Chiggers

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chiggerChiggers are tiny members of the arachnid family. Although they are extremely small in size, their bites pack a powerful punch. They’re so tiny that you probably won’t notice when they jump from that tall blade of grass onto your skin. You won’t feel it as they hitch a ride right into your home. When you eventually do feel them, however, they can make you itch like you’ve never itched before.

Chiggers live in tall weeds and grass, in berry patches, and in wooded areas. They may be in your backyard, by the lake, and clustered along your favorite hiking trail. They are most active on summer and fall afternoons, when temperatures are warm and inviting. They can quickly attach to your skin if you walk by and brush up against vegetation where they live. When the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, chiggers become inactive. They die off when the temperature falls below 42 degrees Fahrenheit

Chiggers are very tiny and it generally takes a magnifying glass to see them. Adults are about 1/60 of an inch and have eight legs. The larvae are red, wingless, six-legged creatures that measure less than 1/150 of an inch. Because of their red color, you might be able to spot the larvae when they cluster together. After they feast on human skin cells, they turn a yellowish color

Only the larvae bite humans. They tend to choose warm, moist areas of the body. Chiggers have claws that help them grab onto skin. The chigger then attaches its mouth to the skin and injects saliva. The saliva contains an enzyme that breaks skin cells down to liquid form. Your body responds by hardening skin cells around the saliva, creating a tube (stylostome) through which the chigger sucks the dissolved skin cells. Chiggers can stay attached and feeding for several days before falling off..Courtesy of Healthline.com