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  #51  
Old 05-02-2019, 08:35 AM
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The first time in my life I'd ever heard of a chigger was... about ten minutes ago when I opened this thread. I've lived my whole life in California, Oregon, and Washington.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:39 AM
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They are mostly a problem in the southeast and lower midwest. I never encountered them in Colorado, California, Oregon or other parts of the west, nor in New York or the rest of the northeast.
Are they an issue in Central America (or do the botflies and malaria keep them down)?

For the record, I've experienced them down South (in US terms), but never in the Northeast or Northwest US.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:47 AM
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Got three bites on my scrotum [...] I was probably 7. Absolutely miserable.
trust me, not actually the worst location.
  #54  
Old 05-02-2019, 08:59 AM
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Not a problem in western PA AFAIK. Then again, I'd never seen a tick in western PA until about 20 years ago and their numbers have steadily increased since.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:24 AM
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I don't think I've ever encountered them here in Northeast Ohio. Another reason this is the Best Location in the Nation
  #56  
Old 05-02-2019, 09:26 AM
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Unfortunately, they're all too common in most of Texas.

That said, a combination of insect repellent, and treating your socks/pants with this stuff (permethrin treatment for clothing and gear) does wonders.
  #57  
Old 05-02-2019, 10:11 AM
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One thing that's not a problem in the mountains of Colorado are bugs.
Well, along with a lot of other chigger-free states mentioned in this thread, Colorado does have ticks. In fact, one of the tick borne diseases is called "Colorado Tick Fever":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_tick_fever

Ticks do live at high elevation - up to about 10,500 feet. You won't find them above timber line on the high peaks, but you have to get up there ...

I've never had a chigger bite, but I've had to de-tick myself a few times.
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  #58  
Old 05-02-2019, 10:21 AM
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Not a problem in western PA AFAIK. Then again, I'd never seen a tick in western PA until about 20 years ago and their numbers have steadily increased since.
I’ve never had a problem with them in New Jersey although they are supposed to be here. I did get horribly bitten all over both lower legs when I was at Fort Indiantown Gap. So middle PA certainly has them.
  #59  
Old 05-02-2019, 10:54 AM
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They don't occur west of the Rockies, apparently.
A few years ago I stumbled across one of those true crime TV shows, and there was a young woman missing in California. The guy they suspected of the crime, when they picked him up, was covered in sores, and the police there didn't know what they were. Later, when they found the woman's body dumped in the woods, the police who worked the crime scene all got these same bumps. Turns out they were chiggers, and in one small area chiggers had somehow been imported. They used the chiggers as evidence to help convict the guy.

I found a mention of it, it was near Thousand Oaks: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...372-story.html
  #60  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:02 AM
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Yes we have Niguas here in South Carolina, you must ever be moving, or they will go up on your feet. Now at this time of year where I live you cannot stand still for a moment, but your feet will be strewn with them. This is hard for me now, cause my toe is broken, and I wear no shoes. That is not the worst though; the worst is when you camp, or sleep in the woods; then there is no haven, and they will do the worst violence to you, your legs, feet, and everywhere else you would rather they not; and they will make great red stings all on your body, and they will ache and itch, and you will be miserable.
I enjoyed that so much I went and read your other post.

You should stop by more often.
  #61  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:27 AM
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As you know, chiggers can't be boozers.
Dammit, I came here to make that joke!

(I have several B. Kliban books. I don't remember which one it's in.)
  #62  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:37 AM
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They don't burrow into you. Instead, they inject digestive enzymes that create a small tube (known as a stylostome), from which they suck your (already partially digested) flesh.
Thank you for that. LOL
  #63  
Old 05-02-2019, 11:56 AM
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Not a problem in western PA AFAIK. Then again, I'd never seen a tick in western PA until about 20 years ago and their numbers have steadily increased since.
I grew up in northern WV, close enough to western PA that I used to bicycle into PA fairly often. Chiggers were like grits. They were a southern thing. We knew what they were, but no one that I personally knew had ever experienced them.

We had ticks, though. I used to spend a lot of time hiking through the woods, and getting a tick wasn't all that uncommon. This was 30 to 40 years ago.

I live in southern PA now, near Gettysburg. According to the map that was posted upthread we're supposed to have chiggers in this area, but my experience doesn't match that. If that map didn't say otherwise, I would have said that they aren't in this area.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:05 PM
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I have never seen one or had a bite here in Denmark. Apparently they live here, but are on a different diet. I don't know any Danish name for them.
Ticks, though. They are here, they suck blood and they are carriers of several diseases.
According to Wikipedia chiggers live in all of Europe, but are only a problem in the warmer parts. I wonder what they are eating here and could we send some chiggers south to teach the southern ones to change their diet?
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:24 PM
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I don't get why people are saying they're not in the Chicago area. I got 'em when I was a kid from sitting in tall grass under a tree in suburban Chicago. The itching was intense and seemed eternal. Maybe the 'burbs are so manicured now, there's no tallish grass??
  #66  
Old 05-02-2019, 12:32 PM
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Wiki says they're found all over the world:

