Medical Illustrations

Picture of Chiggers

Picture of Chiggers

Chiggers are type of mite of the Trombiculidae family. Chigger larvae feed on vertebrates such as humans. Adult chiggers get their nourishment from soil. Chiggers are found all over the world, but they typically live in forests, grassy fields, gardens, parks, and moist areas around lakes or rivers. Chiggers introduce enzymes into the host's skin and then feed off of the injured tissue. Chiggers tend to bite around areas that have thinner, more delicate skin, like the ankles, behind the knees, the crotch, armpits, or under the belt line. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin, and they do not feed off of blood.

Chigger bite symptoms tend to appear 3 to 6 hours after the initial bite. Itching and redness are the most common symptoms. Itching typically lasts several days, and the skin lesions may take up to 2 weeks to heal.

Cool showers, cold compresses, corticosteroid cream, and colloidal oatmeal baths may provide relief from symptoms.

Image Source: MedicineNet, Inc.

Text Reference: University of Minnesota: “Control of Scabies and Chiggers on Humans”