Ask my husband and he will tell you that those three long words is the scientific name for the common Chigger, also known as Jigger or Red Bug. The reason we both have learned a great deal about chiggers is because he currently has 50-60 chigger bites. He has them on his ankles, the back of his knees, and right on up.
Chiggers are microscopic and are only 1/20 of an inch long. They are red in color, hairy and run like the wind. If you get near them they will be on you faster than you can imagine. You will not know chiggers have moved in on you until the itching starts.
When chiggers get on you they insert mouthparts into a pore or follicle. The bites produce red welts that itch like the devil. Have you ever had a really bad case of poison ivy? Chigger bits itch worse than that. Contrary to what some people believe, the chigger does not get ‘under your skin and live there’. He just tries to suck the life out of you.
Seriously, once the chigger bits you he inserts digestive enzymes into you skin in order to break down the cells. He then lives on your skin ‘eating’ for 4 days before he drops off. In his place is a large red welt, then the itching starts. The worst of the itching can last as long as 5 days, but there will be residual itching for up to two weeks.
After trying Benadryl spray several times without much success, I finally talked him into going to the drug store. I had read about a product called Chigarid. The drug store we visited didn’t have it. They had another product called AfterBite, which we purchased for $4.29 plus tax.
Once at home, my husband applied the AtferBite and he got a little relief. He did have to re-apply every 3 hours or so. The next day we went to Publix grocery store and I asked the pharmacist what products they had for chigger bites. He produced a package from behind the counter, it was Chigarid. The price of this product at Publix was $2.90 plus tax.
At home Mr. G applied the Chigarid. He said for a short time it burned, but a few seconds later the burning stopped and so did the itching. It has a strong smell at first but it went away. Bottom line, Chigarid works. He had to put more on again about 7 hours later. The package states you can put it on 3 -4 times a day. After applying Chigarid approximately 5 times over a two day period the itching almost stopped.
Since there is no way for sure to know what area of our property is the home of these chiggers, at least we know that Chigarid will be the life saver the next time those hungry Trombicula alfreddugesi (Oudemans) latch on to either of us!