Chiggers Bites in Winter!
Chiggers Bites in Winter
Chiggers are tiny, red mites that can cause an itchy, red skin rash. These mites typically stay active during the late spring, summer, and early fall, when the weather is warm and humid. Surprisingly, chiggers can remain active during the winter months, when the temperatures are much colder. Here are answers to common questions about chiggers and their bites in winter:
What Are Chigger Bites?
Chigger bites are red bumps that may be swollen, itchy and burning. Chiggers attach to a person’s skin and inject a small amount of saliva. This saliva contains enzymes that dissolve the person’s skin cells, and the chiggers feed on the dissolved skin cells.
Do Chiggers Bite During Winter?
Yes, chiggers can remain active during the winter months. Generally, their activity will depend upon the temperatures in their environment; when the temperatures remain above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, chiggers may still be active. However, the cold weather does reduce the chiggers’ ability to produce enough digestive enzymes to completely dissolve the skin cells, so the chigger’s bites will typically be much less severe than bites received during the warmer months.
How Do People Prevent Chigger Bites in Winter?
People can avoid chigger bites in the winter by taking preventative measures:
- Wear long clothing. The chiggers attach to exposed skin, so it is important to cover as much of your skin as possible while outside.
- Apply insect repellent. Many insect repellents are designed to discourage chiggers from attaching to your skin.
- Check your clothing. After spending time outside, it is important to check your clothes for chiggers and remove them if found.
By taking these steps, people can reduce their chances of getting chigger bites in winter. However, if a person does suspect chigger bites, it is important to use an anti-itch cream immediately to reduce the severity and duration of the chigger bites.
As the winter season approaches, many people are exposed to potential health threats, including chigger bites. Chiggers are small, reddish-orange mites that can cause intense itching and discomfort.
When chiggers come in contact with human skin, they attach and feed on fluids, breaking down human tissue as they do. This leads to an itchy, red welt on the skin that can last for days or weeks.
Though chiggers are believed to be inactive in the cold winter months, the risk of getting bitten is in fact high. Chiggers can survive in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Celsius, so even in the colder months, they are very much active. Chiggers are usually found in damp, grassy areas and can easily attach themselves to clothing or skin.
When outdoors in areas prone to chiggers, there a few steps one can take to help prevent chigger bites. These include wearing long sleeves and pants made of a tightly woven material and tucking pant legs into socks. It is also important to shower and wash clothes immediately after being outdoors. Additionally, it is a good idea to use a bug repellent with DEET or permethrin before venturing outdoors.
If one is bitten by a chigger, the first step to treating it is to wash the skin with warm, soapy water. Applying an over-the-counter anesthetic cream or calamine lotion may also help ease the itching. An ivermectin tablet, prescribed by a doctor, may also help in treating chiggers.
In conclusion, chiggers are still very much active in the colder winter months and can cause uncomfortable bites. Although there is no surefire way to prevent chigger bites, one can limit their risk by avoiding areas where chiggers are likely to be found, wearing appropriate clothing, and using bug repellent. If bitten, it is important to treat the bite immediately to reduce the discomfort.
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