Quote:
... Trombiculid mites are found throughout the world. In Europe and North America, they tend to be more prevalent in the hot and humid regions. In the more temperate regions, they are found only during the summer (in French, harvest mites are called aoûtat because they are common in August[20]). In the United States, they are found mostly in the southeast, the south, and the Midwest. They are not present, or barely found, in far northern areas, high mountains, and deserts.[21] In the British Isles, the species Trombicula autumnalis is called harvest mites, in North America the species Trombicula alfreddugesi, and the species Trombicula (eutrombicula) hirsti which are found in Australia and are commonly called the scrub-itch mite
It also says they can be found on lawns. Dampness seems to be a factor.
  #67  
Old 05-02-2019, 01:15 PM
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Looked at some land yesterday evening and walked through some knee high grass. Chiggers jumped all over my legs.

It's not the first time. I soaked the clothes & socks in a weak bleach solution and showered extra well.

Treating the bites & rash with Chigarid.

Are Chiggers everywhere in North America & Europe?
Never encountered them in the North West or North East.
  #68  
Old 05-02-2019, 01:29 PM
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Never encountered them here in NW Oregon.

There are deer ticks here but I have only found those when working on/butchering an actual deer. I have never picked one up by walking out in the field or forest, and I spend a lot of time outside.
  #69  
Old 05-02-2019, 02:55 PM
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I've never experienced them or even heard of them in California. I had to look up the word to find out what chiggers are, although I vaguely remember hearing about them in my youth in Chicago.

I don't really want to know more about this, which I discovered in my research:
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Originally Posted by WebMD
If you're a guy and you get a chigger bite in your groin area, you could get a condition known as "summer penile syndrome."
I've had it. It's not the worst thing ever but it's definitely in the top 10.

Chiggers are common in tall grass here in Oklahoma.
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  #70  
Old 05-02-2019, 03:22 PM
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Are they an issue in Central America (or do the botflies and malaria keep them down)?
Here in Panama we have tick season (the dry season) and chigger season (the wet season). They can both be bad. Chiggers are worst where there are large mammals around. I've had my worst bouts of chiggers after walking in a cattle pasture.

However, I seem to be almost immune to them now. I was recently on a three week trip where everyone else was complaining bitterly about the chiggers, and I didn't get any even without using insecticide. Since the itching is partly an an immune reaction, I think I've been exposed so often I've stopped reacting. Or maybe it's because I am old, thick-skinned, and bitter, and my blood is 25% alcohol.

Botflies and malaria of course only affect vertebrates and have no effect on chiggers.
  #71  
Old 05-02-2019, 03:32 PM
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I grew up in the Kansas City area and we all knew what chiggers were. There were many an afternoon after playing in the "woods" behind our house spent scratching any exposed skin. I kept having a pretty strong reaction to them all the way into adulthood. But then I started noticing a pattern. I was the only one really getting itchy out of the group I was with. I was also having some itchy eyes, runny nose nonsense and it was always worse if the grass was freshly cut.

Turns out, I'm just allergic to grass. I don't know if I've ever actually been bitten by chiggers but I avoid grassy areas regardless.
  #72  
Old 05-02-2019, 03:53 PM
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Yeah, if the itchiness is immediate, then it's not chiggers. It takes a day or two for the chigger bites to swell up and start itching.
  #73  
Old 05-02-2019, 06:52 PM
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... they inject digestive enzymes that create a small tube (known as a stylostome), from which they suck your (already partially digested) flesh.
I should add that they are not actually as bad as this makes them seem.


They are worse - much worse.
  #74  
Old 05-02-2019, 08:24 PM
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Yeah, if the itchiness is immediate, then it's not chiggers. It takes a day or two for the chigger bites to swell up and start itching.
Usually about a day after you’ve decided that you didn’t get any chigger bites.
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  #75  
Old 05-03-2019, 05:58 AM
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Not especially in Europe that I know of - not in the UK anyway.
We did have to put up with Cheggers for many years, though.
  #76  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:19 AM
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We did have to put up with Cheggers for many years, though.
Well, I never knew Janice Long was his sister. You live and learn.


I've not encountered chiggers here in the UK, although as mentioned above you've got to watch out for ticks.
  #77  
Old 05-03-2019, 08:38 AM
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I've lived in the southeast for the past 60 years, so I'm quite familiar with chiggers. As a kid, I'd go camping, running through fields, and in plenty other ways I made myself available. Funny thing, they have never bothered me. Oh, I may have had a bite here or there, but I've seen people with red bumps on their legs that would outnumber the freckles on a freckled kid.

