Chiggers! Yes, it’s that time of year again. Here in Texas, they’ve made their arrival and they’ll be around all summer long. Within a day or so, I’m covered in chigger bites…and they itch like crazy! At this time of year, a lot of questions about how to get rid of chiggers come to mind! Luckily, I know the answers.
How To Get Rid Of Chiggers: Natural Methods That Help
For those of you who have never dealt with chiggers before, you may be wondering “What the heck is a chigger?” Well, by definition, a chigger is a harvest mite, a very small, red mite endemic to the Midwestern and Southeastern US, the infestation of which causes intense itching. They usually reside in tall grass, tall weeds, wooded areas, and berry patches.
A single chigger will not be visible to the naked eye. However, if you are wearing white shoes (for example) and you step into tall grass or weeds that happen to be infested with chiggers, you may notice a cluster of reddish tiny mites moving around on the white material of your shoe. Other than that, you won’t know that you’ve been exposed to chiggers until their bites show up a couple of days later.
According to Wikipedia, this is the exact process of a chigger bite: “Chiggers attach to the host, pierce the skin, inject enzymes into the bite wound that digest cellular contents, and then suck up the digested tissue through a tube formed by hardened skin cells called a stylostome. They do not burrow into the skin or suck blood, as is commonly assumed.”
With a description as gruesome as that, you’ll want to know how to get rid of chiggers before they can strike. Fortunately, in this article, I will cover ways to repel chiggers — and they’ll all be natural!
Ways To Repel Chiggers Naturally
Being eaten up by chiggers makes for a miserable summer! Not only do they itch like crazy, they can easily scar your skin if you scratch them. People with fair complexions, like myself, can still scar even if you don’t scratch. Plus, from my personal experience, chigger bites can itch for days!
Let’s talk natural repellent and other tips that can keep you free from chigger bites this summer!
1. Keep Your Lawn Mowed (as short as you can)
As I mentioned before, chiggers love to hang out in tall grass and weeds. Keeping your lawn mowed as short as you can will help prevent chigger infestations.
2. Plant Marigolds
Some swear by this method! Apparently, chiggers do not like marigolds, so plant some around your home. Not only will you repel chiggers, your flower garden will be extra beautiful.
Check out my article, “Plants That Repel Insects and Pests,” for more ways you can repel unwanted pests this summer simply by adding certain plants to your garden!
3. Diatomaceous Earth (for your clothes and yard)
For this method, use only food grade DE only for your clothes and lawn.
Chiggers hate this stuff! Before leaving the house, dust a little food grade DE on the bottom of your pants (about 6 inches upward), your socks around ankles, and your shirt sleeves.
For your lawn, sprinkle food grade DE to repel chiggers. The rule of thumb for this method is 5 pounds per 1000 square feet.
You can order food grade DE HERE.
4. Panty Hose
Wear panty hose underneath your pants. This is a popular method due to the fact that chiggers can’t bite through panty hose material.
Using sulfur to repel chiggers is a well known and very effective repellent.
- Sulfur Powder – Dust your clothes and shoes with sulfur powder before heading outside.
- Sulfur Pellets – You can also spread sulfur pellets around your lawn to repel chiggers. The suggestion for this method is to do so before it becomes extremely hot out. However, this method is not recommended if you have pets.
- Sulfur Supplements – My mom swears by this method! My great grandmother used to give my mom sulfur tablets and the bugs really stayed away. You can buy sulfur tablets online HERE.
Before taking any sulfur supplements, please consult with your primary care physician if you have any known medical conditions, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are taking any prescription medications. Understanding how to get rid of chiggers means finding a solution that fits with your medical needs!
Spray your clothes with white distilled vinegar before heading outdoors. Some people do this and never turn back to any other method!
Eat a single clove of garlic daily to repel chiggers. Garlic is a great mosquito repellent as well.
8. Hit The Shower
Every single time I spend any time outdoors, I head straight for the shower after I come back inside. It takes time for chiggers to pierce the skin, so the sooner you can take a hot shower, the better! I also recommend using antibacterial soap.
9. DIY Chigger Repellent
Here is a great chigger repellent recipe using essential oils:
- 2 teaspoons of witch hazel
- 4 tablespoons of water
- 5 drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, thyme, or lemongrass will work)
Mix well and spray directly onto your skin.
If you are currently suffering from chigger bites and you are searching for all natural remedies that’ll provide you with itch relief, please checkout my article, 5 Home Remedies for Chigger Bites.
Do any natural answers to how to get rid of chiggers? Share with us in the comment section below.
Checkout these articles for other all natural ways to repel insects this summer!
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