Chiggers are the microscopic larvae of small red mites known by various common names, including harvest mites, red bugs and jiggers. As with ticks, chiggers look similar to their larger adult forms, but the larvae have six legs while the mite's nymph and adult stages have eight. You'll find chiggers in long or overgrown grasses, brushy areas and along lawn edges.
At just 1/64 inch in the larval stage, chiggers are so tiny you need a microscope to see them. The oval-shaped pests range in color from orange-red to red-brown. Long, sparse hairs cover their legs and bodies. To verify a chigger mite infestation, place a small piece of dark poster board upright in your grass. The red or orange mites will crawl up the board and show themselves against the surface.
SIGNS OF CHIGGERS
Only the larval "chigger" stage of these tiny red mites bite and feed on humans. Unlike mosquitoes, fleas or other pests that go for blood, chiggers feed on skin cells. When they bite, they inject an enzyme that transforms skin cells into chigger food.
These tiny parasites typically feed for one to three days and then drop off their host. Itching starts with the bite. Small blisters form at the bite site. Chigger bites usually come in multiples, concentrated around ankles, backs of knees, waistlines, fronts of elbows and armpits.
Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org (CC BY 3.0 US)
HOW TO CONTROL CHIGGERS
Chigger activity begins in early spring as newly laid eggs hatch. Bites tend to peak on warm summer nights. Effective control starts with early spring treatment to kill chiggers before biting starts. Amdro brand offers several options to kill chiggers in your lawn and landscape and keep protecting your family against their bites:
- Amdro Quick Kill Lawn Insect Killer Granules provide a simple, full-yard answer to chigger control. Apply the ready-to-use granules with a regular lawn spreader, and water the treated area lightly to release the active ingredient. The granules kill chiggers by contact and keep protecting for up to three months.
- Amdro Quick Kill Home Perimeter Insect Killer Granules offer a quick, convenient method to create a barrier of chigger protection around your home. The easy-to-use granules come in a convenient shaker container. They start working to kill chiggers by contact and keep killing for up to three months.
- Amdro Quick Kill Ant & Spider Killer Granules are the perfect treatment for smaller areas and your home perimeter. The resealable shaker bag simplifies application. Just apply the ready-to-use granules, then water lightly to release the active ingredient. The fast-acting, deep-reaching formula kills chiggers by contact and keeps working for up to three months.
CHIGGER CONTROL TIPS
When lawn grasses grow high, chiggers move from the fringes of your property toward the areas where your family plays and entertains. Regular mowing and good lawn maintenance help keep chiggers away.
Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.