I also seem to have an unusual response to mosquito bites (or so I've been led to believe). If I get bit by a mosquito, I will get a welt the size of a dime and it will itch like crazy for a couple of minutes. After that, the itch goes away and with 15 minutes or so, the welt is gone. I know people who not only seem to attract mosquitoes, but if they get bit on Monday, they will still likely have a bump there on Wednesday, perhaps still by Friday.
  #78  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:13 AM
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I also seem to have an unusual response to mosquito bites (or so I've been led to believe). If I get bit by a mosquito, I will get a welt the size of a dime and it will itch like crazy for a couple of minutes. After that, the itch goes away and with 15 minutes or so, the welt is gone. I know people who not only seem to attract mosquitoes, but if they get bit on Monday, they will still likely have a bump there on Wednesday, perhaps still by Friday.
I'm prett ymuch the same way - mosquito bites swell up itch like crazy for about 15 minutes, and after a half hour, they're completely gone.
  #79  
Old 05-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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I’ve never had a problem with them in New Jersey although they are supposed to be here. I did get horribly bitten all over both lower legs when I was at Fort Indiantown Gap. So middle PA certainly has them.
I grew up not far from there, and while I heard of chiggers (and spent a fair bit of time tramping through woods as a youngster), I never encountered any that I knew of.

I have managed to get ticks here in Virginia, twice. Once was on a Girl Scout camping overnight and that wasn't a huge surprise. The other time was walking down the street in our suburb - no woods or tall grass. Found the damn thing about 18 hours lsater.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:02 AM
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Several people have mentioned mosquitos and I am pretty familiar with them. I grew up in Sierra Leone, in what was then British West Africa and mozzies were pretty endemic. We took a daily Paludrine (proguanil) tablet and slept under mosquito nets. DDT was freely spayed around to stop them from breeding, but the most effective way was to eliminate any standing water.

My sister and I ran around all the time wearing as little as we could get away with - mother despaired of getting us to wear shoes. "The natives don't" we would say.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:22 PM
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In Texas, the fire ants have pretty much eliminated the red bug/chigger population. I had heard that but looked it up. They also eats fleas and ticks. Additionally, I have not seen any fire ant mounds in a while. Maybe they starved to death.
  #82  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:12 AM
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In Texas, the fire ants have pretty much eliminated the red bug/chigger population. I had heard that but looked it up. They also eats fleas and ticks. Additionally, I have not seen any fire ant mounds in a while. Maybe they starved to death.
Fire ants. Ugh.

Not only does their sting cause intense pain, it seems that they release a chemical which gets all the other ants riled up and in the mood to sting too. The also wreak havoc with air conditioning systems. I hate the things.
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  #83  
Old 05-08-2019, 12:07 PM
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Interesting about the fire ant thing.

I used to get at least a couple bites a year but now it's been a while.

Noticed the first fire ant mound of the year mowing the lawn yesterday. (I go all out in keeping them out of my yard. Not so much my neighbors so after a good rain this time of year ...)

I'd rather have the chiggers, please.
  #84  
Old 05-08-2019, 01:46 PM
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Another person from NE Ohio who has never encountered a chigger. Ticks, fleas and mosquitoes yes. But I spent a lot of time barefoot outdoors here and never suffered chigger bites.

We've got a local bar called Chuggers, tho.
  #85  
Old 05-09-2019, 05:55 AM
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We've got a local bar called Chuggers, tho.
Dive Bar Name!
  #86  
Old 05-14-2019, 10:20 AM
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Fire ants. Ugh.

Not only does their sting cause intense pain, it seems that they release a chemical which gets all the other ants riled up and in the mood to sting too. The also wreak havoc with air conditioning systems. I hate the things.
Now that the fire ants have taken care of chiggers, next they'll send in Chinese needle snakes to get the fire ants.
  #87  
Old 05-14-2019, 12:22 PM
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In Texas, the fire ants have pretty much eliminated the red bug/chigger population. I had heard that but looked it up. They also eats fleas and ticks. Additionally, I have not seen any fire ant mounds in a while. Maybe they starved to death.
I'd love to see a cite for that, because almost any time I walk through grass during the long Texas summer, I get chigger bites. I must be delicious.
  #88  
Old 05-14-2019, 01:43 PM
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I grew up in Manitoba, and my father volunteered to help out with the Envirothon, an environmental-science tournament for high-school students. One year he went with the winning Manitoban team to the North American championships in Mississippi. He got a truly nasty set of chigger bites that took a good 4–6 months to fully subside.

Also, several of the students discovered why poison ivy is actually called an "ivy". In Manitoba, because of the colder climate, poison ivy is really only a ground cover. So the students didn't recognize those three-leaved climbing vines on the tree they were leaning against.

All in all, it was one of the less positive trips my father made with that group.
I did tons of training and exercises in the bush in Manitoba, and never had a serious issue with chiggers.

Once I went East for higher-level infantry training and all bets were off - they put two of us in restricted bed rest because they thought it may be chicken pox (I have had it twice). Nope. Bloody chigger bites.
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