How do these little red bugs end up on you without any of us noticing? Do Chiggers Fly or Jump?
Chiggers are annoying little pests as larvae that wish to inject a slurpy enzyme on your skin. Thankfully, they don’t want your blood and will easily fall off your skin.
In this article, we’ll find out how they got on you in the first place. Did a chigger fly, jump, crawl or fall on you?
Do Chiggers Fly or Jump?
Chiggers are not known to either fly or jump. What they do best is climb! They reach the highest point of tall grasses, weeds, bushes and shrubs and fall off with aim and focus to land on a warm body.
They may aim for your shoe and crawl up. These red bugs only intend to bite you during their larval stage in their lifecycle.
Do Chiggers Crawl or Jump?
Chiggers have a unique strategy to end up on your skin. What they do is climb up to a tall point on a plant or shrub. They are looking for the highest vantage point and at this point they will posture and wait.
When an animal or a human passes by, they attempt to fall on the person. Chiggers are great at climbing and crawling up to reach high points. They trust their trajectory and ability to fall directly onto a person who is not able to feel it.
They aim to land on your shoes or the lower part of your pant legs. At this point they are looking to crawl towards your ankles or waistline in order to find a comfortable place to bite your skin.
Some might say that chiggers can jump, but the truth is that they are actually skydiving on to their potential host.
How Do You Tell If You Have Chiggers?
Chigger bites are hard to tell which inside insect it is coming from. A chigger bite is itchy and the bump turns red looking like a pimple or blister. You may develop hives if more than one chigger has bitten you at the same time.
The most common sites of chigger bites are around your waist or ankles. Some people who wear short sleeves will also experience chigger bites on their arms. This is why it’s important to wear long-sleeve shirts.
It’s also ideal to treat your clothes with Permethrin spray or another type of insect repellent. Treat your clothes beforehand in order to prevent chiggers from being able to land on you.
These bites are one of the most itchiest out there. They also get bigger over several days. It is the larval chigger that is trying to trying to bite you.
How Fast do Chiggers Move?
Although chiggers are nearly microscopic in size, their legs are very long relative to their body. This means that chiggers can move rapidly across distances without us noticing.
Their aim is to climb upwards to the highest point of a plant or shrub and wait for a warm body to pass by. It only takes one careful fall onto your shoe or the back of a dog or on another animal for the chigger to begin making the trip towards exposed skin.
It will take about 15 minutes for a chigger who has landed on your shoe to begin crawling all the way up to your waistline and reach any exposed skin if your shirt is not tucked in.
How To Get Chiggers Off
A chigger is not burrowing into your skin like other mites or ticks, so it’s easier to get them off of you. You can wash your skin with soap and water and that should be enough to get a chigger to fall off.
If you have any type of insect repellent that can kill ticks or mosquitoes, they will also kill chiggers. The best way to prevent chiggers is to treat your clothes with insect repellent before you actually wear them.
Rubbing alcohol is another trick to get chiggers off of you. You can spray or apply rubbing alcohol and it also helps to treat any bites in order to heal them faster.
How Do Chiggers Get On Us?
Chiggers are climbers. It is not their jumping or flying skill that is making chiggers land on you. It’s actually their ability to climb upwards and fall on you instead. The drop-down method instead of jumping works well for them.
If you are walking in an area where there are chiggers, simply brushing by any vegetation where they are waiting for a warm body is enough for them to crawl on you. The areas that you should be concerned about the most of moist locations that are shady where there is a lot of dense vegetation.
These areas include:
- shaded forest
- grassy fields
- near any creeks or rivers
- your local parks
- your backyard
Do not be concerned about chiggers jumping or flying on you. Just be careful when you are passing by any tall grasses and making contact with them with your shoes pants or shirts.
The best way to prevent them from climbing aboard you is to use insect repellents on your skin and on your clothes while tucking your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants.
Do Chiggers Burrow Into The Skin?
No. Chiggers do not burrow into your skin. Chiggers are on top of the skin and trying to inject digestive enzymes in order to ingest your skin cells. This is why they are easier to get them off your skin.
You do not need to use tweezers like you would with ticks. A gentle scrub with soap and water will be enough to get the chigger off your skin. Chiggers are not very strong and will fall off easily.
Unfortunately they leave these slurpy digestive enzymes on your skin too. You do not need to use any DIY techniques like nail polish or dish soap to suffocate chiggers. They will simply fall off with a gentle wash.
Chiggers are not injecting poison into your skin therefore you will not need to visit the hospital anytime soon.
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