Chiggers, also referred to as red bugs harvest mites, harvest lice, scrub-itch mites or berry bugs are invisible, and evil bugs due to the unbearable itching they cause when you’re lounging in your backyard or garden.
These teeny-tiny mites thrive worldwide in hot, humid areas, and even though they find their victims in all states, chiggers are much more prevalent in the Southern and Western United States, and typically in the spring, summer, and fall, until the first frost.
Chiggers are nearly microscopic, owing to the fact that they are the larval form of adult mites in the genus Trombicula. Even though chiggers are near impossible to see with the naked eye, their bites are unmistakable.
Getting rid of chiggers from your property is a daunting task, to say the least, but read on to find out how to prevent and get rid of chiggers in your yard effectively, and ideally for good!
Best Ways to Get Chiggers Out Of Grass
Because chiggers spend a short time in their larval form, the root cause of the bites won’t be there for long. But this also depends on the level of infestation, and the number of chigger habitats present.
There are two way to treat your lawn for chiggers — organic, and with pesticides. The best time to start treating chiggers is in early spring to kill and control the larvae, before they can mature and reproduce.
Organic Solution to Get Rid of Chiggers
You will need:
- A large capacity sprayer such as the four-gallon Field King 190328 Backpack Sprayer
- One cup lemon juice
- 1 cup of anti-bacterial dish soap
- 12oz can of Sprite
You can double up on the concentration of ingredients if you have a larger chigger infestation to tackle.
Mix all the aforementioned ingredients into the sprayer. Shake well, and then spray generously over the affected area (s). You can spray this mixture over plants, vegetables, and grass without causing damage to them.
Best Pesticides to get Rid of Chiggers
1. SPECTRUM BRANDS Bug Free Spray Review – Best Liquid
- KILLS FAST: Kills mosquitoes, listed ant types, fleas and other listed insects
- QUICKFLIP HOSE-END SPRAYER: Hose-end-sprayer activates spray at the flip of a switch – just grip, flip and go
- LASTS ALL SUMMER: Controls up to 12 weeks against house crickets, carpenter ants, harvester ants, lady beetles and earwigs
The Spectrum Cutter bug free spray does exactly what its name suggests — gets rid of chiggers, fleas, mosquitoes, and other listed insects effectively and quickly. It is a ready to go solution, where you simply activate the spray at the flick of a switch, and grip the bottle, and start spraying on the chigger nests.
A single bottle of the Cutter bug free spray can treat up to 5500 square feet of lawn real estate, and works for up to 12 weeks. It can be sprayed on your lawn, deck, patio, and any other outdoor surfaces where chiggers and insects are present.
2. Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer Granules Review – Best Granule
- KILLS LAWN INSECTS: Use outdoors on lawns and as a band treatment around your house foundation.
- KILLS MORE THAN 100 INSECT TYPES: Kills insects above and below ground, including ants (excluding harvester and pharaoh ants), crickets, armyworms, cutworms, grubs, ticks and others as listed.
- KILLS ON CONTACT: Treat when insects first appear or when you notice lawn damage.
These granules kill more than 100 types of yard insects including chiggers. And kills on contact, so you’ll start to see results as soon as you put it down. The good thing about this killer is that it will take care of lawn grubs as well if you have those nasties.
By getting rid of your chiggers you’ll enjoy your lawn more plus with this product it will rid you of any other lawn pests so that your grass will be its healthiest. So I always recommend using either the liquid above or these granules.
3. Repel Insect Repellent Review – Use While Working In the Yard
- REPELS: Create a barrier against mosquitoes, including those that may transmit the Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses, ticks, gnats, biting flies, chiggers and fleas.
- FORMULATED FOR SEVERE INSECT CONDITIONS: Contains 98.11% DEET for protection in heavily infested conditions.
- PROTECTS FOR UP TO 10 HOURS: Enjoy the outdoors without the bite – provides long-lasting protection, so you don't have to limit your adventure because of bugs.
The Repel insect repellant can be ordered in several different size variants and is basically formulated to create a solid barrier against chiggers, fleas, and ticks. It contains 98.11% DEET, which makes it highly effective to get rid of large chigger habitats.
When sprayed, the Repel repellants stays active for up to 10 hours, and is easy to use with its pump spray mechanism.
Other ways to get rid of chigger in your lawn include:
- Mowing your lawn regularly, and keep the grass short, especially around edges and woody areas.
- Removing accumulated leaf litter, and keeping landscape beds weeded.
- Maintaining your landscape plants with regular pruning to prevent overgrowth
- Getting rid of brush piles from your property
- Reduce or eliminate shady areas in your lawn
How to Identify Chiggers and their Bites?
If you’re wondering what chiggers look like, the answer depends how you look these arachnids. Up close and personal, chiggers look similar to a cross between a crab and spider in an array of warmer colors, starting from orange and red, to straw and yellow.
But if you take a look at chiggers through a magnifying glass, they will probably appear in groups on a low-hanging leaf or blade of grass.
Chiggers measure a mere 1/60 of an inch as adults and only 1/150th of an inch as larvae, and feature a long, oval shape and are covered with long surface hairs, which is similar to their close cousins — ticks. Even though chiggers go through four life stages, the larvae are the culprits that feats on hosts. Chigger larvae are the ones that bite and have six legs, whereas the adults have eight legs.
