The name chigger originated as a corruption of chigoe. Also called scrub mite, red mite and several other names, they are found throughout temperate and tropical zones. Chiggers come in 3 stages: the deutovum, unfed larva, and engorged larva. Once in the egg developing, the larvae enclosed in a membrane in addition to the eggshell, are called deutovum. After hatching, the unfed larvae migrate to the highest area and wait for a host to feed on.
The larval stage is the only parasitic stage of the mite’s life cycle. They are parasites to many animals. About 30 of the many species in this family, in their larval stage, attach to various animals, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, and feed on skin. This often causes an intensely itchy red bump in humans (who are accidental hosts).
Chiggers attach to the host, pierce the skin, inject enzymes into the bite wound that digest cellular contents, and then suck up the digested goodies through a tube formed by hardened skin cells called a stylostome. They do not burrow into the skin or suck blood, as is commonly assumed. Itching from a chigger bite may not develop until 24–48 hours after the bite, so the victim may not associate the specific exposure with the bite itself. The red welt/bump on the skin is not where a chigger laid eggs, as is sometimes believed. The larva remains attached to a suitable host for 3 to 5 days before dropping off to begin its nymph stage.
Chiggers do not like sunlight or humidity. Note, however, that there appears to be some disagreement here, since many other authorities state that chiggers thrive in and need high humidity. During the wet season, chiggers are usually found in tall grass and other vegetation. During dry seasons, chiggers are mostly found underneath brush and shady areas.
They are most numerous in early summer when grass, weeds and other vegetation are heaviest. In their larval stage they attach to various animals, including humans, and feed on skin, often causing itching. These relatives of ticks are nearly microscopic.
Need help removing chiggers from your property? Our pest control services can help!
You Will Not Find a Better Group of People Anywhere
“I have known Tom Atkins and the Atkins companies for over 30 years. You will not find a better group of people anywhere. They truly understand what “customer service” really means. Their commitment to building a long term trusting relati…- Gary Drewing ~ Machens Mercedes & BMW -Read More
It’s a Trust Thing with Atkins
"From the top down, you can count on them to handle just about anything around the home. You don’t see a new face every time they show up. You get someone you can count on to do the job right and stand behind it."…- Jack Smith -Read More
Commitment to the Communities they Serve
"Many Accolades can be given to a family owned company that has been successful for 90 years. What exemplifies the Atkins Companies is their commitment to enhancing the communities they serve. Many in our communities benefit daily from the extr…- Randy M. Morrow, Retired Vice President, Boone Hospital Center -Read More
Atkins Treats Our Business Like Family
"We have used Atkins for many years for various services including lawn care and snow removal. We had used other providers in the past but have never found the high level of service with anyone that we always receive from Atkins! " …- Bill Morrissey, President - Kilgores Medical Pharmacy -Read More
Atkins the Best Locally-Owned, Family Business
“It’s my pleasure to congratulate Atkins on their 90th birthday. You have always been the best of what makes a locally-owned, family business great. We have worked with Atkins for all its 90 years and from one local business to an…- Steve Erdel – Chairman and CEO, Central Bank of Boone County -Read More
Keeping Lawns Healthy
“Thank you for keeping my lawn healthy and happy and if I buy another place I will definitely call.”…- Cory S. -Read More
Great Attention to Detail
“Josh and his team did a wonderful job at the Playhouse! They were so good to work with. They understood the importance of doing a very good job as we prepare for a wedding reception this Saturday. I praised them and asked Josh to be sure and tell …- Brick District Playhouse, Debbie LaRue, VP -Read More