How to Treat Chigger Bites – 16 Critical Tips You Need to Know

How to Treat Chigger Bites – 16 Critical Tips You Need to Know

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With their tiny size, it would be tough for you to prevent chiggers from biting your skin. They tend to attack the thin skin on your bodies, such as the waist, armpits, or ankles. In case you get chigger bites, there is something you need to know to put an end to their annoyance immediately!

Let’s take a look at how to treat chigger bites at home with simple ingredients you can get from your kitchen!

What Are Chigger Bites?

Chiggers are known as hairy, small and red-colored mites belonging to a family of insects called Trombiculidae, which are tiny with six legs and no wing [1].

Chiggers can be present in specific outdoor areas, including weeds, tall grass, forest and other moist areas and always feast on the blood of their prey.

According to a research, some sensitive parts of people’s body are mainly targeted by chiggers, including armpits, ankles, waist, groin or behind two knees.

What Causes Chigger Bites?

You should know that the bites come from the larvae only. And they are interested in the moist and warm body areas. Thanks to their claws, chiggers can grab onto the skin, attach their mouth, and injects saliva.

Chigger bugs or another chigger mites are loaded with a digestive enzyme that can get injected into your skin when larvae of those mites are on your skin. As mentioned above, it leads to some blisters that are red and itchy on victim’s body.

Typically, chiggers can stay on our skin for a few days, and they tend to fall off after more or less than four days.

Symptoms of Chigger Bites

Although chiggers do not do any serious harm to your health, they still cause discomforts and annoyance. To help yourself, you have to know the chigger bites symptoms to have proper treatments. When these mites attack you, there are likely to be following signs of chigger bites appearing within hours:

  • Severe itching, rashes
  • Red pumps or hives
  • Swelling

When it comes to chigger bites, your skin can be itchy and a little bit irritating. The bites can trigger itchiness and red blisters on sufferers’ body. Therefore, the first step to recognize chigger bites is to notice extreme itchiness on your skin.

After the bites, you can see a red welt or blisters within 1-3 hours.

Typically, many people consider chigger bites as another type of rash or skin problem since a cluster is likely to appear. Nevertheless, they are also common symptoms of chigger bites, mainly if you have spent a lot of time outdoors.

How Long Do Chigger Bites Last?

Chigger bites can last up to three weeks to be cleared up. At that time, small red blisters or even bumps from the skin’s clusters result in irritation and itchiness.

Within the first two days, you are likely to experience the worst itching. Do not worry! It happens to everyone bitten by the chiggers, and the itching would start reducing after two days.  

When to See A Doctor

If you notice no significant improvement after 3 days, you need to seek medical attention quickly. An expert will diagnose your condition and conclude what you need to do for the treatment. It is imperative to speak to your doctor if you have experienced pus, pain, and swelling as well.

Besides, even though it is rare, it is essential to note that chigger bites can lead to an infection. It usually begins when you scratch the bites and break your skin. You need to be careful if you have flu-like signs, including fever and swollen glands.

Once infection starts, you can have a prescribed antibiotic from your doctor to address it on time.

Overall, if your bites are usual, you might have steroid shots which help to reduce swelling and itching on your skin.




How To Treat Chigger Bites Naturally

As the mites are tiny that your naked eye can hardly notice them, it is not easy to prevent the bites. Therefore, it is worth to pocket some of the pure and natural treatments for how to treat chigger bites to deal with them in the meantime.

Here are top 16 useful tips on how to treat chigger bites that you can apply to reduce the symptoms and other discomforts quickly right at home.

1. Hot Shower

As soon as you notice the bites of chiggers, you need to go to the bathroom and get a hot shower immediately. It is the first home remedy on how to treat chigger bites that you should directly apply to eliminate the mites left on your body and ease the reaction of the skin. However, make sure that you do not use boiling water.

Shower - How to Treat Chigger Bites

How to apply: 

  • Soak yourself in a tub of hot water
  • Rub a mild antiseptic soap thoroughly
  • Do not rub your skin strenuously to avoid rashes and pain
  • Finally, gently dry yourself with a clean, soft towel and moisturize your skin with some essential oil like olive or coconut oil
  • Also, wash your cloth in hot water as well

Hot shower is widely applied to treat the other diseases, such as curing dry and rough hands or getting water out of your ears.

2. Cold Compress

After cleansing your skin to get rid of chiggers attaching on your skin, use a cold compress as the next step on how to treat chigger bites and reduce the itching caused by the bites with its numbing effect [2][3].

Cold Compress - How to Treat Chigger Bites
Cold Compress

How to apply: 

  • Take some ice cubes and wrap them in a thin and clean cloth
  • Use the ice bag to apply on the bites for some minutes
  • Repeat this if the itching keeps annoying you
  • Alternatively, you can soak the affected skin in cold or cool water to ease the itching.

