Living in Texas where it’s hot and humid, we have the perfect conditions for chiggers. Chiggers are actually the larvae of the trombiculid mite and are the problematic stage of their life.
There are four stages of the life cycle for this mite. Egg, larvae, nymph and adult. Eggs are laid in the springtime in leaves and moist soil by the female mite. Once the larvae hatch it will find a host to begin feeding on for approximately 3 days. It will inject its saliva into an animal or human host to dissolve the skin cells to feed on. Contrary to some beliefs, chiggers do not burrow into the skin, they actually remain on top of the skin. When the skin starts to turn red and itch is where the misconception lies that they burrow under the skin. They actually blend into the redness of the skin while they feed on the skin cells. Once the chigger has finished eating it will drop off the host and begin digesting the cells and molting into the next phase of life.
Most active during the hot and humid months, nymphs and adults can be found feeding on insects or other insect eggs that they find in the soil. It can take up to 12 months for a chigger to become an adult.
During the winter, the adults will burrow into the soil and then in the spring to fall, you can find them in shaded vegetation areas and along the edges of rocks, concrete or stones.
During the larvae stage, chiggers can be found in grassy-brush areas where vegetation is shaded and soil conditions are moist and humid.
Chiggers are capable of hopping onto a host that disrupts their area. This can result in chiggers finding a tight-fitting area of your clothing to feed from. The waist line of your pants or socks are prime areas for them to crawl into and get against your skin to start feasting.
- Wear tight woven clothes – this will help keep chiggers from getting through your clothes to your skin
- Tuck pant legs into your socks or boots when walking through grassy-brushy or wooded areas
- Wear long sleeve shirts and button the sleeves and collar to protect chiggers from getting under your clothes
- Use personal and clothing repellant designed for chiggers
- Keep lawn and bushes clean and trimmed – pick up grass clippings and leaves
- Call a professional for lawn insect treatments – this will help with chiggers and other insects throughout your lawn
Call Safe Earth Pest Control today to get started on all your pest control needs. 214-321-2847