How to Get Rid of Chiggers: Prevention, Home Remedies, and Medical Options

Introduction to Chiggers

Chiggers are tiny mites that are found in tall grass, weeds, and other vegetation. The larvae of these mites are the culprits behind the itchy red welts that can drive us crazy during the warm months. Chiggers are common in many parts of the world but are most common in areas with high humidity. In this article, we will explore ways to prevent and treat chigger bites, whether you encounter them on a hike, camping trip, or even in your own backyard.

Prevention tips

Since chiggers are so small, it is difficult to avoid contact with them entirely. However, there are a few things you can do to lower your risk of exposure to these pesky mites:

  • Wear protective clothing: Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks to cover as much of your skin as possible.
  • Apply insect repellents: Use an insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 before going outdoors. Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
  • Avoid sitting or lying on the grass: Since chiggers are usually found in tall grass or weeds, try to avoid coming into contact with them by avoiding sitting or lying directly on the ground.
  • Keep your lawn trimmed: Regularly mow your lawn and weed your garden to reduce the number of hiding places for chiggers.

Home remedies

If you do end up with chigger bites, there are some easy home remedies you can try to alleviate the itch:

  • Apply vinegar to the affected area: Dip a cotton ball in white vinegar and dab it on the bites. This may help to soothe the itch and prevent any infection from developing.
  • Use rubbing alcohol: Dabbing rubbing alcohol on the bites can help to reduce the itch and prevent infection. Simply soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and apply to the affected area.
  • Make a baking soda paste: Mix a little water with baking soda to create a paste and apply it to the bites. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse off with cool water.
  • Oatmeal baths: Adding colloidal oatmeal to your bathwater can help to soothe the itch caused by chigger bites. Simply follow the instructions on the package.

Medical options

If your symptoms are severe or persist after trying home remedies, it may be time to seek medical treatment. Your doctor may recommend one of the following medical options:

  • Hydrocortisone creams: Over-the-counter creams containing hydrocortisone can reduce the inflammation and itching caused by chigger bites.
  • Antihistamines: Antihistamines can help to reduce itching and swelling caused by allergies, including chigger bites. They can be bought over the counter or prescribed by your doctor.
  • Corticosteroids: For severe reactions, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and itching.

Chigger repellent

Using a repellent specifically designed to keep chiggers away is another way to lower your risk of exposure. Products containing permethrin are often effective at keeping chiggers at bay. Sprays, powders, and lotions are all available and can be purchased online or at your local pharmacy. Before applying a chigger repellent, carefully read the instructions on the label to ensure proper application.


Chigger bites can be very annoying and uncomfortable, but there are several ways to prevent and treat them. By wearing protective clothing, using insect repellents, and avoiding tall grass and weeds, you can lower your risk of exposure. If you do get bitten, home remedies like vinegar, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and oatmeal baths can help to alleviate symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, seek medical treatment. Finally, don’t forget to use chigger repellent if you’re planning on spending time outdoors in high-risk areas.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to chiggers. By taking a few simple steps, you can enjoy the great outdoors without having to worry about these tiny pests.

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