Like hot shower, cold compress is a natural way to cure many health problems, including swollen mouth or leg pains.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has always been not only women’s but also man’s best friend as it is a trusted ingredient in various treatments for health and beauty problem and chigger bites are no exception. With the natural therapy on how to treat chigger bites from Aloe Vera, you can manage the condition of swelling, pain, inflammation on the skin. At the same time, vitamin E in it helps moisturize and accelerate the healing process [4][5][6].

Aloe Vera - How to Treat Chigger Bites
Aloe Vera

How to apply: 

  • Get the gel inside an Aloe Vera leaf then apply it on the affected area. Let it sit on 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with tepid water. Repeat this 2-3 times daily.
  • Alternatively, add some drops of olive oil and peppermint oil into some Aloe Vera gel. Mix them well then apply on the affected skin. After 15 minutes, wash off with clean water. Do this 2-3 times on daily basis for the best result.

Learn more other benefits of Aloe Vera at Home Remedies for Scabies and Home Remedies for Measles.

4. Neem

Neem is another source of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that can help you efficiently deal with discomforts caused by symptoms of chigger bites [7][8]. It is the reason why it is one of the best tips on how to treat chigger bites.

Neem - How to Treat Chigger Bites

How to apply: 

  • Put some neem leaves in hot water. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes then strain. After it cools down, use the liquid to cleanse the affected area. Do this several times a day until you see improvement.
  • Also, you can use the products made with neem as lotion or cream to apply on the affected skin. Do this a few times on daily basic to quickly heal the bites.

5. Baking Soda

Another useful help on how to treat chigger bites is baking soda. Baking soda possesses strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you effectively with the itchiness and inflammation. By applying baking soda, you can also reduce the risk of infection [9].

Baking Soda - How to Treat Chigger Bites
Baking Soda

How to apply: 

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with water to make a paste then apply it directly on the bites. Let it sit on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with clean water. Do this 1-2 times a day for the best result.
  • Add a cup of baking soda in a bathtub of cool water. Soak yourself in there for 10-15 minutes. Finally, dry yourself with a clean towel and apply moisturizer. Do this once on a daily basis.

Learn more other benefits of baking soda at How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal has always been an excellent choice for any skin problems due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. When you have oatmeal for how to treat chigger bites, you will receive a quick relief from itchiness and inhibit the risk of getting infections.

How to apply:

  • Prepare a bathtub of tepid water
  • Add into it a cup of colloidal oatmeal
  • Soak your body in it for 15-20 minutes
  • Do this 2-3 times a day

7. Olive Oil

If you are wondering how to treat chigger bites, think of olive oil as an excellent ingredient for natural treatments for bed bug bites. Besides easing itchiness and inflammation, one of the most incredible health benefits of olive oil is to help to speed up the healing and prevent infection.

How to apply: 

  • Use olive oil as a moisturizer after getting a bath
  • Just use the oil on the affected areas or mix it with honey for better effect
  • Another option for you is to add some drops of tea tree oil in a tablespoon of olive oil then apply the mixture to the skin.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar - How to Treat Chigger Bites
Apple Cider Vinegar

When it comes to itchiness and skin inflammation, apple cider vinegar will never let you down due to its antiseptic and soothing properties. Therefore, it can make a compelling help on how to treat chigger bites potentially that you can easily apply.

How to apply:

  • Prepare a bathtub of tepid water and 2 cups of raw apple cider vinegar. Soak your skin in there for 15 minutes. Finally, dry your skin and apply moisturizers. Do this 1-2 times a day.
  • Also, you can directly apply the liquid on the affected area with a clean cloth or a cotton ball. Leave it for 30 minutes then rinse off with water. Do this 1-2 daily until you see improvement.

9. Vick Vapor Rub

To seek for more on how to treat chigger bites, a jar of Vick vapor rub might be all you need. It is due to the cooling menthol that eases the itching on the skin and reduces the chance getting the blister.

How to apply:

  • Add a little salt to some Vicks vapor rub and mix them well
  • Directly apply the solution on the affected area
  • Do this 2-3 times a day or whenever swelling and inflammation appear

10. Chamomile

Another excellent tip on how to treat chigger bites is chamomile. With the anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant properties, the herb can reduce itching, inflammation and accelerate the healing process.

How to apply:

  • Put some dried chamomile flowers into the hot water. Let it cool down naturally or in the refrigerator. Use a clean cloth to apply the tea to the affected area. Leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing off. Do this several times a day for the best effect.
  • Alternatively, make use of chamomile oil by mixing it with coconut or other essential oils. Apply the mixture on the affected area for a couple of times a day.

Read also Top 10 Health Benefits of Chamomile You Need To Know

11. Hair Dryer

Using hair dryer aids in preventing itchiness caused by chigger bites quickly. When your skin releases, the heat can stop itching sensation, which will be great to relieve itching from those bites. So, you have already had one of the best tips on how to treat chigger bites inside your house.

