What in the world is a chigger, and what do they have to do with trains? Well, to start, chiggers are teeny tiny mites that have an exclusive membership to the arachnid family club, and they have absolutely nothing to do with trains. But if there were such a thing, the Chigger Choo Choo is definitely something you would not want any part of.
Chiggers are mites – also known as red bugs, harvest lice, or harvest mites – that are so small, measuring at most only .3 millimeters long, that unless they are clustered together, you’d need a magnifying glass to see them. They are usually red but can also be found in lovely shades of orange, yellow, or the ever-so-popular straw.
Do Chiggers Bite?
Adult chiggers don’t bite, but their parenting skills are sorely lacking since it is the babies that you have to worry about. While they don’t transfer diseases, their bites can show up anywhere on your body and be so itchy that they can keep you scratching day and night. Your skin might also turn red with bumps or blisters, and you might get a rash that resembles hives. The irritation resulting from Scratchfest 2021 can easily turn into an infection that takes weeks to heal.
Here’s how chiggers roll. Once the chigger eggs hatch, the larvae or baby chigs, as they are known by their homies, use their six fast-moving legs to climb onto vegetation where they seek out their prey. Since they don’t fly and have co-dependency issues, they stay clustered with their siblings in large groups on leaves or grass where they wait for their next meal to walk by. After they crawl on your shoes or clothes, they use their claws to clench onto their human (or animal) victims, they pierce their host’s skin and inject their saliva.
Warning: The following text has graphic content that some may find disturbing.
Once the saliva is injected, it liquifies the skin cells of the host. See what I mean about disturbing. So gross. After feeding on their host’s skin cell milkshake for four or so days, the baby chigs drop off and continue on with their development to the eight-legged nymph-stage and ultimately the adult-stage chigger mite. Mama chigs become active in the warmer weather, laying around 15 eggs per day especially during the spring, summer, and early fall when the temperatures reach 60 degrees or more.
Additional warning: More disturbing content follows, especially if you are male.
If you’re of the male species and you get a chigger bite in your male part area, there is a special chigger-caused syndrome that you definitely do not want. It causes swelling, itching, red bumps, blisters, and additional issues that you really don’t want associated with your male parts that can last for up to a few weeks.
Chiggers can be found in grassy areas, wooded areas, forest-like areas, near lakes and streams and can be found all over the world. Basically all the cool places that you might want to visit, the chigger train has already been.
How To Get Rid of Chiggers
This bug blogger might not know much, but I do know that the Chigger Choo Choo is one train you do not want to be on. Thank heaven HowToPest.com has exactly what you need to derail that train and keep it out of your station.
Thanks for helping me understand that chiggers would be in grassy, woody, and forest-like areas everywhere. I guess my niece might have been a victim of such pests after seeing the red, crusty bites on her legs. They have been on a camping trip last week, so they should get her prescription chigger bite relief ointment as soon as possible before it worsens.