A chigger bug crawling on a leaf
Keep Chigger Bugs Away During Your Next Camping Trip With These Tips
Chiggers are almost invisible mites found in warm, humid climates whose bites cause intense itching and welts. These tips can help prevent or minimize chigger-related misery.
When you are in a chigger-infested forest or grass, the critters can latch onto your clothing and burrow into your skin, causing rows of small, red pimples that can itch for weeks.
If you know you'll be camping in chigger-prone areas, opt for long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks made of tightly woven fabrics to prevent infestations.
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin to any exposed skin areas, especially around your ankles and wrists. Clothing can also be treated with permethrin.
Sprays with citronella, tea tree, jojoba, eucalyptus, geranium, or lemon grass oils can also help to keep chiggers at bay and are more environmentally friendly.
Choose clear, well-maintained campsites. Avoid setting up in chigger-prone areas like tall grasses or weeds and scrubby areas at the edges of lakes and forests.
If you have been exposed, remove your clothing and put it into a tightly sealed bag, separate from your other belongings. Scrub your skin with soap in a hot shower.
If you can't shower, sponge off carefully, focusing on your ankles, wrists, and skin folds, and put on fresh clothes before entering your tent to avoid contaminating it.