Find Out How to Keep Chiggers Away While Camping

Chiggers are tiny insects that live in grassy areas and feed off plants. They bite humans and animals and cause an itchy rash. Chiggers are most common in warm weather and humid climates.

It is important to know how to avoid chiggers while camping.

They are found mainly in the southern United States.

There are two types of chiggers: the American chigger and the Mexican chigger. Both types of chiggers are small red bugs that measure between 1/8 inch and 3/16 inches in length.

American chiggers are brownish-red and have six legs. Their bodies are flat and oval-shaped.

Mexican chiggers are smaller than American chiggers and have four legs. They are reddish-orange in colour and have a rounder shape.

Both types of chiggers usually appear in late spring and early summer.

They are found in wooded areas and grassy fields.

They usually feed on small animals such as mice, rabbits, birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, and sometimes humans.

Are Chiggers Dangerous?

Yes, chiggers are dangerous. Here are some facts about chiggers.

Chiggers cause serious health problems. They can spread infections such as Lyme disease, rocky mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and relapsing fever.

Chiggers can infect people’s eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth, stomach, intestines, and urinary tract.

People with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to chiggers. People with diabetes, asthma, or allergies are also prone to chigger bites.

Children are particularly susceptible to chigger bites. The bites are very painful and irritating.

In addition to irritating, chiggers can leave behind red bumps. A bump develops within 24 hours of being bitten. It becomes inflamed and then turns into a papule.

Papules become vesicles that rupture and form pustules. Pustules turn into ulcers. Ulcers eventually scar.

Chiggers are carriers of bacteria. Some bacteria can lead to severe illnesses. For example, Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease, can be transmitted via chiggers.

If you suspect you have been bitten by an infected chigger, take precautions to prevent further transmission of the bacteria.

What to Do If You Think You Have a Chigger Bite?

How to Treat Chigger Bites
How to Treat Chigger Bites

A chigger bite is painful and irritating. You should see a doctor immediately if you think a chigger has bitten you.

Here are some things you can do to relieve pain and itching caused by chiggers.

  • Use calamine lotion. Calamine lotions are available without a prescription. They are effective in relieving itching.
  • Apply ice packs to the affected area. Ice helps numb the area.
  • Take acetaminophen. Acetaminophen reduces inflammation and fever. Take 1/2 tablet every four hours.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Drink eight glasses of water per day.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps heal wounds. Eat citrus fruits and vegetables.
  • Get medical attention right away. Get medical care right away if chiggers have bitten you. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of infection.

How to Treat Chigger Bites?

Itching caused by chiggers is uncomfortable and irritating. However, there are several things you can do to relieve itching and prevent infection.

  • First, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. This helps remove any dirt or debris that may be irritating.
  • Second, apply calamine lotion or aloe vera gel directly onto the affected skin. Calamine lotions contain zinc oxide and salicylic acid. Aloe vera contains vitamin E and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Third, cover the affected area with a bandage. Bandages protect against scratching and rubbing.
  • Fourth, avoid scratching the infected area. Scratching causes further damage to the skin and makes the itch worse.
  • Fifth, seek medical attention immediately if you notice signs of infection, such as fever, swelling, pain, or pus.
  • Sixth, if you develop a severe allergic reaction after using a topical medication, stop using it immediately and contact your physician.
  • Seventh, if you see a chigger crawling near your feet, stomp on it. Doing so will kill the chigger and prevent future attacks.
  • Eighth, consult your physician immediately if you suspect you have been exposed to Lyme Disease.
How to avoid chiggers while camping
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Anti-itch and Healing Ointments for Chigger Bites

There are several over-the-counter products available that claim to treat chigger bites. These products include calamine lotion, aloe vera gel, hydrocortisone cream, and cortisone pills.

  • Calamine lotion contains zinc oxide and salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is an active ingredient used to treat acne. Zinc oxide provides relief from itching.
  • Aloe vera gel contains vitamin E and has antibacterial properties. It relieves itching and inflammation.
  • Hydrocortisone creams contain cortisone. Cortisone reduces inflammation and itching.

All of these treatments should be applied topically to the affected area. If you choose to use one of these products, follow the instructions carefully. Don’t use too much of the product or apply it repeatedly.

In addition, you can mix equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch. Apply this mixture to the affected area. Do this twice daily.

This treatment works well and is safe for children.

  • Some homeopathic remedies for chigger bites include Arnica montana (Arnica), Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade), Cinchona officinalis (Quinine), Croton tiglium (Croton Oil), Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove), Lycopodium clavatum (Club Moss), Mercurius solubilis (Mercury Sulphate), Pulsatilla nigricans (Prickly Ash), Rhus toxicodendron (Poison Sumac).
  • Other homeopathic remedies for chiggers include Aconitum napellus (Monkshood), Arsenicum album (Arsenic Trioxide), Bryonia alba (Bryony Root), Drosera rotundifolia (Sundew), Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane), Ipecacuanha (Ipecac), Kali bichromicum (Potassium Bromide), Nux vomica (Safflower), Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple), Silicea (Silica), Stramonium (Queen Anne’s Lace), Thuja occidentalis (White Cedar), Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle), Veratrum album (Hollyhock).
  • Here are some herbal remedies for chiggers: Allium sativum (Garlic), Artemisia vulgaris (Sweet Wormwood

How to Avoid Chiggers While Camping?

Campers often complain about chiggers. If you are going to camp, here are some tips on how to avoid chiggers.

  • First, don’t sleep outdoors. This is one of the main causes of chigger bites. Make sure to bring an air mattress or sleeping bag.
  • Second, wash your clothes after each trip. Wash everything inside out. Use soap and water. Don’t dry clothes in direct sunlight.
  • Third, cover yourself with bug repellent. Apply repellents containing DEET to your clothing and skin.
  • Fourth, wear shoes. Shoes protect your feet from chiggers.
  • Fifth, don’t walk barefoot. Wear socks.
  • Sixth, don’t let children play near streams, ponds, and lakes. Children may pick up chiggers from these places.
  • Seventh, don’t eat food that has been left out. Insects may crawl onto the food.
  • Eighth, don’t sit next to tall grass. Grass contains chiggers.
  • Ninth, don’t touch any animal droppings. These contain chiggers.
  • Tenth, don’t scratch your arms, legs, face, or scalp. Scratching spreads, chiggers.
  • Eleventh, don’t go swimming or wading in pools, rivers, or lakes. Swimming attracts mosquitoes. Mosquitoes transmit diseases.
  • Twelfth, don’t bathe in natural bodies of water. Bodies of water attract mosquitoes.
  • Thirteenth, don’t dig holes in the ground. Digging exposes you to chiggers.
  • Fourteenth, don’t sleep in tents. Tents attract chiggers.
  • Fifteenth, don’t drink untreated water. Untreated water may contain chiggers. Treat water using boiling, filtering, or chemical treatment methods.
  • Sixteenth, don’t brush against trees. Brushing against trees invites chiggers.
  • Seventeenth, don’t climb over logs. Logs may harbour chiggers.
  • Eighteenth, don’t cut down bushes or plants. Cutting down bushes and plants may expose you to chiggers and ticks.
  • Nineteenth, don’t sleep in caves or hollows. Sleeping in caves and hollows exposes you to chiggers and ticks.
  • Finally, twenty, don’t sleep in abandoned buildings. Abandoned buildings may harbour chiggers and ticks.

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