Chiggers in Michigan!
Chiggers in Michigan!
If you live in Michigan, chances are you have heard of chiggers, but what exactly are they? Chiggers are small mites that are outside and cause skin irritation when they come into contact with someone. The most notable characteristic of these mites is the red bumps they leave behind on victims.
Description of Chiggers
Chiggers are small and usually red or orange in color, but they can range in size between 1/150 and 1/25 of an inch. They are part of the family of mites that includes ticks and spiders. They do not have a bite or a sting, but instead produce a hard shell that embeds itself into your skin, leaving a red bump with a small red dot in the center.
Where to Find Chiggers in Michigan
Chiggers are most commonly found in warm and moist areas of grass, weeds, and dirt. Michigan is an ideal place for these mites to thrive due to its temperate climate. Especially prevalent in the spring and summer months, these mites can be found in parks, gardens, and other outdoor spaces.
Consequences of Getting Chiggers
Getting chiggers can lead to an uncomfortable itch, which usually starts within a few hours of contact. The red bumps and itchiness can last for several days, although some people may experience them for up to a week. In severe cases, chiggers can also cause an allergic reaction and inflammation of the skin.
How to Prevent Chigger Bites
If you are planning on spending time outdoors, there are some steps you can take to prevent chigger bites:
- Cover skin: Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
- Use insect repellent: Apply insect repellents to exposed skin and/or clothing to repel chiggers.
- Keep area clean: Avoid sitting on the ground and cut down on vegetation around your property.
- Take precautions after exposure: Shower immediately after being outside and wash your clothes to remove any chiggers that may have attached to them.
If you think you may have been exposed to chiggers, it is best to contact your doctor or dermatologist for advice.
Chiggers can make outdoor activities difficult, but by taking preventative measures, you can protect yourself from the itch and discomfort they can cause.
Michigan residents are used to dealing with a variety of pests. While some may pop up seasonally, chiggers can be an ongoing problem throughout the state. Chiggers are a type of mite found in Michigan during the spring and summer months and can be particularly troubling for outdoors-goers.
Chiggers are usually about 1/150th of an inch and can be red, yellow, or brown. When mature, they look like tiny spiders. As larvae, they are known as red bugs and are in the same family as spiders and ticks. They are found in wooded and grassy places including parks and golf courses. Because they have no wings, they crawl or hop on their six legs.
Chigger larvae attach themselves to humans or animals as they are passing by, in search of a blood meal. Once attached, they create a small puncture where they inject their saliva, which contains enzymes that break down the skin, allowing them to feed. This can be annoying to those who have been affected, and in severe cases, they can cause an itchy rash.
While the itching and rash associated with chiggers can be annoying and painful, there is good news—they are not known to carry diseases. To avoid being bitten, it’s important to take preventative measures such as wearing protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed shoes) when going into areas known to contain chiggers. If you do get bitten, often the itching will go away on its own, but there are creams and anti-itch lotions available over the counter that can provide relief.
In general, chiggers are a common nuisance in Michigan, but they can be managed with a little bit of preparation and knowledge. Be sure to protect yourself and stay safe when you go outdoors this summer.
Also Read: Chiggers on Skin!