You might be out in your garden, enjoying an evening off work with your kids, when suddenly you have to pay a price – an itchy rash from insects that you can’t even see.
These tiny microscopic pests are called chiggers – bugs so small that you cannot spot them with naked eyes. While scientists call them trombiculid mites, they have a bunch of other nicknames like berry bugs, harvest bugs, harvest mites, red bugs or mower’s mites.
When a chigger bites you, you may not feel the bite immediately. However, soon you may discover itchy red rashes or lumps on your skin. Although these critters are not dangerous, they leave you with an intense urge to scratch.
Chiggers are mostly attracted to moist, shady and densely vegetated areas like weedy places, ground covers, overgrown lawns, leaf litter and well-planted shrubs or trees. To eliminate them, you need to clean up vegetation, pull out weeds and make the surroundings less attractive for their survival.
So, this season, do not let these critters get the best of you.
Learn how to treat chigger bites with these simple and easy methods:
- Method 1: Take a Hot Bath
- Method 2: Use Baking Soda
- Method 3: Take an Epsom Salt Bath
- Method 4: Use Rubbing Alcohol
- Method 5: Use Vicks
- Method 6: Use Acetone or Clear Nail Paint
- Method 7: Use Hydrogen Peroxide
- Method 8: Use Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 9: Use Tea Tree Oil
- Method 10: Use Aloe Vera Gel
- Additional Tips
Method 1: Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath is the most effective way of alleviating chigger bites.
- Wash with hot water and a mild soap. Make sure the water is just hot enough not to burn you.
- Lather, rinse and repeat.
Hot water acts as a neutralizer and soothes the skin by getting rid of the itchiness.
Method 2: Use Baking Soda
Baking soda helps provide instant relief from itchy skin.
You can soak in a warm bath, with a sprinkling of baking soda mixed into it, for 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively:
- In a cup, mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda and enough water to form a thick paste.
- Wash the affected skin with water.
- Apply the paste on your chigger bite for quick relief from itchiness.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture dries.
- Rinse it off using warm water.
Do this not more than once or twice a day.
Baking soda neutralizes the skin and keeps you from scratching the bites. This is 1 ingredient that helps prevent further spreading of the rash all over the body.
Method 3: Take an Epsom Salt Bath
- Run a warm bath.
- Pour 1 cup of Epsom salt into the bath.
- Agitate the water to dissolve the salt.
- Soak in the bath for 30 to 45 minutes.
Epsom salt detoxifies and cleans your body of bacteria and toxins from chigger bites, thus providing instant relief from itching.
Method 4: Use Rubbing Alcohol
- Clean the skin, leaving it slightly damp.
- Dab a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol.
- Rub it all over the site of the chigger bites for fast relief.
Repeat if required.
Alternatively, you can tape the alcohol-soaked cotton ball over your bites. Let it remain there until the cotton ball dries up.
While rubbing alcohol may cause a little irritation on the skin, it is one of the best ways to get rid of chigger bites. It helps treat the itchy sensation on the skin, thus relieving you of any pain.
Method 5: Use Vicks
Put an end to itchy chigger bites rashes by rubbing Vicks on the affected site.
- Mix some salt in Vicks VapoRub.
- Apply it over the bitten area.
Repeat again in case of any inflammation and swelling.
Vicks contains menthol, an ingredient that provides instant relief from itching.
It is best to use this remedy at night, before going off to sleep. Overnight, the swelling disappears and the rashes are reduced.
Method 6: Use Acetone or Clear Nail Paint
- Put a small amount of acetone on a cotton ball.
- Rub this on the affected areas.
Repeat until you achieve desired results.
You may also use either clear nail polish or nail polish remover on your chigger bites.
Acetone helps soothe itching by forming a coating that prevents you from scratching further.
Method 7: Use Hydrogen Peroxide
- Wash your skin thoroughly.
- Dab a cotton ball in 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Apply it on each chigger bite.
- Let the hydrogen peroxide dry on your skin.
Repeat twice a day or until there are no more chigger bites.
Hydrogen peroxide destroys the very enzymes that cause itching and irritation on the skin, thus providing instant relief.
Method 8: Use Apple Cider Vinegar
- Wash the affected area with water.
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar.
- Dab the vinegar on each chigger bite.
- Let it dry on your skin.
Repeat this remedy twice a day or until the rashes disappear.
As an astringent, vinegar helps in relieving pain, itching and clearing up bug bites.
Method 9: Use Tea Tree Oil
Soak a cotton ball with tea tree oil
- Soak a cotton ball with tea tree oil.
- Apply the tea tree oil on each chigger bite.
- Let it remain for an hour or two, or until the oil completely dries.
Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until you notice positive results.
Method 10: Use Aloe Vera Gel
Soak a cotton ball with aloe vera gel
- Put a small amount of aloe vera gel on a cotton ball.
- Apply it on the site of the chigger bite.
- Let it remain for 30 minutes or until the gel dries completely.
Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until until it heals completely.
Aloe vera has soothing and cooling properties that help in relieving the irritation caused by the chigger bites.
- Sulfur powder is the best repellent for chiggers. You can sprinkle some on your clothes and shoes before going outdoors to save yourself from getting bit.
- For further prevention, weed your garden and mow your lawn regularly to eliminate chiggers in your yard.
- As soon as you realize that you have been bitten by chiggers, take a hot bath using a mild soap to reduce the effects of chigger bites.
- Make sure to clean your clothes in hot water to kill any chiggers that may be stuck on them.
- Try using light slapping strokes instead of intense scratching to prevent the itchiness from escalating.
- Dress wisely before you venture out in the woods. Wear long sleeves and tuck your pants into your boots or socks to reduce the risk of being bitten.