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Chigger Bite

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What do I need to know about a chigger bite?

A chigger is a tiny mite (similar to a spider or tick). It may also be called a red bug or harvest bug. A chigger is too small to be seen without a magnifying glass. Chiggers are usually found in grassy areas, often near forests, lakes, and rivers. Only baby chiggers bite. They use their claws to attach onto your skin when you brush up against grass or a bush that contains chiggers. Then they pierce the skin and inject saliva. The saliva breaks the skin down so they can feed on it. A chigger will feed for a few days and then fall off.

What are the signs and symptoms of a chigger bite?

Chigger bites usually occur where clothing is tight. Examples include where a belt presses against your waist or where your socks cling to your legs. Chiggers also commonly bite near folds of skin such as the armpit or behind the knee. Any of the following may develop soon after the bite and last up to a few weeks:

How is a chigger bite diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider may know you have a chigger bite by the way the sores look. The following can help treat signs and symptoms:

How can I prevent a chigger bite?

When should I call my doctor?

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Further information

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