting areas, such as the top of socks, waistbands or watchband areas. Avoid tight-fitting accessories and garments.
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    Guard the back of your knees, armpits, waist, elbows, groin or ankles. Chiggers like wrinkled or thin skin, or skin that rests against itself, so these areas are prime locations for them to strike.
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    Apply insect spray. Any insect repellent that deters mosquitoes will work on chiggers. Spray the repellent at all clothes openings, such as cuffs, pant leg openings, neck and where your shirt buttons. Reapply the spray every two hours.
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    Take a hot shower with plenty of soap immediately after participating in outdoor activities. The soapy water tends to wash off any chiggers on your body. However, if they have already bitten you, you may still experience itchiness.
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    Wash your clothes immediately after coming inside. If you don't, the chiggers will still be waiting for you the next time you wear your clothes. Wash clothes in warm, soapy water.
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    Wipe your legs, arms and waist down with rubbing alcohol. Some experts contend this will not help, but many people insist that this not only helps to rid your body of chiggers, but it also decreases the itchiness of the bites.
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    Purchase sulfur powder from the local pharmacy or garden supply store. While sulfur powder may not smell good, it helps to repel chiggers. Sprinkle it lightly on your shoes. This way, chiggers must be forced to cross the sulfur line in order to climb up your leg. This will not help avoid chiggers who get on you from above your foot. If you wish to avoid those chiggers, sprinkle sulfur powder on the rest of you.
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    Plan outdoor activities for the coolest part of the day. Chiggers are most active during the hottest parts of the day.

Things You'll Need

  • Insect repellent
  • Sulfur powder

Article Info

Categories: Bugs | Animal and Insect Safety