How to apply:

  • Prepare a hand-held dryer and keep it on high setting
  • Have the affected areas blown for several seconds and wait

12. Listerine Mouthwash

Learning on how to treat chigger bites is very necessary because it blows away any discomfort you have to suffer during the time.

Curring chigger bites is no longer painful thanks to Listerine mouthwash. It is because the mouthwash is full of anti-itch and anti-fungal properties. Menthol content present in it has a cooling effect which can make it the best choice for chigger bites removal.

How to apply:

  • Before applying the treatment, you should rinse the affected area with water and then wipe it dry
  • Dip a cotton ball into Listerine mouthwash and use it to the bites area.

13. Tea Bags

Tea Bags - How To Treat Chigger Bites
Tea Bags

The reason why tea bags become natural treatment on how to treat chigger bites comes from the anti-inflammatory agents that work well as tannic acid. Hence, they serve as a significant itching relief.

Apart from that, tea bags control your pain from bug bites and ease inflammation. Also, you are highly suggested to use tea bags to prevent bites mark from developing scars.

How to apply:

  • Soak a tea bag and have it refrigerated for some minutes to get it cool
  • Apply it to the bit areas and continue repeating to help soothe a pustule

14. Aspirin

The anti-inflammatory compounds in aspirin is an excellent option on how to treat chigger bites. It assists in stopping the itching, thereby preventing swelling.

You might take a note that the number of used tablets need to rely on the extension and severity of the bites.

How to apply:

  • Prepare aspirin tables and get them crushed to create smooth powder
  • Add water to the powder to make the thin paste
  • Rub it over your skin and try to keep it dry

Regarding bug bites, in addition to treating chigger bites, aspirin helps get rid of yellow jacket stings.

15. Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt - How To Treat Chigger Bites
Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is known as a popular treatment on how to treat chigger bites. It helps relieve the bites and thereby, alleviating the swelling.

How to apply:

  • Have a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of water
  • Rub the solution over the chigger bites and wait

16. Creams

In addition to the tips on how to treat chigger bites naturally, you might want to know some creams that bring the quick effects of the treatment.

  • Hydrocortisone cream

Hydrocortisone cream is one of the most popular over-the-counter creams you can get on your own to alleviate the itchiness. You can apply it to the bites immediately; however, try only a little cream. If you want to use for below-12-year-old children, it is essential to ask doctors for advice.

  • Calamine lotion

An excellent alternative option when you do not have hydrocortisone cream is calamine lotion. It is handy in reducing the itching. You shake the lotion first and use a cotton pad to apply the lotion to the skin. Give it some minutes to be dry, and then, you can put on your clothes.

  • An antihistamine

Typically, the best option is Diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl. In case it is not available, you can go for loratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) which are less drowsy. They all contribute to reducing the response to your chigger bites and help to address swelling and itchiness.

Drowsiness might be a side effect of using an antihistamine.

Dangers of Chigger Bites

Many of you have raised the question “Are chigger bites dangerous for human health?”

In fact, chigger bites lead to a series of itching, discomforts, and annoyance. They make it nearly impossible to do anything, including sleeping. You want to scratch your skin all the time, but NEVER do that!

But overall, chigger bites do not have any significant consequence on our health. They only damage our skin cells, not the blood. Also, they do not bring any disease to our body.

The bottom line is not to scratch the bites too much. Otherwise, you might suffer from infections and a lot of other severe signs, such as swelling or fever.

How To Prevent Chigger Bites

Chigger bites prevention is a must to follow if you do not want those bites to come back. Therefore, it is necessary to know some ways to prevent it, instead of getting to know only how to treat chigger bites.

Following are some of the best prevention of chigger bites:

  • Try to ward off putting on short clothes when you show up the woods or a vegetated area
  • Before going out, rub mosquito repellent on the hands. (To make repellent, you can mix some jojoba oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil and witch hazel and use the mixture as a spray
  • Take a shower or a bath if you think you might have chigger bite after returning home
  • Use hot water when washing your clothes to eliminate any possible dangers
  • Do not scratch the bit areas because it can spread the infection to another area

Besides, you should also know that chigger bites tend to be booming in spring, summer, or fall. If you live in wooded areas and you want to walk, you should follow the central part of the trails, instead of the sides.


In general, it is easy to get chigger bites because you cannot prevent them all the time, especially when you cannot see them. However, how to treat chigger bites is no longer a mystery. With our crucial tips on how to treat chigger bites, you can get rid of its discomfort quickly.

SHARE the article to help people around the world recognize one of the most common problems and more importantly, the ultimate guide to how to treat chigger bites!

*Disclaim: The effectiveness from applying these natural tips will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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