What are Chiggers

and How do I Prevent Chigger Bites

Use Ranger Ready - The Best Chigger Repellent

If you’ve ever experienced a cluster of red bumps that resemble mosquito bites, but itch intensely for as long as 24 to 48 hours, then chances are, you were bitten by chiggers. 

The first line of defense to prevent chiggers from even reaching your skin is to pre-treat your clothing and gear with Ranger Ready’s Permethrin 0.5% Repellent.

The most important line of defense is to apply body-worn chigger repellent directly to your skin.  Ranger Ready Picaridin 20%is the safe and effective alternative to DEET.

Trombiculidae also known as a chigger

What Are Chiggers?

Chiggers are in the same family as spiders and ticks. They are also known as trombiculidae mites, bête rouge, harvest mites, red bugs, or scrub mites. Chiggers are extremely small and are not visible to the naked eye. When you do see them, they’ll be yellow, orange, or light red and have six legs. Adults are larger, and they’re bright red with eight legs. 

Where Do Chiggers Live?

Chiggers tending to favor moist areas with dense grass and vegetation like fields, forests, and sometimes near lakes and streams. Within the United States, chiggers are most common in the South, although you can find them in every state. They are most often found in late spring, summer, and early fall months, and are active when ground temperatures are between 77- and 86-degrees Fahrenheit.  

chigger bites on a foot

What Do Chigger Bites Look Like?

Chiggers pass through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.  It is the larva stage of the immature mite that causes the irritating bite. Chigger bites can look different on different people, based on how the skin reacts to a bite. Generally, the area of a chigger bite is red and slightly raised like mosquito bites. However, in many situations the bites come in clusters and may be misdiagnosed as eczema. Itching typically peaks at 24 to 48 hours after chigger bites occur, but redness and itching may persist for a week or more.

Why do Chiggers Bite?

Unlike ticks or mosquitos, chiggers don’t burrow into skin or feed on blood. Instead, their saliva liquefies the skin cells of their host, which they eat for food. Chiggers can stay attached and feed for three to four days, if left undisturbed. While their bites are unpleasant, fortunately chiggers are not known to carry any diseases that can be passed to humans. Chigger bites cause a red welt and generally bites are found in clusters. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, and fever, which will generally appear within three to six hours. Accompanied itching is most intense within the first 24-48 hours and then gradually subsides.


There are over 10,000 species of mites in the acarid subclass. In North America, there are two types of chiggers that commonly bite humans.

where are chiggers in north america?

Chigger mites can be found worldwide. Species are most commonly found along the Atlantic coast into the Midwest and southward into Texas. The Eutrombicula alfreddugèsi (Trombicula irritans) commonly inhabit grassy and weedy upland areas and may be encountered along the edges of wooded areas. Additionally, Eutrombicula splendens are often found in moist habitats such as swamps and bogs rotten logs and stumps.

How to Prevent Chigger Bites

Chiggers tend to attach where the skin is thin, tender, or where clothing is tight. This includes the lower legs, ankles, behind your knees, around the waist, or in the groin area.  Avoid walking through and working in tall grass, where chiggers can congregate.  When hiking or camping wear long sleeves and tuck pants into boots or socks. 

The first line of defense to prevent chiggers from even reaching your skin is to pre-treat your clothing and gear with Ranger Ready’s Permethrin 0.5% Repellent. Permethrin 0.5% will repel and kill chiggers on contact for up to 40 days or five washes. For a helpful video on how to properly apply Permethrin to clothing and gear, click here

However, the most important line of defense is to apply body-worn chigger repellent directly to your skin.  Ranger Ready Picaridin 20% is the safe and effective alternative to DEET, offering eight hours of protection from chiggers. Pay close attention to clothing seams, as well as the backs of your legs and your waistband to repel any chiggers that crawl up your legs. Ranger Ready with Picaridin 20% is a non-greasy formula that will repel chiggers and biting insects without staining or harming your clothing or gear.

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Treating Chigger Bites

Chigger bites are sometimes misdiagnosed as mosquito bites or poison oak. They resemble a red rash, made up of clusters of bites, which may be raised or flat. Chigger bites can cause intense itching, and if left untreated, can take up to two weeks to heal. 

The results of chigger bites - the rash, blisters, and urge to itch - can be unbearable, but there are some over the counter products that be helpful. Depending upon the cause, there are different over-the-counter products that can help to treat the ailment; however, it's always best to prevent the chigger bites in the first place by wearing a safe and effective insect repellent, like Ranger Ready.

Helpful tips to treat chigger bites: 

1. Take a shower and scrub thoroughly with soap and water to remove any chiggers still on your skin. 

2. Wash the clothing you were wearing, and any blankets or towels, to remove any hiding chiggers. 

3. Use menthol, calamine, or corticosteroid creams to help with the itching. 

4. Benadryl and other oral antihistamines can also help with itching and inflammation. 

5. If the chigger bites are still bothering you after a few days, visit your doctor for a steroid shot to reduce the itching and swelling. If bites are infected, you may also need an antibiotic.

The Best Repellent For Chiggers, Take it from our consumers.

This is a top notch product!

Works great for ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, and all other types of bugs that I encounter in the woods. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed!

Troy R. | Elkins, Arkansas

 Best Ever.

I used this product as directed all last summer. No chiggers or ticks. I can't recommend this product enough!

Kevin S. | Hiddenite, North Carolina

Great product.

I bought both treatments for skin and clothes. Excellent products. Both work very well against the stubborn chiggers of Georgia.

Nathan B. | Evan,s Georgia