The juveniles don’t feed this way, but rather wait for animals or humans to come in contact with their nest, and then latch on. These hungry, invisible tiny critters climb up socks and pant legs looking for a place to perfect spot to feast.
The best way to identify chiggers is with their bites, but if you are one of the lucky ones to escape the welts, there’s another way of determining if you have a chigger issue. Simply place a saucer or a low bowl filled with water on your lawn and wait for an hour or so.
Because these mites love humidity, they’ll likely crawl up to the rim of the dish, and may appear as tiny, yellow or red dots. But don’t hold your breath, because chiggers are so tiny, you’ll probably need a magnifying glass to identify them.
Chiggers bite by attaching their mouth parts to your skin, hair follicles or pores. When they do, they inject an enzyme into the skin that partially dissolves tissue.
This digestive fluid generally causes violent reactions in humans, resulting in severe itchiness, skin inflammation, and allergic reactions, which is why they rely on birds, rodents and lizards for their survival.
The welt-live hives caused by chigger bites persist long after these mites are gone, but the marks left behind generally heal on their own. After a chigger bites and detaches from your body, it dies almost immediately, so can only get bit once from the same chigger, and not multiple times along the way.
And unlike mosquitoes and ticks, chiggers don’t ingest or transmit blood-borne illnesses, therefore they don’t carry the risk of transmitting infections. If you get multiple chigger bites, great chances are that you’ve brushed off against a chigger nest.
There are several ways to get relief from this long-lasting infuriating itch including with calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. But if you’re experiencing a severe reaction, seek medical attention immediately.
You should also wash your clothes thoroughly, and in the hottest water possible for the clothing to kill any chiggers that may be stuck in the fibers, but may’ve not attached to your skin and hair, so technically they’re still alive!
If you don’t wash your clothes, you risk the chiggers dropping off in your house and spreading to furniture, etc., or attach to you the next time you wear those clothing items.
Chigger Protective Gear Reviews
The best way to prevent chigger bites is use items and clothing that can resist the bite in the first place. Below I’ll look at a few items you can wear to help prevent chigger bites.
TickBanz Ankle Band Review
- Fits up to 17 inches. Velcro Closure. Pair with TickBanz Waist Band.
Before you head out in your lawn to deploy any of the below solutions to get rid of chiggers in your lawn, you should stay well protected to prevent chigger bites. The TickBanz ankle band is a proven way to repel ticks and chiggers and can fit individuals up to 17-inches.
It is backed by proprietary registered repellant technology, and is EPA registered and approved. Further, TickBanz is effective for approximately 70 washings, and features an integrated insect shield to keep chiggers and similar mites and bugs at bay.
It can be worn over your ankles, pant legs or boots, and offers all day protection. Adding to this, it can be used by young and old and everyone in between, and is a comfortable, and durable solution to keep chiggers and ticks away.
LYMEEZ 3D Mesh Tick Repelling Leg Gaiters Review
- OLIVE (S-M) Hook strip adheres to fabric wherever comfortable. Fits adults up to 18.5" calf circumference; 95% of adults.Traditional hook & loop closure. Effective protection from ticks that may carry Lyme disease.
- LYMEEZ 3D MESH LEG GAITERS confound and repel ticks. Ticks don’t fly or jump! Stop them on their climb. Ticks instinctively explore 3D mesh—proven to slow their climb by 4-8X—exposing them to repellent for longer. (See 20 second video.) Also effective on chiggers and mosquitoes.
- ACTIVE RELEASE. Treated in USA with microencapsulated Active Release long-lasting permethrin. Repellency effectively remains for 50 washings, or the expected life of the product. CDC: "Products containing permethrin kill ticks." Resistant to degrading in UV light. Repellent releases gradually through friction of use.
Permethrin is both a medication and insecticide, but when used as the latter kills chiggers and other pests upon contact. Permethrin works a bit differently in that you don’t necessarily have to spray it directly on the chigger habitats, but on the clothing that you wear when you’re out in the lawn or in the wilderness.
The LYMEEZ 3D mesh leg gaiters are treated with Permethrin on each and every fiber via integrated UVA resistant capsules, which burst by friction of movement. The 3D mesh of the LYMEEZ leg gaiters slow the upward progress of chiggers by up to 8x, and confounds and entangles the mites.
It offers time-release and long-lasting repellency and remains effective for up to 50 washings. This pair of Permethrin leg gaiters are lightweight, breathable, and stretchable up to 12” in height.
Chiggers thrive in moist, shady areas, so inspect these places first for chiggers, instead of sunny areas or where the lawn grass is cut short. Given that chiggers are hard to see, you can use one or more ways to detect a chigger infestation including with a low bowl of water or a couple of square pieces of cardboard.
If you do find a large infestation of chiggers, you should first try and get rid of it without the use of pesticides such as cutting down on shady areas or areas with thick vegetation.
Even though getting rid of chiggers without chemical use does require hard yard work, chiggers generally flock to a certain area where they lay their eggs, so you may have only one area to tackle, and not necessarily an equally suitable chigger friendly area nearby.
Hi, Alex Kuritz. here. Growing up I remember that my family had one of the best lawns in the neighborhood. Richly green and lush. I did a lot as I grew up in terms of caring and tending for not only my family’s lawn but also my neighbors. I can say I have years of experience, and I am here to share it with you.
Please leave your comments below as I try to respond to everyone that has questions.